Wednesday was the first day for the Big Ten, Big East, Mountain West, Pac-12 and SEC tournaments and the games provided various teams within those conferences a chance to improve their stock ahead of the NCAA Tournament or live to fight another day in the next round on Thursday. 

Two of the teams who survived and advanced are Kansas State and USC. The Trojans moved on to the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals in Las Vegas with an 80-74 win over Washington, while the Wildcats held onto their slim chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament with a 78-74 comeback win over Texas in the Big 12 .

USC has a date with Pac-12 regular-season champion and top-seeded Arizona next, while the No. 10-seeded Wildcats will face No. 2 seed Iowa State in the quarterfinals in the Big 12 Tournament. 

Staying in the Big 12, Kansas saw its hopes of adding another conference title to the trophy case come to a premature end with a 72-52 loss to Cincinnati. The Jayhawks played without star guard Kevin McCullar Jr. and big man Hunter Dickinson. Both players are expected to play in the NCAA Tournament.

New Mexico improved its tournament stock with an 82-56 win over Air Force in the first round of the Mountain West Conference Tournaments. The Lobos are listed as one of the "Last Four In" in CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm's latest projections. New Mexico can earn another Quad 1 win against Boise State on Thursday in the MWC quarterfinals.

Loser: Kansas leaves Big 12 Tournament early

Without Kevin McCullar Jr. and Hunter Dickinson, No. 6 seed Kansas got its doors blown off in Kansas City by No. 11 seed Cincinnati. The Jayhawks fell 72-52 in their largest Big 12 Tournament loss since the conference started, and the loss ensured KU would not be in the Big 12 quarterfinals round for the first time since the league was formed. It was always going to be hard to feel good about where KU is at with so much uncertainty due to injuries, and a blowout loss without its two stars doesn't inspire much confidence moving forward. — Kyle Boone  

Winner: USC keeps its season alive 

USC started its quest to become a bid-stealer with an 80-74 win over Washington in the opening game of the Pac-12 Tournament. The Trojans will have to win three more games to capture the Pac-12 Tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. USC has a date with top-seeded Arizona in the quarterfinals on Thursday. In USC's most recent meeting with Arizona last weekend, the Trojans delivered a statement win. They will have to do more of the same to keep their season alive. -- Cameron Salerno

Loser: Oklahoma sweating it out until Selection Sunday

Jerry Palm has OU in his latest projected bracket as a No. 9 seed but the Sooners – 20-12 overall with a 4-12 record in Quad 1 opportunities – might be feeling some pressure as the bracket is revealed on Sunday. OU fell to TCU in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament after entering as a two-point underdog, after which coach Porter Moser more or less used his pulpit to lobby the committee for his team by mentioning that OU has not been at full strength. The message might fall on deaf ears and ultimately it might not matter anyway – again, Palm has them in the field right now – but OU missed a pretty good chance to ease some anxieties heading into the weekend. — Boone

Winner: Wake Forest gets a badly need win

Wake Forest entered the ACC Tournament on the bubble in Bracketology but with work to do. The No. 5 seed Demon Deacons began that work with a 72-59 win over No. 12 seed Notre Dame to set up a Thursday quarterfinal showdown with No. 4 seed Pitt, which is a fellow bubble team. Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes and his family also accepted the Bob Bradley Award for Spirit and Courage before the game. Forbes' wife, Johnetta, is recovering from a stroke she suffered during the offseason, and her journey has been a touching reminder that some things are more important than basketball. — David Cobb

Loser: Virginia Tech's tournament hopes fade

Virginia Tech entered its ACC Tournament debut against Florida State at No. 56 in the NET and needing a strong week to garner at-large consideration for the NCAA Tournament. But the No. 8 seed Hokies' hopes of a surge faded as the No. 9 seed Seminoles made an 11-0 run late in the second half to pull away for an 86-76 victory. The Hokies simply took on too much water during a stretch of six losses in eight games over late January and February. — Cobb

Winner: Providence sweeps the leg on Hoyas

Beating a former coach who left for a conference foe has to feel good for Providence. Doing it three times in a season – twice in the regular season and again Wednesday in the Big East tourney – has to be borderline euphoric for the Friars. They had no troubles dispatching the Ed Cooley-led Hoyas for a third time in their most lopsided win of the three games 74-56 which helped new coach Kim English reach the 20-win mark in his first season on the new job. —  Boone

Loser: DePaul blows it late vs. Villanova

The 3-28 DePaul Blue Demons fell to 3-29 in a first-round Big East Tournament exit that – despite being a 20-point underdog in – registered as at least a mild surprise. DePaul led for a big chunk of the second half late in the game and looked primed to pull off a stunner, but in true DePaul fashion, it failed to properly defend a pick-and-roll on defense then fumbled the ball in transition to foil any attempt at a potential game-winner. A gross, but appropriate, way for the season to end for the Blue Demons. — Boone

Loser: Texas squanders halftime lead

Texas entered the day as a No. 9 seed in Jerry Palm's Bracketology. After suffering a 78-74 loss in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament to Kansas State, the Longhorns could drop to a double-digit seed on Sunday. Texas took a 10-point lead into halftime before Kansas State outscored them 49-35 in the final 20 minutes of play. Kansas State would need to make a deep run in this tournament to receive at-large consideration, but this is a positive result for Kansas State — and a negative one for Texas.  — Salerno

Winner: Wade is going dancing with McNeese

Remember Will Wade? The former LSU coach is going back to the Big Dance as the head coach at McNeese after the Cowboys punched their ticket with a 92-76 win over Nicholls in the Southland Conference Tournament title game.. In his first year, Wade morphed a program with 11 consecutive losing seasons into a 30-win team. McNeese entered the day as a projected No. 13 seed in Jerry Palm's Bracketology and could be a havoc-wreaker in the tournament as Wade returns to the national stage seeking to rebuild a reputation that was tarnished amid NCAA and federal investigations at LSU. — Cobb

Loser: Georgetown's disaster of a season ends

Georgetown's first season under coach Ed Cooley came to a merciful conclusion as the Hoyas fell x-x to Providence in the first round of the Big East Tournament. With a final mark of 9-23 (2-18 Big East), Cooley can barely claim improvement from last year's 7-25 (2-18) fiasco under Patrick Ewing. The only league foes the Hoyas defeated was lowly DePaul, which is No. 322 in the NET. This was never going to be an overnight rebuild, but Year 1 proved rickety, and Providence surely enjoyed that it was the Friars who ended their former coach's rickety first season at conference rival. — Cobb