We’re less than 12 hours from the release of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship bracket. And the final No. 1 seed may not be decided. By reaching the Big Ten title game, Michigan is probably the frontrunner having already won the regular-season title. Should Michigan fall to rival Michigan State, Virginia will be knocking on the door if the Cavaliers beat Duke and win both the ACC regular season and tournament titles. Lest we forget about Villanova. The Wildcats could still emerge as the East Region leader if both the Wolverines and Cavaliers lose.
In other words, the Selection Committee in Indianapolis will spend its Sunday building multiple brackets depending on what happens this afternoon. Florida will be the top overall seed. Arizona and Wichita State should also be locked in place.
Providence erased any doubt about its spot in the Field of 68 by winning the Big East tournament Saturday night. The three potential bid thieves from Saturday (NC State, Georgia, St. Bonaventure) all lost. So the rest of the field remains in tact.
Enjoy your Selection Sunday. A final bracket will be posted prior to the Selection Show today after a final seed analysis and Sunday’s results.
It’s the Saturday before Selection Sunday and teams hovering at the cutline will be watching to see what happens in the Atlantic 10, Atlantic Coast (ACC), and Southeastern (SEC) conference tournaments. The reasons: St. Bonaventure, North Carolina State, and Georgia. Should any of the three win two more games, a potential at-large berth disappears.
In other words, a team currently headed to Dayton for the First Four, could be headed to the NIT, instead.
As additional resumes complete, the Selection Committee in Indianapolis will also be dissecting and comparing resumes from teams such as Green Bay, Southern Mississippi, and perhaps Toledo or Louisiana Tech – if either of those loses in their conference tournament final. We have one day to go, but all is not settled. Read more…
In the world of college hoops, today and tomorrow are like Moving Day at selection headquarters. Teams on the proverbial NCAA tournament bubble will be trying to position themselves for a spot in the Field of 68. With as many as 13 spots still in question – to varying degrees – much could be decided between now and Saturday morning. It’s why hoop-heads love Championship Week almost as much as the tournament itself.
Quick notes about today’s (March 13) bracket update:
American joins the Field as the automatic qualifier from the Patriot League. Meanwhile, the Georgetown Hoyas’ hopes of an at-large berth received a serious jolt after an opening round loss to DePaul Wednesday night in Madison Square Garden. The Hoyas were among the First Five OUT yesterday and are further down the seed list today.
Inside the bracket, there were no other changes. Stanford survived against Washington State. Oregon, Baylor, and Oklahoma State all won opening round games in their league tournaments.
If you’re ready for Moving Day, the wait is over.
With its victory over Kentucky – and Arizona’s loss at Oregon – the Florida Gators are in the driver’s seat for the overall No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Regardless, the Gators will be the top seed in the South Region with opening round games in nearby Orlando. The remaining No. 1 seeds as we begin Championship Week: Arizona (West), Wichita State (Midwest) and Villanova (East).
At this point, the first three No. 1 seeds appear to be locked-in. Which leaves us one spot for three or four teams. At least that’s how it appears today. The contenders include Villanova (as noted above), Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Virginia is still in the hunt, but its journey became much tougher after Sunday’s loss at Maryland. Achieving a No. 1 seed with eight losses would be something new, but few teams in history have played Kansas’ schedule. If Michigan wins the Big Ten tournament, the Wolverines would have a legitimate argument. They possess a higher number of NCAA-level wins than Villanova – due to the strength of the Big Ten as compared to the Big East. Wisconsin’s non-conference performance – with victories over Florida and Virginia – would help the Badgers’ case if they find the winner’s circle in Indianapolis next Sunday.
We’ll be updating the bracket every day this week as automatic qualifiers arrive and conference tournaments continue. Teams that have clinched automatic berths are listed in ALL CAPS – with the exception of teams like BYU and UCLA.
The bubble remains a work in progress. Nebraska grabbed a spot after beating Wisconsin on Sunday. Xavier, Tennessee, and BYU join the Huskers at the First Four in Dayton. It’s a big week for those teams and several others who are just above the last four at-larges. We’ll have to see how it plays out.
The two teams leading our March Madness Gala … Florida and Arizona. The Gators and Wildcats both have the opportunity to enter the NCAA Tournament dance as the overall No. 1 seed. Should both win their remaining games – including conference tournament titles – the edge will likely to go Arizona. Not that it’s that critical this year because the two teams are geographically separated. Florida will lead the South Region; Arizona the West. A year ago, when Louisville and Indiana were battling for the top spot in the Midwest, and a route through Indianapolis, that top position meant more.
Wichita State begins Missouri Valley Tournament play today in St. Louis. The Shockers ended the regular season without a blemish. If they win three more under the Arch, expect WSU to be a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday. Kansas continues to hold the final No. 1 slot. Four other teams are chasing the top line: Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, and Villanova. Recent struggles make it difficult for Syracuse to regain a No. 1 seed. Read more…
Championship Week is going to be fun and tension-filled. As this juncture, as many as 15 at-large spots remain uncertain. That’s a high number entering March. Here’s what we do know. Barring an unexpected turn of events, Florida and Arizona will be No. 1 seeds. Although the Gators retain their overall No. 1 seed today, the Wildcats may pass them soon. Either way, it’s about time to lock them in to the South and West regions.
Today’s bracket is also quite unsettled when it comes to the seed list. The first four lines (s-curve spots 1-16) are pretty solid (for now). The middle tier could fluctuate greatly depending on conference tournament results. Teams are that tightly bunched. As for the bubble, it continues to move and shift. Depending on which resume criteria or metrics you prefer, the final teams in and first teams out could be ranked in a variety of orders. Every Selection Committee member will have his or her own viewpoint. Hopefully, a few things will clear between now and March 16.
It’s also worth mentioning the potential for bid thieves – a surprise team winning its conference tournament. For example, if Wichita State were to lose in the Missouri Valley tourney, there would be one less at-large bid available. We saw this happen at the SEC tournament a year ago.
Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride.
With March knocking on the door, road wins for Arkansas and Oregon pushed the Razorbacks and Ducks back into the Field of 68 – they are paired against each other in a First Four matchup in Dayton. Missouri and Minnesota are the other at-large participants in today’s Opening Round games. The revolving door, known as the 2014 bubble, continues to churn.
Nothing new at the top of the bracket: Florida, Arizona, Wichita State, and Syracuse retain No. 1 seeds. In fact, there weren’t many changes – other than some regional adjustments – to the first quadrant (Top 4 seeds). St. Louis did drop a seed line, with surging North Carolina now the final No. 4 seed (No. 16 on the s-curve).
Iowa continues to slide a bit, having lost three straight and 4 of 6 games. The Hawkeyes are not in any danger of missing the NCAA Tournament at this point, but they are at risk of finding themselves in the 7-9 seed range without reversing course. A rather weak non-conference schedule isn’t helping: Iowa’s best non-league wins are Xavier, UTEP, and Notre Dame.
Buckle up for a busy weekend of college hoops. Championship Week is right around the corner.