Barnes Bracketology - Mar. 6
If you missed the 4 conference championship games yesterday, I’m sorry for you. There were 4 amazing finals. All 4 games came down to the final minute. 2 games went to overtime. It was just thrilling TV and more importantly, just an appetizer for the Madness still to come this week and in the NCAA Tournament.
Again, updated this blog daily so don’t expect a ton of changes like when I update every 3-4 days. These will be more subtle changes but very important ones as we get closer to Selection Sunday when I have my finalized bracket.
(changes from previous projection in italics)
LOCKS: No new names here as expected as all teams in play last night either had a bid locked up or had no chance of getting in this group with a win.
LOCKS (38): Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri, Kansas, Baylor, Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida State, Creighton, Wichita State, San Diego State, UNLV, Kentucky, Florida, St. Mary’s, Murray State, Notre Dame, Temple, Vanderbilt, Kansas State, Gonzaga, Indiana, New Mexico, Purdue, Iowa State, Memphis, Southern Miss, Saint Louis, Alabama, Cincinnati, West Virginia
AUTOS: Decent amount of changes here. First off, the big one which is VCU beating Drexel, earning the Rams a ticket to the Big Dance. The other changes involve upsets in conference tournament semifinals. Oral Roberts is out in the Summit and Denver is out in the Sun Belt. They have been replaced. Also, Loyola (MD) and Davidson are in for sure thanks to hard-fought wins last night.
AUTOS (20): America East - Vermont, Atlantic Sun - Belmont, Big Sky - Weber State, Big South - UNC-Asheville, Big West - Long Beach State, Colonial - VCU, Horizon - Valparaiso, Ivy - Harvard, MAAC - Loyola (MD), MAC - Ohio, MEAC - Savannah State, , Northeast -LIU-Brooklyn, Pac-12 - California, Patriot - Bucknell, Southern - Davidson, Southland - UT-Arlington, SWAC - Miss. Valley State, Summit - South Dakota State, Sun Belt - North Texas, WAC - Nevada
AT-LARGE: Nothing new here as well as none of the ten teams in this category were in action.
Reminder that the last four teams in this category will compete in the “First Four” games.
VCU is a bubble team no more so this group now is down to 20 teams going for 10 teams. Drexel did lose yesterday but did no harm to themselves with the loss. Not only did they lose to a fellow BUBBLE team, but they played them well from start to finish. Don’t be surprised to see them sneak into my projections with some losses from teams in front of them in the week ahead.
Again, these are in order so the teams near the end are barely hanging on to hope as of now.
BUBBLE (20): Colorado State, Harvard, California, Seton Hall, Miami (FL), BYU, Xavier, Long Beach State, South Florida, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Washington, UConn, Texas, Drexel, NC State, Tennessee, Arizona, Oregon, Iona
All the changes involved teams 13 or lower so nothing big. Just some subtle shifting to include the new teams.
Big East (10), Big Ten (7), ACC (5), Big 12 (5), SEC (5), MWC (4), A-10 (3), WCC (3), C-USA (2), MVC (2), Pac-10 (2)
(click on bracket to enlarge)
SOUTH vs. WEST
EAST vs. MIDWEST
**Kentucky is the overall top seed
VCU, North Texas, South Dakota State
Drexel, Denver, Oral Roberts
Davidson (14 to 13), LIU-Brooklyn (16 to 15)
DePaul vs. UConn (Big East 1st Round) - A must-win for UConn. They got back on track on Saturday vs. Pitt. A loss here seals their NIT fate I think.
Providence vs. Seton Hall (Big East 1 st Round) - I think Seton Hall is safe with a win over Providence. Been a sloppy spring to the end by the Pirates though.
Western Kentucky vs. North Texas (Sun Belt Championship) - WKU is under .500 and made a coaching change halfway through the season. North Texas is barely above .500. Winner gets a spot in the First Four in Dayton.
Western Illinois vs. South Dakota State (Summit Championship) - South Dakota State is a good team and won’t be an easy out in the NCAA tournament, if they get there.
Detroit vs. Valparaiso (Horizon Championship) - What a season this has been for Valpo, led by Bryce Drew. If they win, he could possibly face brother Scott and Baylor in the NCAA tourney.
These 5 games could have a big bearing on the seeding so make sure you check back tomorrow. Expect a bubble special on Wednesday as I break down the contenders and what each need to get in.