Championship Week Notebook: Thursday, March 8th


-148 teams remain. Here is the breakdown

-ACC – all 12
-America East – 2 – Stony Brook v Vermont
-Atlantic Ten – 8
-Atlantic Sun – Belmont (champ)
-Big Twelve – 8
-Big East – 10 – 8 remain in conf. tourney, West Virginia (at-large), Seton Hall (under consideration)
-Big South – UNC Asheville (champ)
-Big Ten – all 12
-Big West – 8
-Colonial – 3 – VCU (champ), Drexel (under consideration), George Mason (under consideration)
-Conference USA – 8
-Horizon – Detroit (champ)
-Ivy – Harvard (champ)
-MAAC – 2 – Loyola MD (champ), Iona (under consideration)
-MAC – 6
-MEAC – 6
-Missouri Valley – Creighton (champ), Wichita State (at-large)
-Mountain West – 8
-NEC – Long Island (champ)
-OVC – Murray State (champ)
-Pac Twelve – 8
-Patriot – 2 – Lehigh (champ), Bucknell (under consideration)
-SEC – all 12
-SoCon – Davidson (champ)
-Southland – 4
-Summit – 2 – South Dakota State (champ), Oral Roberts (under consideration)
-Sun Belt – Western Kentucky (champ)
-SWAC – 6
-WAC – 8
-WCC – 3 – Saint Mary’s (champ), Gonzaga (at-large), BYU (at large)

-The opening rounds of the Pac Twelve, Big Twelve and Conference USA Tournaments got underway yesterday, and although all three leagues feature teams that will be under consideration (or flat out in) without the automatic bid, none played yesterday other than Marshall, who beat SMU easily in the CUSA opening round. Dozens of people attended all three tournaments to witness the action.

-In the Pac Twelve, we saw a sight that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago. UCLA and USC played each other, in the Pac Twelve Tournament, in Los Angeles, and there were so few people there it looked as though the forgot to unlock the doors. I’m not an NBA fan, but I imagine it looked the way most Clipper games used to look.

-Long Island had little trouble with Robert Morris as they won their second straight NEC championship and are headed back to the dance.

-Bucknell trailed the whole game against Lehigh in the Patriot League championship, but it was close the entire way. Down seven with a minute to go, Bucknell managed to score six points in four seconds and appeared to make winning their destiny. They couldn’t quite get over the hump as Lehigh held on. Bucknell is still on the board (as noted above), but I have a feeling they’ll be coming off as soon as our committee meets and votes again.

-Montana pulled away from Weber State about midway through the Big Sky Championship, and the Grizz are back in the dance. I don’t know how dangerous they can be, but they do have a win over Long Beach, so their first round opponent won’t want to sleep on them. .

-Today is the day that all tournaments (well, the ones that aren’t over yet) are underway. There are hugely high stakes games in the Big West, Mountain West, WAC, Pac Twelve, Big Twelve, Big Ten, ACC, SEC (sort of), Conference USA, Big East, and a few others that I’m sure I’m missing that involve teams that are under consideration.

It’s here everyone. It’s the Thursday of Championship Week!!!! Basketball fans circle the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Basketball JUNKIES circle the Thursday of Championship Week.

Enjoy the games!!

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