College basketball Saturday slate key results: Tennessee, Baylor and Creighton get key wins, Houston survives

At last, March has arrived.

College basketball’s showcase month tipped off in earnest Saturday with a strong slate featuring a handful of games pitting AP Top 25 teams. No. 4 Tennessee gutted out an 81-74 win at No. 14 Alabama to take over first place in the SEC, No. 12 Creighton beat a shorthanded No. 5 Marquette team and No. 15 Baylor held off No. 7 Kansas. And No. 1 Houston needed a clutch last-second shot by Jamal Shead to survive Oklahoma. That was just the tip of the iceberg on a day that featured an unforgettable buzzer-beater and several games with major NCAA tournament, conference title and bubble implications.

  • That's a wrap!

    A loaded Saturday of men's college hoops comes to an end. Quite a way to start March!

    We'll be back again to follow the action next Saturday and for all the key days of March Madness.

    Full Saturday scores and results 

  • Final: Gonzaga 70, Saint Mary's 57

    No. 23 Bulldogs pick up a crucial Quad 1 road victory over the No. 17 Gaels. SMC already won the WCC title, so Gonzaga needed this one more as it's firmly on the bubble. That wraps the regular season for both teams. Next up: WCC tournament in Las Vegas, where they could very well meet again.

  • Gonzaga 66, Saint Mary's 52, 3:34 to play

    Zags closing in on a road win they desperately needs for their NCAA tourney resume.

  • Gonzaga 60, SMU 46, under 9 minutes

    Gaels struggling to close the gap against high-powered Zags offense.

  • Gonzaga 52, Saint Mary's 38, 15:18 to play

    Saint Mary's came out of the break with a purpose.

    A quick 10-2 run to start the 2nd half to briefly cut the Gonzaga lead to single digits.

    But Zags answer with six straight.

  • Zags in full control on the road at Saint Mary's

  • Gonzaga 38, Saint Mary's 23, late first half

    SMC'a longest active win streak in the nation of 16 games is in major jeopardy here. Zags are red hot.

  • While all that chaos was going on, Gonzaga has used a 14-0 run to jump in front of Saint Mary's 24-12 in the first 10 minutes

  • Final: Purdue 80, Michigan State 74

    The Boilermakers hold off the Spartans down the stretch to get the win and hoist their second straight Big Ten title. Zach Edey (32), Braden Smith (23) and Fletcher Loyer (15) combined for 70 of Purdue's 80 points.

    Final stats

  • Final: Tennessee 81, Alabama 74

    No. 4 Vols rally to earn a huge road win in Tuscaloosa to take sole control of first place in the SEC and, more importantly, boost their hopes of earning a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Zakai Zeigler leads Vols with 18 points.

  • Final: Houston 87, Oklahoma 85

    Jamal Shead's last-gasp winner locks it up for the Cougars in a tough game at Oklahoma.

  • Houston's Jamal Shead gets his own rebound and makes the game-winner with 0.1 seconds left!

  • Oklahoma ties it up! The Sooners missed a free throw but ended up with the ball anyways on a deflection and knot things at 85. Just 11.8 seconds for Houston.

  • Tennessee 77, Alabama 72.

    29 seconds to go. Bama ball.

  • Oklahoma has cut it to 85-82 with just 30 seconds left on the clock and just got the ball back for a chance to tie it up.

  • Tennessee takes 70-65 lead over Alabama at the under-4 timeout.

    Vols initially took the lead on this shot:

  • If it isn't Zach Edey, it's Braden Smith. The sophomore guard has 19 points and 8 rebounds.

  • Alabama 62, Tennessee 60, under 7 minutes

    Alabama leads the nation in scoring at 91.5 points per game, but defensive-minded Tennessee is keeping the Crimson Tide relatively in check. Looks like a good finish coming in Tuscaloosa.

  • We've got three tight games coming down to the wire at the moment.

    Scoreboard update
    Scoreboard update
  • Now it's Michigan State going on the offensive. The Spartans have made it a one-possession game after an 8-0 run.

  • Alabama leads Tennessee 58-52 and has been in control ever since its 12-0 run to close the 1st half. The crowd came to life after that.

    First place in the SEC on the line in this one.

  • Houston has cooled off a bit (relatively), but it's crashing the boards hard and getting easy putbacks. The Cougars could pull away here quick if the Sooners aren't careful.

  • Zach Edey is starting to take over. He now has 24 points and 9 rebounds and the Boilermakers have extended their lead to 55-45.

  • LJ Cryer picked up right where he left off and is now on a heater with consecutive 3-pointers as Houston pulls out to a 56-47 lead to open the second half.

  • Final: Washington State 77, UCLA 65

    Cougars win a back-and-forth one in Pullman but WSU pulled away in the closing minutes. Jaylen Wells scores 27 to lead WSU, which is now 23-7 and 14-5 in the Pac-12. The magical season continues for the Cougs.

  • Halftime: Houston 48, Oklahoma 45

    No. 1 Houston is in a fight with Oklahoma in Norman. The Sooners tied it up with three seconds to go in the half before a bizarre sequence where LJ Cryer hit a 3-pointer but the officials never started the clock. After review, it's determined that Cryer made it in allotted time left so the Cougars will have the lead at the break.

  • Halftime: Alabama 41, Tennessee 39

    Crimson Tide finished the first half on a furious 12-0 run to snag the lead after Vols had controlled the action most of the way. Mark Sears (12 points) and Aaron Estrada (11) lead the way for the Tide.

  • Halftime: Purdue 38, Michigan State 35

    MSU's Tyson Walker pulls up for a 3 at the buzzer to cut into Purdue's lead at half.

  • The Boilermakers are finding their footing now. They're on a 19-4 run with a minute left in the first half.

  • Tennessee led by as many as 11 but Alabama cuts it to 1 with this shot:

  • Big momentum swings in Pullman.

    UCLA leads Washington State 58-55 after erasing an 8-point halftime deficit.

    Under 8 minutes to play.

  • Meanwhile, No. 1 Houston is getting all it can handle from Oklahoma.

    Sooners lead 29-28, late 1st half.

  • Spartans playing inspired so far at Purdue, leading 26-19.

  • Quick glance at the Top 25 scores in action. No. 2 Purdue on early upset watch vs. MSU

  • Tennessee off to an early 9-5 lead over Alabama, turning defense to offense:

  • Another fun finish as FIU's Javaunte Hawkins drills the tough jumper to beat Western Kentucky

  • Wazzu has turned things around in Pullman, ending the half with a 27-9 run.

    Washington State vs. UCLA
    Washington State vs. UCLA
  • FINAL: Duke 73, Virginia 48

    This one wasn't close and may impact Virginia's tournament standing. The Hoos are firmly on the bubble with only one game left in the regular season. They'll need to put in some work in the ACC tournament to make it.

  • The Cougars have settled in a bit in Pullman. They just took the lead for the first time in the game at 32-30 with under 3 minutes left in the first half.

  • Big win tonight for Iowa, which is a bubble team and desperately needed a quality win.

  • How many ACC teams will make the tourney this year?

  • UCLA is off to a fast start in Pullman, taking an 11-2 lead on No. 19 Washington State early.

  • No. 10 Duke leads Virginia 40-18 at halftime as the Blue Devils have given up their fewest points in a first half all season.

    It's also the largest halftime deficit for Virginia in 15 years as the Cavaliers are looking to solidify their tournament status. Entering Saturday, Virginia was a consensus No. 10 seed at Bracket Matrix.

    Duke's Kyle Filipowski has 15 points. Virginia is shooting 6-of-26 from the field.

  • Halftime update: Duke 40, Virginia 18

    Duke vs. Virginia
    Duke vs. Virginia
  • Things are still not going well for the Hoos. They're now done 25 points with 4 minutes left in the half and have shown no semblance of offense.

  • No. 10 Duke is all over Virginia early in Durham.

    The Blue Devils lead 21-9 at the under-12 timeout. Kyle Filipowski has as many points as the Cavaliers do. Filipowski is playing in his second game after suffering a knee injury during a court-storming at Wake Forest.

    Duke is 8-10 from the field so far.

  • FINAL: Iowa State 60, UCF 52

    No. 8 Iowa State survives on the road at UCF. The Knights shot an abysmal 1-of-19 from 3-point range as the Cyclones went on an 11-2 run to close things out.

    Final stats

  • FINAL: UNC 79, NC State 70

    After trailing at halftime, No. 9 North Carolina outscored NC State 42-25 in the 2nd half to pull away from its in-state rival. Harrison Ingram's 22 points led the way for the ACC-leading Tar Heels.

    Final stats

  • USC tops Washington thanks to Collier's career day

    USC's only hope for an NCAA bid is a run through the Pac-12 tournament, but it's nice to see Isaiah Collier healthy and playing like he's capable of playing. He finishes USC's win over Washington with a career-high 31 points.

    Yahoo Sports' Krysten Peek caught up with him earlier this week on the challenges he and the Trojans have dealt with this season:

    (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
  • USC star freshman Isaiah Collier's late-season surge continues with a career day vs. Washington.