THE FIRST WORD: One week away from Selection Sunday, there's been no shortage of madness.

While teams from mid-major conferences were duking it out for automatic NCAA tournament bids in league tournaments, teams from major conferences were wrapping up their regular seasons.

HIGHLIGHTS: How the top 25 teams fared

BRACKETOLOGY: Projecting the field of 68

There was plenty of excitement on a jam-packed Saturday, including the game's best rivalry and the chase for regular-season conference titles. Perhaps the most pulsating moments came from three of the top stars.

The first came from the country's most hyped freshman since, well, anyone. Projected No. 1 NBA draft pick Andrew Wiggins didn't lead Kansas to a victory against West Virginia with fellow freshman Joel Embiid resting a sore back, but he showed why he should be the Big 12 Player of the Year with a 41-point performance.

The second came from the front-runner to win national player of the year, Creighton senior Doug McDermott. McDermott scored a career-high 45 points and eclipsed the 3,000-point plateau in a win against Providence — his final game at Omaha. Remember, because he gave up his scholarship for teammate Grant Gibbs, this guy's a walk-on. Some senior night.

In the nightcap, Duke's Jabari Parker had a career-high of 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds in leading the Blue Devils past archrival North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

To mark the end of the regular season, and with the performances of Wiggins, McDermott and Parker fresh in our memory, here's a look at the 10 best showings from 2013-14. (FYI: None of these guys had Jack Taylor numbers, but they were still impressive).

  1. Doug McDermott, Creighton: 45 points in win against Providence. (March 8). Also had 39 points and tyhe game-winning three-pointer against St. John's (Jan. 28). He also had 39 points in a Feb. 16 blowout win against league champion Villanova. He also had 33 points, 15 rebounds in Nov. 23 win against Tulsa.
  2. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas: 41 points on 12-for-18 shooting from the field, 15-for-19 from the line to go with eight rebounds, five steals and four blocks. (March 8)
  3. Melvin Ejim, Iowa State: 48 points on 20-for-24 field goals to go with 18 rebounds in a win against TCU. (Feb. 8)
  4. Jabari Parker, Duke: 30 points and 11 rebounds in win against UNC (March 8). He also had 29 points and 16 rebounds in win against Boston College. (Feb. 8)
  5. Tyler Haws, BYU: 48 points in triple overtime loss to Portland. (Jan. 23)
  6. Aaric Murray, Texas Southern: 48 points on 20-for-28 shooting to go along with eight rebounds in a win against Temple. (Dec. 18)
  7. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State: 39 points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks, five steals in a win against Memphis. (Nov. 19)
  8. Jahii Carson, Arizona State: 40 points, seven assists in win against UNLV. (Nov. 19)
  9. Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin: 43 points on 16-for-19 shooting, including 6-for-6 from beyond the arc in win a against North Dakota. (Nov. 19)
  10. T.J. Warren, North Carolina State: 41 points, five rebounds and four steals in a win against Pittsburgh. (March 3)

  • Honorable Mention: Billy Baron, Canisius: 40 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and 55 minutes played in a triple overtime win against Siena. (Feb. 16)

WOODEN AWARD FINALISTS: Speaking of great performers, 15 players were announced as finalists for the annual award given to the country's best player. Here's a re-ranking of the finalists. And here's a look at our latest top 10 player rankings.

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TWEET THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES: Tony Romo, Jason Garrett and Roger Goodell all took in the Duke game on Saturday.


THE HIGHLIGHT REEL: Um, overtime overdose? Iowa State pulled away from Oklahoma State for an 85-81 OT victory after Naz Long's buzzer-beating three-pointer forced overtime. The first time these teams played, Iowa State won in three extra periods. In this one, the Cowboys weren't the same team in overtime without Marcus Smart, who fouled out and finished with 27 points. For the Win: Fans mock Marcus Smart with flop gesture.


CONFERENCE OUTLOOK: Even though Louisville's stay in the new American Athletic Conference will be short-lived, a regular-season championship isn't a bad way to go out. The defending national champions pummeled Connecticut 81-48 on senior night to secure a share of the AAC title with Cincinnati, a fitting send-off for a program transitioning to the ACC next season.

It's the second consecutive conference championship for the Cardinals, who won a share of the regular-season Big East title last year in the final season before realignment led to two conferences — the AAC and the new Big East.

