NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Mississippi State

The month of March is officially upon us, folks. And while March Madness is technically still a few weeks out, mayhem within the sport has been steadily increasing in recent days. The last week was a particularly busy one with the kind of fun finishes, stellar performances and general drama we often associate with the game.

A Kentucky freshman ascending to stardom as the calendar flips to that all important month? Buzzer-beaters? This is March.

So before we, ahem, march full steam ahead into the best month of the season, let's first look back at the week that was within the sport -- led by some of the best stories, highlights and performances of the week.

Player of the Week: Sheppard guides UK to comeback

Reed Sheppard broke out in a big way this week on the road vs. Mississippi State, scoring 32 points and delivering the go-ahead shot and game-clinching steal in a come-from-behind win vs. the Bulldogs. I recommend Matt Norlander's superb feature on the emerging 'Cats freshman. Sheppard's story to college hoops stardom is, dare I say, even better than the highlights of his best performance to date. And that's saying something.

Finish of the Week: MACtion delivers drama

It was a great week for wild finishes, but action in the MAC took the cake as the most dramatic. Western Michigan won at the buzzer on one of the wildest, and weirdest, finishes you'll see: A full-court pass landed in the unsuspecting hands of Anthony Crump before he delivered the game-winner. 

Shot of the Week: Lucas goes glass

If you didn't stay up late for some Mountain West action on Wednesday then, well, shame on you. Because you missed an epic one.

Nevada downed Colorado State on the road in incredible fashion. Jarod Lucas, with the game knotted at 74, heaved a prayer from mid-court and banked it home at the horn for the win. The reaction -- Nevada players going nuts, CSU fans in total shock -- was everything we love about college basketball.

Dunk of the Week: Whaley throws it down

There were numerous Dunk of the Week candidates. The winner was Rob Whaley Jr. in runaway fashion. Just ... trust me ...

My goodness. He soared. To do that IN OVERTIME makes it all the more impressive. We need another angle!

Best of the rest

Howard Moore returns to Wisconsin

Former Badgers assistant coach Howard Moore was honored at the Kohl Center on Saturday, where he received a standing ovation just a few years removed from a tragic car accident that left him injured and killed his wife and daughter. Appearing at his first Wisconsin game since 2019, Moore was wheeled onto the court in an emotional scene by former teammate Rashard Griffith as a tribute video was played on the screen above.

"Howard Moore represents the best of what it means to be a Badger," Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh said in a halftime ceremony. "His love for this university runs so deep, and his impact on this program is immeasurable and deserves to be memorialized."

And according to McIntosh, the new men's basketball offices will be named in Moore's honor. 

"It's hard to put into words," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "It is hard to imagine that it has been -- it will be five years coming up in May. That was ... that was hard. Sometimes in the today in the world we forget. We move on. Because lives are moving so fast. But tragedy struck one of our own. It is great to see his former teammates. They have been non-stop with their support."

Alabama preps for court-storming

After Wake Forest's controversial handling of the court-storming that injured Duke star Kyle Filipowski, it seems at least one school is taking notes and preparing accordingly. Video from Alabama this week shows the school preparing for that exact scenario. The court-storming prevention training took place before Alabama hosted No. 4 Tennessee on Saturday -- which it lost 81-74. But Alabama coach Nate Oats said he didn't expect fans to storm the court anyway because "we expect to win big games."

Kansas, Self hit low mark 

Kansas suffered its seventh conference loss of the season last Saturday to Baylor  -- the most ever for a Bill Self-coached team and the most for Kansas since 1988-89, pre-dating the Big 12. The loss moved KU to 9-7 in league action after starting the season ranked as the No. 1 team in the sport. Self, though, isn't hitting the panic button on his team just yet.

"I actually thought it was a pretty well-played game," he said. "I'm leaving out of here not encouraged, but less discouraged, other than what I've been after some of our other losses where I didn't think we played very well."