If you’re waiting until next week to get into the action, why aren’t you already watching? The Madness is fully upon us with upsets throughout the conference tournaments! Let’s look at the notable ones from last night.
In last night’s action, two teams inched closer to securing a spot in the March Madness field. First, Xavier scored an impressive win over Butler to put their recent woes behind them. This adds to wins at Creighton and at home against Seton Hall, as well as at home against fellow bubble-dwellers Providence and Wake Forest. The Musketeers now sit at 21-12 overall with the nation’s 10th-ranked strength of schedule and it is hard to see them being left out on Selection Sunday
Later, Kansas State scored an equally impressive win over Baylor. This was the second time they beat Baylor this season, having earned a road victory there in February. The Wildcats have also beaten West Virginia and Oklahoma State. With a decent but not great SOS of 52, an RPI of 55, and a couple of bad losses on their ledger, K-State could use a win over West Virginia tonight to feel fully confident on Sunday, but I’d already give them a very good chance of getting in.
Other important results on the bubble include:
- Providence dropped their Big East quarterfinal matchup to It would take a lot for the Friars to fall out of the field at this point, but it’s not out of the question yet.
- USC made a great comeback against UCLA but lost by 2 points. Side note: if you missed this game (which I can’t really blame you for if you live in the Eastern Time Zone, as it went until 1:30 AM), you missed some incredible entertainment with Bill Walton and Dave Pasch calling it. Anyway, this leaves USC with just two quality wins going into Sunday (home against UCLA and SMU) along with other shaky metrics. It’s unusual to see a major conference team with 9 losses miss out, but it could still happen.
- In the Big Ten, Indiana blasted Iowa by the score of 95-73. This keeps Indiana alive, and all but ends Iowa’s chances.
With that in mind, let’s get to today’s projection. As always, moves up or down since the last projection are in parentheses after the team’s name. Projected auto qualifiers are in bold, and teams who have clinched bids are bold and underlined.
In since yesterday: None
Out since yesterday: None
1s: Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga
2s: Oregon, Kentucky, Baylor, Louisville
3s: Florida State, UCLA, Arizona, Duke
4s: Duke, Butler, Purdue, West Virginia (+1)
5s: Virginia (-1), Cincinnati, SMU, Notre Dame (+1)
6s: Minnesota (-1), Iowa State, Wisconsin, Saint Mary’s
7s: Creighton, Maryland, South Carolina, Dayton
8s: Wichita State, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Miami
9s: Northwestern, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, Arkansas
10s: Michigan State, VCU, Xavier (+1), Vanderbilt (+1)
11s: Providence (-1), Marquette (-1), Kansas State (+1), Wake Forest, Southern California, Rhode Island (+1)
12s: Middle Tennessee, UNC-Wilmington, Nevada, Texas-Arlington
13s: Vermont, Princeton, East Tennessee State, Bucknell
14s: Winthrop, Akron, Florida Gulf Coast, Cal-Bakersfield
15s: Iona, Northern Kentucky, Texas Southern, North Dakota
16s: Cal-Irvine, Mount Saint Mary’s, South Dakota State, Jacksonville State, New Orleans, North Carolina Central
Last Four In: Kansas State, Wake Forest, Southern California, Rhode Island
I’ll add that I think Middle Tennessee’s “true seed” right now is an 11. But Kansas State absolutely had to move up after beating Baylor, and I wasn’t dropping Providence or Marquette all the way down to a 12. So, we have Middle Tennessee on the 12 line for now. We’ll see how this plays out over the weekend.
There was a lot of shifting around near the top of the NIT field because of all of the bubble action yesterday. Further down, we have New Mexico State entering the field, with Texas A & M falling out of it.
1s (First Four Out): Illinois State, California, Syracuse, Houston (+1)
2s (Next Four Out): Indiana (+1), TCU, Ole Miss, Iowa (-1)
3s: Illinois (-1), Georgia, Utah, Clemson
4s: Alabama, Monmouth, Charleston, Georgia Tech
5s: Ohio State, Texas Tech, BYU, Boise State
6s: Richmond, Valparaiso, Colorado State, Fresno State
7s: Central Florida, Belmont, Saint Bonaventure, Oakland (+1)
8s: UNC-Greensboro, South Dakota, New Mexico, New Mexico State
Thanks for reading, and look for another update Saturday morning. Check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime!