College Hoops Autobids: Who will be this year’s Cinderella teams?

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Wondering who the 2020 NCAA tournament automatic bids are? Which of college basketball’s automatic bids can win a game in March Madness 2020? We have you covered!

It’s time for March Madness 2020! Below, you will find an image that details every 2020 conference tournament schedule, and as you scroll down you will find the 2020 conference tournament brackets.

Make sure that you are ready for the madness.

For those schools who are flirting with the NCAA Tournament bubble, click here for the latest projections of who’s in and who’s out. And for the rest of the field interested in where your team may be headed for the Big Dance, click here for our latest NCAA Tournament projections. (And if you really want to get ahead of the game, get your printable NCAA Tournament bracket here.)

Below, you will find each and every one of the 2020 NCAA Tournament’s automatic bids.

2020 NCAA Tournament Automatic Bids


The Aggies were in danger of missing the 2020 NCAA tournament, but thanks to Sam Merrill taking over for three days in Las Vegas, Utah State has punched themselves a ticket to the 2020 NCAA tournament with an automatic bid. And to be frank, I would have to be the five or six-seed that has to draw this team in the first round. We saw how good Merrill can be these last three days. What we haven’t truly seen yet this season is just how dangerous Neemias Queta is. There are two borderline pros on a team with one of the better coaches outside the mid-major ranks in Craig Smith complete with a handful of talented role players.

Utah State underachieved all season long. They were a top 20 team in the preseason for a reason. We saw it on Saturday night, and eventually someone is going to see it in the NCAA tournament, too.


The Bruins avenged a loss is last year’s Ohio Valley tournament title game by beating Murray State. The Bruins are going to be a dangerous team in the tournament again this year because of their ability to shoot and the fact that they have a big guy that can produce. Last season, Belmont picked up their first ever win in the NCAA tournament when they beat Temple in a play-in game because losing a thriller to Maryland, and I think that they are good enough to win another game in March this year.


Hampton made the Eagles sweat early, but Winthrop took control in the second half to earn its second Big South tournament championship and NCAA tournament bid in four years with a 76-68 victory. Winthrop had a 14-game winning streak earlier this season and defeated St. Mary’s in November, but a weak strength of schedule in the Big South likely means they’re headed for a 16-seed and an incredibly difficult path to the second round.


The Braves are headed back to the NCAA tournament for the second-straight year despite barely finishing in the top-half of the conference standings in both seasons thanks to the chaos that is Arch Madness in St. Louis. Bradley knocked off Valpo in the title game, 80-66. The Braves have the core of last year’s tourney team back for another go-round and they can really shoot it from distance, so if they can be a 14-seed or better, they could emerge as a promising Cinderella pick for brackets across the country.


Liberty had little trouble wrapping up its second-straight trip to the NCAA tournament by turning in a 73-57 win against Lipscomb, who beat the Flames in the teams’ regular-season finale. The Flames won a game in the tournament last year as a 12-seed, dispatching No. 5 Mississippi State in the first round before losing to Virginia Tech. Much of that team remains for the second trip to the Big Dance, and the Flames could become a trendy upset pick.

SOCON AUTOMATIC BID: East Tennessee State

The Buccaneers made sure they did not need to worry about trying to get an at-large bid, as they went out and won the SoCon tournament with a double-digit win over Wofford in the title game. This is the second time that Steve Forbes has been to the tournament with ETSU, and the major question at this point is whether or not this team can keep Forbes for another season; he’s certainly going to be a target from bigger programs. But that doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that the Buccaneers have a chance to win a game in this event, and they will certainly be a trendy first round upset pick.


The Ivy League announced on Tuesday that they have cancelled their conference tournament, meaning that the Elis are heading to the Big Dance as the Ivy’s automatic bid. And they are legit. Jordan Bruner and Paul Atkinson can match up with most frontlines in college basketball, and Azar Swaim is a dangerous shooter. The Elis look like they are destined to end up as a No. 13 seed, and if they do, they will be a real threat to win another game in the NCAA tournament. James Jones has turned New Haven’s Ivy program into a powerhouse.


