It’s the Saturday before Selection Sunday and teams hovering at the cutline will be watching to see what happens in the Atlantic 10, Atlantic Coast (ACC), and Southeastern (SEC) conference tournaments. The reasons: St. Bonaventure, North Carolina State, and Georgia. Should any of the three win two more games, a potential at-large berth disappears.
In other words, a team currently headed to Dayton for the First Four, could be headed to the NIT, instead.
As additional resumes complete, the Selection Committee in Indianapolis will also be dissecting and comparing resumes from teams such as Green Bay, Southern Mississippi, and perhaps Toledo or Louisiana Tech – if either of those loses in their conference tournament final. We have one day to go, but all is not settled.
Teams most concerned about what happens today and Sunday: BYU, SMU, Nebraska, and Xavier. They are among the Last 5 IN and all four have completed their profiles. Providence (slotted in the First Four) and Tennessee (just above it) are still playing.
Here’s what we do know … Florida, Arizona, and Wichita State should be locked-in as No. 1 seeds. With Villanova idle, Michigan and Wisconsin are the next challengers for the final No. 1 slot. Virginia is also in the mix, but probably has to win the ACC tournament and have Michigan and/or Wisconsin lose. That seems about it – unless the Committee has a collective viewpoint that Louisville, ranked highly in both polls and routing teams left and right, is the fourth best team. Assuming the Cardinals capture the American Conference tourney, we’ll see how it plays out.
UPDATED: March 15, 2014
Teams in CAPS represent the AUTOMATIC bid based on tournament results. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).
Several new bracketing principles were introduced after last year’s tournament. You can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.
FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)
Nebraska vs. Providence | South Region
SMU vs. BYU | West Region
Texas Southern vs. CS Northridge | Midwest Region
MOUNT ST. MARY’S vs. COASTAL CAROLINA | East Region
BRACKET PROJECTION …
SOUTH – Memphis
WEST – Anaheim
16) Weber State
8) Kansas State
8) George Washington
5) New Mexico
12) Louisiana Tech
12) BYU / SMU
4) Michigan State
4) San Diego State
13) S.F. Austin
13) NORTH DAKOTA ST
11) Nebraska / Providence
3) Iowa State
10) Saint Joseph’s
15) New Mexico State
EAST – New York
MIDWEST – Indianapolis
1) WICHITA STATE
16) CO CAROLINA / MT ST MARY’S
16) Texas Southern / CS Northridge
8) Oklahoma State
5) Ohio State
6) North Carolina
14) Georgia State
14) EASTERN KENTUCKY
7) Saint Louis
10) Arizona State
15) Stony Brook
NOTES on the BRACKET: Florida remains the overall No. 1 seed followed by Arizona, Wichita State, and Villanova.
Last Five teams in (at large): Xavier, Nebraska, SMU, BYU, Providence
First Five teams out (at large): Florida State, Minnesota, Arkansas, California, Missouri
Next five teams out (at large): NC State, Green Bay, Georgia, Southern Miss, Illinois
Breakdown by Conference …
Big 12(7): Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State