Mar 16, 2013, 11:07 AM EDT
If anything, Friday complicated an already complicated bubble picture. The SEC could end up with five teams or two. Both are in play at this point. How will the NCAA Selection Committee handle Middle Tennessee State and Saint Mary’s? And how will they compare those teams against La Salle, Boise State, and even Oklahoma? These are questions we can try to answer, but none of us has a vote that matters.
Heading into action on Saturday, there are three particular wildcards in play: Southern Mississippi, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Any of those could still earn automatic bids to the Field of 68. And that might be what it takes. Vanderbilt is more of a longshot, but the Commodores are a victory over Ole Miss from playing for an SEC title. We’ve seen this type of mayhem before. We also can’t completely forget about Akron should the Zips lose in the Mid-American championship game to Ohio. Clear as mud, right?
We’re going to start here for now: the Last 5 IN today are Boise State, Tennessee, La Salle, Saint Mary’s, and Middle Tennessee. The First Five OUT are Ole Miss, Kentucky, Alabama, Massachusetts, and Virginia. All of these resumes have issues. Which issues the collective Committee values more could help shape the final at-large spots. Tomorrow is a new day. We’ll review everything again and see how it looks.
Enjoy the games. Selection Sunday is almost here.
UPDATED: March 16, 2013
Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid based on current standings. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UTEP, BYU, etc). Records are for games against Division I teams only.
FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)
- La Salle vs. Saint Mary’s | Midwest Region
- Tennessee vs. Middle Tennessee | South Region
- JAMES MADISON vs. LIBERTY | Midwest Region
- Southern vs. Morgan State | South Region
BRACKET PROJECTION …
|EAST – Washington, DC||MIDWEST- Indianapolis|
|1) Duke||1) Indiana|
|16) LIU-BROOKLYN||16) LIBERTY / JAMES MADISON|
|8) Illinois||8) Oregon|
|9) Memphis||9) San Diego State|
|5) UNLV||5) Oklahoma State|
|12) BELMONT||12) Saint Mary’s / La Salle|
|4) Syracuse||4) Marquette|
|13) Akron||13) New Mexico State|
|6) Butler||6) UCLA|
|11) Oklahoma||11) Temple|
|3) Florida||3) Miami-FL|
|14) HARVARD||14) VALPARAISO|
|7) CREIGHTON||7) Colorado State|
|10) Villanova||10) Minnesota|
|2) Michigan State||2) Georgetown|
|15) Vermont||15) IONA|
|SOUTH – Dallas||WEST – Los Angeles|
|1) Louisville||1) GONZAGA|
|16) Southern / Morgan State||16) WESTERN KENTUCKY|
|8) North Carolina||8) Missouri|
|9) Wichita State||9) Cincinnati|
|Kansas City||San Jose|
|5) Saint Louis||5) Arizona|
|12) Tennessee / Mid Tennessee||12) BUCKNELL|
|4) Kansas State||4) Wisconsin|
|13) DAVIDSON||13) S.F. Austin|
|6) Notre Dame||6) Pittsburgh|
|11) California||11) Boise State|
|3) Ohio State||3) Michigan|
|14) FLA GULF COAST||14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST|
|Salt Lake||Kansas City|
|7) VCU||7) NC State|
|10) Iowa State||10) Colorado|
|2) New Mexico||2) Kansas|
|15) Pacific||15) Montana|
NOTES on the BRACKET: Indiana is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Duke, Gonzaga, and Louisville. Next in line: Kansas, Georgetown, New Mexico, and Michigan State.
Last Five teams in (at large): Boise State, Tennessee, La Salle, Saint Mary’s, Middle Tennessee
First Five teams out (at large): Ole Miss, Kentucky, Alabama, Massachusetts, Virginia
Next five teams out (at large): Maryland, Baylor, Iowa, Southern Miss, Arizona State
Breakdown by Conference …
Big East (8): Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Villanova
Big Ten (7): Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois
Mountain West (5): San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico, Colorado State, Boise State
Pac 12 (5): Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, Oregon, California
Big 12 (5): Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Iowa State
Atlantic 10 (5): Butler, VCU, Temple, La Salle, Saint Louis
ACC (4): Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Miami-FL
SEC (3): Missouri, Florida, Tennessee
Missouri Valley (2): CREIGHTON, Wichita State
West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s
Sun Belt (2): WESTERN KENTUCKY, Middle Tennessee
Conference USA (1): Memphis
Conference Automatic Qualifiers … BELMONT (Ohio Valley), BUCKNELL (Patriot), SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (Summit), VALPARAISO (Horizon), DAVIDSON (Southern), New Mexico State (WAC), IONA (MAAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Akron (MAC), FLORIDA GULF COAST (A-Sun), HARVARD (IVY), Pacific (Big West), JAMES MADISON (Colonial), Vermont (American East), Montana (Big Sky), Morgan State (MEAC), LIBERTY (Big South), LIU-BROOKLYN (NEC), Southern (SWAC)
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If you need to place a bet, here are the lines you’ll be working with.
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