They said it best on ESPN last night: they have to take 68. There are teams around the cut line that are really pushing it, as I touched on in my update on Wednesday, February 20. Check out my series of tweets to the right to see more analysis of what appears to be important in selection and seeding, and for some insights as to who’s safe (for now) and who’s in trouble on the bubble (I swear, I didn’t do that on purpose).
For now, let me just say I can’t wait for Wofford vs. Furman tomorrow – no joke. With the way things are shaping up, the Southern Conference has a legitimate chance to get 2 teams into the tournament, and I think Furman has the better shot at an at-large right now because of their early-season win at Villanova. It would also be really hard for the Selection Committee to deny Wofford a bid if they win out in the regular season, going undefeated in conference play, and lose in the conference tournament, as this is a relatively strong mid-major league. It should be a fascinating, fun game to watch.
With that said, here’s the latest update. Moves up or down since last time are in parentheses after the team’s name.
In since 2/20 update: Georgia State
Out since 2/20 update: Texas State
1s: Virginia, Duke, Tennessee, Gonzaga
2s: North Carolina, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State
3s: Kansas, Marquette, Purdue, Houston
4s: Texas Tech, Wisconsin, Florida State (+1), Kansas State (+1)
5s: LSU (-1), Maryland, Iowa State (+1), Mississippi State (+1)
6s: Louisville (-1), Nevada (-2), Iowa, Virginia Tech
7s: Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Texas (+1), Villanova
8s: Baylor, Auburn, St. John’s (-1), Buffalo (+1)
9s: Washington, Syracuse (+1), Oklahoma, Minnesota (-1)
10s: Seton Hall (-1), Ohio State, Arizona State (+1), North Carolina State
11s: Florida, TCU, Alabama, Temple, VCU (+1)
12s: Wofford, Clemson (-1), Nebraska (-1), Belmont, Old Dominion (+1)
13s: Lipscomb (-1), New Mexico State, Hofstra, Vermont
14s: Yale, Radford, UC-Irvine, South Dakota State
15s: Georgia State, Northern Kentucky, Montana, Drake
16s: Texas Southern, Sam Houston State, Bucknell, Norfolk State, St. Francis-PA, Canisius
Last Four In: Alabama, Temple, Clemson, Nebraska
First Four Out: Furman, UCF, Utah State, Georgetown (+1)
Next Four Out: South Carolina, Providence, Butler (-1), UNC-Greensboro
Others in Consideration (in no particular order): Davidson, Dayton, Indiana, Murray State, East Tennessee State, San Francisco, Bowling Green
Enjoy the games, and look for my next update early next week. Check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime!