Here are the most extreme things to happen in college basketball between Friday, February 19th and Thursday, February 25th…
3) #246 UNC Greensboro 79, #71 Chattanooga 64  (8%), Saturday. Chattanooga might have the best profile for a team that has never been mentioned in the same sentence as “at-large” this season. They’ve played four games against teams from multi-bid conferences: Georgia, Iowa State, Illinois and Dayton. Not surprisingly, all three were on the road, but the Mocs still won three of the four. And coming into this game against UNCG, Chattanooga was 13-2 in SoCon play, and 24-4 overall. This wasn’t just an upset, but a game that wasn’t even competitive over the last five minutes, so if people want to jump off Chattanooga’s choo-choo, I get it. But we probably don’t know a whole lot about the Mocs. They have mostly dominated their conference and they performed well against a soft non-conference schedule. They won’t be an easy draw for an unsuspecting three- or four-seed.
2) #272 Drexel 74, #85 William & Mary 69  (7%), Saturday. The Tribe has never fielded an NCAA tournament basketball team since the school’s founding in 1693. That’s a long drought, but Tony Shaver’s club has been knocking on the door in recent seasons. This year, William & Mary has been hanging around the top 100 most of the season and Drexel was 3-23 coming into this game. And it was senior day for W&M. Maybe scoring the first eight points of the game allowed some complacency to set in, but somehow the Tribe dropped this one. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a huge deal. They still have to win three games in Baltimore to end their 324-year streak of futility.
1) #240 UC Riverside 77, #50 Hawaii 71 (6%), Thursday. The most unlikely outcome of the week occurred in the very last game of the week. Hawaii was one of three teams with just three losses this season. Of course, playing more home games than any other team in the land helps out with the W-L record, especially given the Rainbow Warriors have one of the better home-court advantages in the land. But they were just coming off a road win at second-place UC Irvine and coming home to face the Highlanders who were a mere 4-8 in Big West play. Among teams nicknamed the Highlanders, Riverside ranked dead last, behind NJIT and Radford. And their previous three trips to Hawaii resulted in losses of 21, 31 and 15.
Least likely comebacks
3) #236 Army 80, #186 Navy 78 (2OT)  (1.6%), Saturday. Navy led by 13 with just under nine minutes left, and led 58-53 with 28 seconds to go. But Army hit consecutive three’s to force overtime. The Black Knights would eventually win on a Kevin Ferguson layup with 0.7 seconds left in double overtime.
2) #259 Rice 76, #321 Southern Miss 74 (OT)   (0.7%), Thursday. Rice just can’t stay away from the Week in Review this season. While it hasn’t necessarily been a great season for the Owls – They’re 12-16 overall and 7-8 in Conference USA – it has been exciting. At Southern Miss, they overcame a 66-59 deficit with 38 seconds left to force overtime on a three-pointer by Max Guercy. Rice never trailed in OT and won on a pair of tie-breaking free throws by Marcus Evans with three seconds left.
1) #211 Harvard 76, #263 Cornell 74  (0.6%), Saturday. Harvard tailed by 21 with nine minutes left. The Crimson, even after this incredible comeback, have the 274th ranked offense in the country. Their offense ranks 322nd in average possession length. If there was ever a time to leave a game early, this was it. However, Harvard went on a 26-4 run to take the lead with 1:59 left. But it still needed a Tommy McCarthy layup with six seconds left to break a 74-all tie and finish off the comeback of the week.
My five-man #ShootersClub of Micah Mason, Isaiah Williams, Jared Brownridge, John Simons, and J.C. Hampton is barnstorming the country this season, spreading goodwill and providing inspiration that you, too, can make three-point shots with enough practice.
The guys went 21-of-64 this week, making 32.8%. That knocks the season total down a peg to 39.0% (365-of-935). While that seems so close to the promise of 40.0%, it is actually very far away. With the limited number of games remaining, the team is going to have to shoot very close to 50% the rest of the way to do it.
Fastest game: #307 New Orleans 102, #316 Northwestern St. 99 [86 possessions], Saturday. Northwestern State combines especially poor shooting defense with an inability to prevent offensive rebounds, and that often results in large numbers on the scoreboard given the Demons’ interest in playing fast-paced basketball. New Orleans didn’t actually shoot the ball all that well, but they got 19 offensive rebounds and went to the free throw line 34 times to crack 100 for the first time this season.
Slowest game: #15 Miami FL 64, #2 Virginia 61 , Monday. Most people don’t appreciate how difficult it is to score 28 points in a 54-possession game, but that’s what Malcolm Brogdon did against Miami. It wasn’t enough, though, as the Hurricanes got 21 from Davon Reed and the Hurricanes held off a late Virginia run to stay within a game of first-place North Carolina in the ACC race.
Highest-scoring game: #193 Charlotte 114, #338 UTSA 108 (2OT) , Thursday. There were 11 players that finished with double-digit points in this one. That’s not quite the season high, however. Three games this season have had 12 players score at least 10 points.
Lowest-scoring game: #49 Dayton 52, #242 Saint Louis 49 (OT) , Tuesday. Dayton and Saint Louis combined to play one of the season’s most thrilling exhibitions of either great defense or horrible offense. I tend to lean towards the latter. The teams combined to go 22-of-64 on 2-pointers, 12-of-49 on 3-pointers, and 21-of-35 on free throws. They also produced 34 combined turnovers. No thanks.
Random tid-bit: Over the last 15 seasons, just three conferences have gone an entire season with home teams having a sub-.500 record. As we sit here with a week to go in the regular season, three conferences (NEC, CAA, and Big West) have a sub-.500 home record and another (America East) is right at .500. I’d say it’s unlikely any of them finish below .500, but watch out for the Big West, whose teams are 28-32 at home this season. The top two both play two of their last three on the road while the last place team has two home games.
And that is it for the week in reviews this season. Conference tournament action starts Tuesday with the first round of the Atlantic Sun tourney and the focus of this space will turn to tournament action over the next two weeks. Thanks to everyone who read or didn’t read this season. Drive home safely.