In the spirit of March, congratulations to the Monmouth Hawks, the first NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball team to clinch a regular-season conference title (MAAC). By do so, the Hawks guarantee themselves a post-season berth. They narrowly missed the NCAA tournament last year as an at-large team. Motivation will be high at the MAAC tournament with another Dance card at stake.
Quick Takes from Thursday:
- Michigan grabbed a critical home win against Wisconsin. The Wolverines close with 4 of 5 on the road, where they’ve managed a 1-6 record.
- Wisconsin likely needs to find wins over Maryland and Purdue down the stretch (including B10 tourney) to secure a Top 5 seed. Otherwise, the Badgers’ top-end profile could relegate them to a slightly lesser seed on Selection Sunday.
- Smooth night out West as Gonzaga, Oregon, and Arizona all roll to wins.
For different reasons, St. Bonaventure and Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) join the Field of 68 in today’s Seed List update. In the case of VCU, the Rams own the Atlantic 10 lead and thus have a reserved spot as an automatic qualifier (AQ). As for the Bonnies, their win at Saint Joseph’s moved them ahead of Tulsa. Alabama falls out following its home loss to Arkansas. It’s worth noting that Tulsa was actually bumped by VCU regaining the AQ, as it took one at-large spot away. It’s a good illustration of how the process works during Championship Week.
Joining St. Bonaventure in the First Four: Butler, Cincinnati, and Michigan. The four just above them (final byes) are Vanderbilt, USC, Oregon State, Connecticut. The margin (if any) between these eight is very small. It remains true: teams from the 7-line on down still have work to do to reach a safety zone.
The SEC tournament figures to be huge for Vanderbilt, Alabama, Florida, and LSU. It’s unlikely that more than two from that group will make the final bracket. On a similar note, the Atlantic 10 tourney could prove decisive for St. Bonaventure, VCU, George Washington, and even Saint Joseph’s. Without a “bad” loss on their resume, the Hawks are in overall better shape, but if they were to lose to Duquesne and also their first A10 tourney game, it could get a little more interesting. We’ll see.
After another busy weekend of college hoops, here’s a quick peek at the upcoming week’s (Monday – Thursday) notable “resume” games …
Oklahoma vs. Villanova – Pearl Harbor, Honolulu | Both teams are in line for a high seed come March. The winner will have an extra notch on its seed line belt.
West Virginia vs. Virginia – Jimmy V Classic, New York | This is the type of non-conference victory that pays dividends. As for Virginia, the Cavaliers would love to ease an early loss at Geo Washington by stamping a marquee win on its pre-ACC resume.
Maryland vs. Connecticut – Jimmy V Classic, New York | After dropping close games to Syracuse and Gonzaga at the Battle 4 Atlantis, a win here would put some beef on the Huskies’ non-league slate. Read more…
No change at the top of today’s Seed List update – through games on December 12. Kentucky, Duke, Arizona and Wisconsin would still be No. 1 seeds. The middle and lower bracket spots remain more fluid; nothing unexpected really. Below the headlines, Northern Iowa and Colorado State continue to climb. And both are looking like strong NCAA-bid contenders as we head into the holiday season.
Looking forward, the weekend provides a great slate of games. Below are some of the matchups that could impact the framework of our first in-season bracket update – coming next week … Read more…
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…
After a somewhat crazy Thursday, the bubble continues to shift in multiple directions. And with Villanova’s stunning loss to Seton Hall, the final No. 1 seed slot is wide open as action resumes throughout the college hoops landscape. Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Virginia all take to the hardwood with their eyes on the top of the East Region. We also can’t completely eliminate teams like Syracuse.
Quick notes about today’s (March 14) bracket update …
Florida State slides into the final at-large spot. One could go any number of directions among the bubble contenders, but the Seminoles have a couple of small advantages: non-conference wins over two tournament teams (VCU, Massachusetts) and a road win at Pittsburgh. As a side note, FSU lost to Michigan by two and Florida by one in its pre-conference slate. By comparison, Providence and Minnesota have done their best work at home and neither has two NCAA-level non-league wins. We’ll see how the Seminoles fare moving forward. Next up: Virginia. It’s Moving Day – Part II on the bubble. Read more…