March Madness is already happening. Earlier today, Radford beat Liberty on a last-second shot to secure the Big South’s automatic bid. In Florida, Lipscomb nearly blew a 30-point lead at Florida Gulf Coast before they managed to close out the game to get the Atlantic Sun’s bid. And of course, at Madison Square Garden, Michigan knocked off Purdue, following up yesterday’s win over Michigan State, to win their second consecutive Big Ten title. Finally, Loyola-Chicago beat Illinois State to win the Missouri Valley, and put to rest any concerns bubble teams had about Loyola-Chicago “stealing” an at-large bid if they failed to win their conference.
Radford, Lipscomb, Michigan, and Loyola-Chicago join Murray State (who knocked off Belmont in last night’s Ohio Valley final) as the first teams to earn automatic bids to the 2018 NCAA tournament.
So, here’s a quick update following the weekend’s games. I’ll have another one up on Monday night, after I get a chance to look closer at metrics, compare resumes, etc. In that post, we’ll take a closer look at the current 1 line and which teams below it still have a chance to earn a 1 seed.
Moves up or down are in parentheses after the team’s name. Teams who have clinched a bid are underlined.
Bids clinched since last time: Michigan, Radford, Lipscomb, Murray State, Loyola-Chicago
In since last time: Radford, Iona, Wright State, Lipscomb, Texas, Syracuse
Out since last time: UNC-Asheville, Rider, Northern Kentucky, Florida Gulf Coast, Alabama, Baylor
1s – Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Kansas
2s – Duke, Cincinnati (+1), Purdue, North Carolina
3s – Auburn, Tennessee, Michigan (+2), Michigan State (-1)
4s – Wichita State (-1), Texas Tech, West Virginia, Gonzaga
5s – Arizona, Clemson (-1), Kentucky, Houston (+1)
6s – TCU, Ohio State (-1), Miami (+1), Seton Hall (+1)
7s – Florida (+1), Rhode Island (-1), Texas A & M (+1), Nevada (-1)
8s – Arkansas (-1), Saint Mary’s (-1), Florida State (+1), Missouri (+1)
9s – Creighton (-1), Butler (-1), North Carolina State (+1), Virginia Tech
10s – Oklahoma, Arizona State (-1), Providence, Saint Bonaventure (+1)
11s – Kansas State, USC (-1), Texas (new), Syracuse (new), Marquette, Louisville
12s – Middle Tennessee, Loyola-Chicago, New Mexico State, South Dakota State (+1)
13s – Louisiana (-1), Vermont, Buffalo, Murray State
14s – UNC-Greensboro, Northeastern, Montana (+1), Bucknell
15s – Wright State (new), UC Davis, Penn, Lipscomb (new)
16s – Iona (new), Radford (new), Wagner, Nicholls State, Bethune-Cookman, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
LAST FOUR IN – Texas, Syracuse, Marquette, Louisville
FIRST FOUR OUT – Baylor, UCLA (+1), Alabama, Utah (+1)
NEXT FOUR OUT – Oklahoma State (+1), Notre Dame (-1), Washington (-1), LSU (+1)
As always, if you want to rip me because I have your team too low or want to discuss anything else related to bracketology, feel free to do so in the comments. Look for my next update on Sunday, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime.