NEW YORK – La Salle’s coaches and players must stress until Sunday.
The Explorers could have made a loud statement to the NCAA tournament selection committee with a win over Butler in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals Friday. But after a 69-58 loss to the finally healthy Bulldogs, they remain teetering on the bubble.
There’s no question if we win today, we’re in, coach John Giannini said. And now, frankly, we might be at the mercy of others a little bit.
La Salle (21-9) beat fellow bubble team Villanova in nonconference play but lost to Central Connecticut State and Bucknell.
During the A-10 season, the Explorers won at VCU, currently ranked 25th. And they defeated Butler by a point at home when Rotnei Clarke was injured.
Giannini said he didn’t think he needed to lobby for La Salle’s first NCAA bid since 1992.
I don’t even think I should, he said. Our record speaks for itself.
Clarke scored 14 points Friday to lead five Bulldogs in doubles figures.
MARYLAND 83, No. 2 DUKE 74: In Greensboro, N.C., Dez Wells scored a career-high 30 points and Maryland scored the upset in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
No. 7 KANSAS 88, IOWA STATE 73: In Kansas City, Mo., Perry Ellis scored a career-high 23 points, and Kansas pulled away in the second half to reach the Big 12 tournament title game.
No. 9 MIAMI 69, BOSTON COLLEGE 58: Shane Larkin scored 20 points and Miami pulled away in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
No. 13 FLORIDA 80, LSU 58: In Nashville, Tenn., Erik Murphy scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds to help Florida take the first step toward trying to add a Southeastern Conference tournament title to their regular season championship.
No. 16 SAINT LOUIS 72, CHARLOTTE 55: Dwayne Evans played through foul trouble to score 25 points and top-seeded Saint Louis pulled away in the Atlantic 10 tournament quarterfinals.
No. 20 MEMPHIS 85, TULSA 74: In Tulsa, Okla., Chris Crawford scored 30 points while connecting on eight three-pointers to set new career highs in both categories for the second straight game, D.J. Stephens had 10 points and 10 rebounds after attending his grandmother’s funeral earlier in the day and Memphis reached the Conference USA championship.
No. 25 VCU 82, SAINT JOSEPH’S 79: Treveon Graham scored 17 points to lead VCU to the quarterfinal victory in the Atlantic 10 tournament.
No. 15 DELAWARE 51, UNC WILMINGTON 43: In Upper Marlboro, Md., Elena Delle Donne had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Delaware extended its school-record winning streak to 23 games and advance to the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.
No. 20 GREEN BAY 71, DETROIT 54: In Green Bay, Wis, Megan Lukan scored 19 points, leading four players in double figures as Green Bay won the Horizon League semifinal game.
AKRON 70, BALL STATE 61: Akron eliminated Ball State from the MAC Tournament semifinals in Cleveland, Ohio. The Zips plowed out to a 40-29 lead and the Cardinals (15-15) could never quite catch up. Brittany Carter scored 18 points, Nathalie Fontaine 15 and Shelbie Justice 10 for the Cardinals, who shot 26 percent in the second half.