Cincinnati (26-5, 13-3 AAC) held off Rutgers 70-66 to tie Louisville and put the finishing touches on a surprisingly strong regular season. Each team beat the other on the road, Cincinnati winning at Louisville on Jan. 30 and Louisville at Cincinnati on Feb. 22. The Bearcats won the coin flip and will be the No. 1 seed in the AAC tournament.

CONFERENCE OUTLOOK, TAKE 2: San Diego State hosted New Mexico in a regular season finale with the Mountain West Conference championship and No. 1 MWC Tournament seed on the line. The Aztecs stormed back from 16 points down — using a 19-1 run to beat the Lobos 51-48.

TEAMS DANCING ALREADY: Two teams have earned automatic bids to the NCAA tournament: Eastern Kentucky and Harvard.

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COACH'S CORNER: USA TODAY Sports' Nicole Auerbach went 1-on-1 with Florida coach Billy Donovan, whose Gators became just the fourth team in power conferences to go undefeated in regular-season league play in the past 15 seasons with a convincing 84-65 win against Kentucky.

WINNERS, LOSERS: Breaking down Saturday's victories that matter the most and the losses that stain résumés the worst.


  • Wichita State: The Shockers handled Missouri State 67-52 in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament semifinals to run their record to 33-0. As strong as they have been, the MVC tournament title has eluded Gregg Marshall's teams, including last season when the Shockers reached the Final Four but Creighton won the conference championship. Today's championship game will give Wichita State a chance to win it all in St. Louis and become the first team since UNLV in 1991 to enter the NCAA tournament with a perfect record.
  • St. John's: Life on the NCAA tournament bubble is never easy, and the Red Storm proved that in a 91-90 double-overtime victory against Marquette. St. John's (20-11, 10-8 Big East) clinched the fifth seed in the Big East tournament. The NCAA selection committee will again have a magnifying glass on this team.
  • Stanford: The Cardinal picked up a huge bubble win by staving off Utah 61-60 to likely cement an NCAA tournament bid. Stanford has quality wins against UConn and UCLA, but it needed to avoid any glaring résumé stains. Mission accomplished.
  • Tennessee: The Volunteers crushed fellow bubble team Missouri, 72-45, on their home floor to inch closer into the field of 68. The victory might not boost the team's overall résumé much, but it'll be important to distinguish which SEC team is more deserving to the committee.


  • Arizona: The Wildcats are in line for a No. 1 seed, but a 64-57 loss to resurgent Oregon doesn't do them any favors. Arizona (28-3, 15-3) already had clinched the Pac-12 regular-season title, but now the Wildcats might need to win next week's conference tournament in Las Vegas to secure a No. 1 seed.
  • Arkansas: The Razorbacks suffered a big résumé stain with an 83-58 loss to Alabama, the exact result a team on the NCAA tournament bubble did not want.
  • Georgetown: The Hoyas were coming off a résumé-boosting victory against Creighton and could have used a road victory against a top-10 team to significantly boost their NCAA tournament credentials. But a 77-59 loss to No. 6 Villanova means Georgetown (17-13, 8-10) might need to at least reach the Big East Tournament title game to earn a bid to the NCAAs.
  • Green Bay: The Phoenix fell in the Horizon League Tournament to Milwaukee, 73-66, in overtime and despite a fantastic season, the team's NCAA tourney credentials likely won't be enough to push them into the NCAAs. NIT is always a tough consolation.

ON DECK: Breaking down the best matchups to watch Sunday. All times Eastern.

— No. 2 Wichita State vs. Indiana State (Missouri Valley Conference Championship) | 2:05 p.m., CBS

— No. 5 Virginia at Maryland (ACC) | noon, CBS

— No. 7 Syracuse at Florida State (ACC) | 2 p.m.

— No. 16 Saint Louis at UMass (Atlantic 10) | 2 p.m., CBS Sports Network

— Mercer at Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Championship) | 2 p.m., ESPN2

— No. 22 Michigan State at Ohio State (Big Ten) | 4:30 p.m., CBS

— No. 11 Wisconsin at Nebraska (Big Ten) | 7:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

Scott Gleeson, a national college basketball writer/digital producer for USA TODAY Sports, is on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.


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