For our latest Championship Week video notebook – CLICK HERE
For Jon Teitel’s latest bracket projection where he attempts to guess the NCAA Selection Committee – CLICK HERE
-For the most part, yesterday was the final day of the regular season for teams except for the American – we will get to them a little bit later on.
-As unbelievable as it sounds, 9 teams out of 10 in the Big 12 have a shot at an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma State is a team with bad overall metrics, but they now have a season sweep of Kansas with a decisive win at home yesterday against the Jayhawks. They will likely need to beat Oklahoma in the 1st round of the Big 12 tournament to strengthen their case, but if they can beat Kansas for a 3rd time in the quarterfinal round, that should be enough for them to get in.
-Texas also finished the regular season strong with a home win against West Virginia. They have a more manageable Big 12 opener against Iowa State, so it would be in their best interest to win that one on Wednesday so as not to sweat on Selection Sunday. Elsewhere in the Big 12, K-State beat Baylor at home and Texas Tech ended their recent skid with a home win against TCU where they trailed for most of the game.
-In the Big East, Xavier struggled to pull away from DePaul, but the Blue Demons did have a couple of chances to tie the game in regulation before throwing up a pair of 3-point prayers that went unanswered. The Musketeers will end up as Big East regular season champs by themselves and hold the fate of a potential #1 seed in their own hands. Villanova also beat Georgetown without any serious trouble.
-Marquette and Providence also helped their at-large cases with home wins against Creighton and St. John’s, respectively. The Golden Eagles did finish their 30-year run in the Bradley Center on a high note (assuming they don’t play any NIT games there). Seton Hall also clinched the #3 seed in the Big East tournament with a home win against Butler; both teams will immediately play each other on Thursday night in the Big East quarterfinal round.
-In the Pac-12, parity is rearing its head in an ugly way. Arizona State continued to cripple themselves with a home loss to Stanford. The Sun Devils finished 8-10 in the Pac-12 and are nowhere near the team that beat Kansas State, Xavier and Kansas back in November/December. Even Arizona had trouble at home against Cal, but ultimately pulled away in the 2nd half. USC was also looking like they were coming out of their slump in recent weeks, but instead they were swept by UCLA in the regular season. They’ll still be the #2 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, but they are going to at least need to get to the championship game to really feel safe (and might need to win the whole thing if Arizona loses early).
-Utah finished on a high note with a win against Colorado at home. They also have a shot at an at-large, but cannot afford a one-and-done in Vegas later this week. Oregon completed their spoiler ways with a season sweep of Washington up in Seattle yesterday. The Ducks can certainly do some damage in the Pac-12 Tournament, but the auto-bid is their only realistic option at this point.
-Auburn and Tennessee both clinched a share of the SEC crown with home wins against South Carolina and Georgia at home yesterday. Auburn gets the #1 seed by virtue of their win at Tennessee earlier in the season. Florida and Missouri both finished their seasons at home with style points against Kentucky and Arkansas, respectively. Alabama is now sweating bullets after losing at Texas A&M yesterday. Losing their SEC opener is certainly not an option, and they will need to at least beat Auburn in the quarterfinals beyond that.
-While Virginia became the first ACC team to finish 17-1 in the 18-game ACC era, Duke came back from a double-digit deficit to beat North Carolina at home yesterday. This ensures that Duke will get the #2 seed and a double bye into the ACC quarters on Thursday. North Carolina fell to a #6 seed. Elsewhere, NC State all but solidified their case with a home win against Louisville, and Syracuse ended up getting a protected seed-caliber win in their home finale against Clemson yesterday.
-While Nevada still has the Mountain West regular season title in tow, their seed continues to drop with their loss at San Diego State last night. They still have a shot at an at-large bid, but losing to either Air Force or UNLV could jeopardize that as well. Middle Tennessee is now going to need the auto bid themselves after losing their home finale to Marshall.
-In terms of head coaching news, Marty Wilson coached his last game at Pepperdine in their come-from-ahead loss to Saint Mary’s yesterday. It also appears that Paul Lusk will be out as head coach at Missouri State as well. Ole Miss is also reportedly reaching out to Thad Matta in regards to their head coaching position.
-While our Team of the People Cal Baptist lost the Pac West title game at home to Dixie State, we nonetheless expect their name to be called at 10:30 PM EST tonight when the NCAA Division II Tournament field is unveiled tonight (further details HERE).
-CINCINNATI AT WICHITA STATE (American). As we expected at the beginning of the year, everything in the American will come down to today’s game with the winner of the game getting the #1 seed in the conference tournament. The winner also has the better chance of getting at least a Top-4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
-TEMPLE AT TULSA (American). Temple needs to win today just to be assured of finishing at .500 in the American. Tulsa has shown they can be a bit of a noisemaker themselves – however they must win the conference tournament if they want to hear their name called on Selection Sunday.
-UCONN AT HOUSTON (American). Houston is relatively safe as far as an at-large spot for now, but losing at home to UConn will put that spot in mortal peril.