Road to Selection Sunday
This weekend, a lot of teams made their case for an NCAA bid, while others found ways to keep themselves sweating until Selection Sunday. Conference tournaments in the mid-major conferences are in full stride, and five teams have received bids to the NCAA Tournament. Some squads clearly made a statement over the weekend, sending a message to the Committee that they deserve a bid. However, others dropped a game that they needed, leaving themselves squarely on the bubble heading into the major-conference tournaments. Let's take a look at all the teams that were affected by this weekend's results. The next update will be on Thursday and will be posted daily from then until Sunday.
Teams close to locking up bids to the NCAA Tournament:
BYU: The Cougars tied for a share of the Mountain West title after beating Air Force; it was their fourth straight win. Throw in their great RPI, and they’re in.
Tennessee: Despite their heartbreaking home loss to Alabama on Sunday, the Vols won the SEC East title and have great computer numbers. Expect a bid.
Dayton: The Flyers handily defeated Duquesne at home on Saturday, to finish tied for second in the A-10. They also have a top-25 RPI and some good wins.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes held off Northwestern on Sunday and finished 10-8 in the Big Ten. They have won three of their last four and have plenty of good wins.
Boston College: With Rakim Sanders’ game-winning shot over Georgia Tech, the Eagles finish 9-7 in the ACC and should have an at-large bid wrapped up.
Texas A&M: The Aggies dominated Missouri from the opening tip on Saturday, and have now won six in a row heading into the Big 12 conference tournament.
Teams on the bubble that helped themselves:
Miami (Fl.): The Hurricanes still have work to do in the conference tournament, but they stayed alive with a comeback win over North Carolina State to finish 7-9 in the ACC.
Wisconsin: The Badgers easily handled Indiana on Sunday to finish 10-8 in the Big Ten, as well as wins in seven of their last nine games. Looking solid.
Michigan: The Wolverines could find themselves in the field after beating Minnesota on the road on Saturday. They have won four of six and also got back to .500.
Oklahoma State: Despite the Cowboys’ four-point loss at Oklahoma on Saturday, they should be in solid shape for a bid. They had won six in a row prior to the loss.
Kansas State: With their win at Colorado on Saturday, the Wildcats finished with 20 wins and a 9-7 Big 12 record. They still have plenty of work left to do, though.
Florida: The Gators won what amounted to an elimination game against Kentucky on Saturday. However, Florida is still not in yet, and could use a couple more wins.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks bounced back from its blowout home loss to Tennessee with a convincing road win at Georgia to forge a tie for the SEC East title.
Arizona: The Wildcats absolutely needed a win over Stanford to snap a four-game losing skid, and they got it. They have a great non-conference resume.
USC: The Trojans have basically no margin for error, but their sweep of the Oregon schools this week keeps them clinging to their at-large hopes.
New Mexico: The Lobos clinched a share of the MWC title with their one-point win at Wyoming. They have won five in a row and eight of their last nine.
San Diego State: The Aztecs kept their hopes alive with a home victory over UNLV. They finished one game back of the tri-champs at the top, and two games ahead of UNLV.
Saint Mary’s: The Gaels picked up an impressive victory over Portland late Sunday night, and more importantly, Patty Mills returned and played solidly.**
Teams on the bubble that hurt themselves:
Maryland: The Terrapins might have ruined their at-large hopes with a road loss at Virginia. They have now lost three of four since their win over UNC.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies fell at Florida State on Sunday, which was their sixth loss in their last seven games. They might need to win the automatic bid.
Minnesota: The Golden Gophers could have locked up a bid with a home victory over Michigan, but they lost and now have some work to do in the Big Ten Tournament.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions followed up a potentially bid-earning win over Illinois with a loss at 10th place Iowa. They now have to get a game in the Big Ten Tournament.
Kentucky: The Wildcats probably need to win the SEC Tournament after losing to Florida on Saturday. They have lost four straight and eight of 11.
Creighton: If the Bluejays got to the MVC title game and lost a tightly-contested game, they would be in decent shape. Instead, they were destroyed in the semifinals and now will sweat.
UNLV: The Runnin’ Rebels have the best non-conference resume of the MWC bubble teams, but they also finished 9-7 in the conference and in fifth place.
Rhode Island: The Rams could have been in decent shape if they had defeated Massachusetts on Saturday, but their bubble may have burst with their loss to the Minutemen.
Davidson: The Wildcats will wait along with Creighton for the next seven days after they lost to Charleston in the semifinals of the SoCon Tournament.
Teams trying to work themselves into the at-large conversation:
Auburn: The Tigers catapulted themselves into the bubble mix after defeating Alabama and LSU this week. They have won eight of their last nine and finished 10-6 in the SEC.
Temple: The Owls are still floating in the at-large conversation after finishing in a tie for second in the A-10. They might need to get to the conference title game, though.
Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane have likely surpassed UAB as the lone potential at-large team from Conference-USA aside from Memphis. They have won five in a row.
Teams falling from the at-large conversation:
Cincinnati: The Bearcats are likely done after their home loss to Seton Hall, which was their third straight and fifth in their last six games. 8-10 in the Big East.
Northwestern: The Wildcats were receiving plenty of bubble hype during the week, but they couldn’t take down Ohio State on the road and have a lot of work to do.
Teams whose seed is rising:
Florida State: The Seminoles could get as high as a four seed, depending on their performance in the ACC Tournament. They finished fourth in the conference.
Syracuse: The Orange won four in a row to finish the regular season, including an impressive road win at Marquette in overtime. Could use a win over UConn in the Big East Tournament.
Washington: The Huskies won the Pac-10 outright and have won eight of their last nine games. They might be able to rise as high as a three seed in the Big Dance.
Teams whose seed is falling:
Marquette: It’s hard to fault the Golden Eagles, but four straight losses without Dominic James doesn’t bode well for a high seed come Selection Sunday.
Purdue: The Boilermakers were in the mix for a Big Ten title a couple of weeks ago, but now have lost three out of their last four and finished just 11-7 in the conference.
LSU: The Tigers got complacent after wrapping up the SEC title last weekend, as they lost to both Vanderbilt and Auburn this week, by a combined 24 points.
Clemson: The Tigers have gone through their typical late-season swoon, losing three of their last four and going just 7-7 since starting ACC play with two wins.
Number one seeds as of this week:
1. Pittsburgh: The Panthers might have locked up the No. 1 overall seed with their second win over Connecticut. They have an impressive seven wins against the top-25.
2. North Carolina: The Tar Heels take advantage of Connecticut’s loss and move up. With Sunday’s win over Duke, they have now won 13 of their last 14.
3. Connecticut: The Huskies still stay as a No. 1 seed despite their loss to Pitt. They are 16-3 against the top-100 and have just one road loss all season.
4. Michigan State: The Spartans break into the top seed line after Oklahoma lost to Missouri during the week. They have by far the most top-50 wins, with 12.