For the first time in 19 years, the Pride are headed to the NCAA tournament. Hofstra knocked off Northeastern in the CAA tournament title game, completing a sweep of CAA titles. This is a team that is going to be a threat to do some damage in the field of 68. They have a pair of really talented guards is Desure Buie and Eli Pemberton, and they are top 25 in the country in three-point shooting percentage. They are not big, but they are dangerous if they get hot.


It’s been quite a season for the Norse. A year after getting to the NCAA tournament under head coach John Brannen, NKU turned around and made it to the NCAA tournament in their first season under new head coach Darrin Horn. The No. 2 seed in the Horizon League tournament, the Norse knocked off Green Bay and Illinois-Chicago en route to the automatic bid. This is the third trip to the NCAA tournament in the last four years for a team that has been in the Division I ranks for exactly five years. That’s an incredible run.


Andy Toole is back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015. At the time, Bobby Mo was running as well as any mid-major program in the country. They had won back-to-back regular season titles in the two years before getting to the dance. Since then, the Colonials have been ravaged by transfers as much as any program in the sport. It took five years to get back on top, but Toole did it, and he was aided by the fact that Merrimack — the NEC’s regular season champion — was not eligible to play in March.


Dave Richman is heading back to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season and for the third time in his six seasons as the held of the Bison. He also won a share of this year’s Summit League regular season title, and they have only lost a single regular season game since January 25th. As a projected No. 15 seed, I don’t know if a team that plays as conservatively as NDSU can pull off an upset, but they are not going to be an easy out against whoever they play. They do not beat themselves.


The Zags were already a lock for the Big Dance, but by running through the WCC tournament — including a statement win over St. Mary’s in the title game — Gonzaga has played their way into being a lock for a No. 1 seed.

PATRIOT: March 11th, 7:30 p.m.
AMERICAN EAST: March 14th, 11:00 p.m.
MEAC: March 14th, 1:00 p.m.
MAAC: March 14th, 4:00 p.m.
SWAC: March 14th, 6:00 p.m.
BIG 12: March 14th, 6:00 p.m.
BIG EAST: March 14th, 6:30 p.m.
MAC: March 14th, 7:30 p.m.
BIG SKY: March 14th, 8:00 p.m.
ACC: March 14th, 8:30 p.m.
CONFERENCE USA: March 14th, 8:30 p.m.
SOUTHLAND: March 14th, 9:30 p.m.
PAC-12: March 14th, 10:30 p.m.
WAC: March 14th, 1:00 p.m.
BIG WEST: March 14th, 11:30 p.m.
ATLANTIC 10: March 15th, 1:00 p.m.
SEC: March 15th, 1:00 p.m.
AMERICAN: March 15th, 3:15 p.m.
BIG TEN: March 15th, 3:30 p.m.

How do I watch the 2020 March Madness games?

Myriad networks broadcast the conference tournaments, including (but not limited to) ESPN, CBS, NBCSN, Fox, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, ACC Network and more. There’s a full rundown of the 2020 conference tournament brackets and their respective TV networks available here.

2020 NCAA Tournament automatic bids to the Big Dance

As a reminder, any school that wins its conference tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. For the men, that means 32 teams will get a spot in the bracket, while another 36 receive at-large bids. We’ll be tracking those automatic bids as well. Click here for more info on NCAA tournament automatic bids.

When do Selection Sunday and the NCAA Tournament begin?

Selection Sunday for the 2020 NCAA Tournament is on March 15 (about 4 pm ET), while the games begin a couple days later. The First Four is on March 17 and 18 (which airs on TruTV), while the craziness of Round 1 starts on Thursday, March 19. The four networks that air those games are: CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV.

The Sweet 16 games begin on March 26 and will air on CBS and TBS. Elite Eight games start on March 28 and also air on CBS and TBS.

The Final Four, held in Atlanta this year, starts on Saturday, April 4. The National Title Game is Monday, April 6. All of those games air on TBS.