NCAA Basketball: Is it March yet? Wednesday produces game winners galore

Indiana and Fordham won their NCAA basketball games on crazy buzzer beaters, while Oklahoma stunned West Virginia.

It’s only mid-January, but we’re already seeing sprinkles of events that normally come in March.

On Wednesday, Florida versus South Carolina and Florida State versus Notre Dame took center stage. However, three game winners in Happy Valley, the Bronx, and Morgantown took the college basketball nation by storm.

We’ll start at Penn State, where the Indiana Hoosiers were trying to avoid a 2-4 start to Big Ten play. They lost OG Anunoby to what looked like a significant knee injury, however, the Hoosiers continued to battle, capturing a crucial road victory against a team that was rather hot coming into Wednesday evening.

James Blackmon Jr. was the hero, as he scored 17 points and nailed a three-point buzzer beater to end Penn State’s two-game winning streak.

Blackmon may not be the best creator on the offensive end of the floor, but that’s his specialty: Transition threes. Julian Moore’s contest was not good enough to alter the shot. If you give Blackmon an inch of space, he’s going to make you pay for it.

The Hoosiers are 13-6 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten, so they are still in perfect position to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. That is especially the case with wins over Kansas and North Carolina.

Meanwhile, Penn State has been hot as of late, beating Michigan State and Minnesota in back-to-back games. This is a crushing defeat, but Pat Chambers’ team is certainly getting better.

In the Bronx, VCU desperately needed to hold serve against one of the Atlantic 10 bottom feeders, Fordham.

That was not the case, though. The Rams of VCU were dealt a resume crushing loss, as they turned the ball over 22 times, only grabbed six offensive rebounds and struggled to contain Javontae Hawkins.

But it wasn’t Hawkins that led Fordham to an upset victory over Will Wade’s group. That honor goes to guard Antwoine Anderson, who buried a mid-range jumper at the overtime horn.

Anderson scored 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting and had only one turnover against VCU’s pressure defense.

“I was supposed to hand it off the Joe (Chartouny), but they were overplaying him, so I told him to move out of the way,” Anderson said postgame. “I just wanted to get a nice shot off.”

The final game winner of the evening came in Morgantown, West Virginia, where the Mountaineers were stunned by the Oklahoma Sooners.

The Sooners, who lost seven in a row before this stretch, are now on a 2-game win streak. Since Jordan Woodard returned to the team’s starting lineup (he was out for four games and came off the bench against Kansas), Oklahoma is 2-0, beating Texas Tech and West Virginia.

Woodard is officially back in style.

Woodard missed a free throw to win the game in regulation but scored 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting.

That’s one win that very few teams, if any, will earn this season. Credit to Woodard and company.

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