Quick Takes: Championship Week begins
The final Saturday of the regular season is upon us. Which means Championship Week is officially here. Were it not for NCAA tournament itself, this would arguably be one of the best weeks in sports. So much rides on every outcome, especially for those teams fighting for dance tickets. Friday night gave us a glimpse of the perils ahead, as Ohio Valley Conference favorite Belmont was bounced in the OVC tournament semifinals. With that, here are the latest updates:
As this is Quick Takes, we won’t go in-depth. But here are a few highlights and questions regarding the next eight days…
- Who will grab the final two No. 1 seeds? Kansas and Villanova look pretty locked in with a week to go. North Carolina and Gonzaga are the other frontrunners this morning.
- If Illinois State and Wichita State meet in the Missouri Valley final on Sunday, will the league earn two bids? It could depend upon who wins.
- Could the much maligned Big Ten still send eight (or more) teams to the tournament? With this year’s bubble, it’s possible. Games in Washington, DC next week will be worth following.
- In the Big East, can Xavier hold on? Will Providence and Marquette avoid pitfalls after making inroads? Can Seton Hall survive life on the bubble?
- And what about the SEC? Will a fifth or sixth team crack the field? Namely Georgia or Vanderbilt.
- Could a 15-loss at-large team actually make the Field of 68?
- Can California sneak in? Will USC hold on to its tenuous spot?
- Will we see any surprise winners outside the one-bid leagues? In other words, where will potential bid-stealers come from?
- Finally, if needed, will the Committee reward a team like Middle Tennessee State on its overall excellent season, even if they fall a game short in conference tournament play?
By next Saturday morning, we’ll have more answers. Until then, enjoy Championship Week.