Saturday, March 12, 2005

Tournament Update

After a week or so of conference tournaments and two days of power-league tourneys, the field of 65 is beginning to take shape. According to our calculations, the breakdown is as follows:

Mid-Major Automatic Bids: 24
ACC: 5 (UNC, Wake Forest, Duke, Georgia Tech, NC State)
Big East: 6 (Syracuse, Boston College, UConn, Villanova, Pitt, West Virginia)
Big Ten: 5 (Illinois, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa)
Big 12: 6 (Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas, Iowa State)
Conference USA: 3 (Louisville, Cincinnati, Charlotte)
Pac-10: 4 (Arizona, Washington, Stanford, UCLA)
SEC: 5 (Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Mississippi State)
Others: St. Mary's, Nevada, Southern Illinois

That adds up to 61 bids, leaving four up for grabs, in my opinion. Realistically, some of these teams probably are less safe than we portray them, but for the sake of complication, this is the way it is.

For the final four bids, there are several teams making a run. New Mexico, UAB, DePaul, and George Washington are the final four teams in heading into the weekend. However, depending on what happens around the country, things can change in a hurry.

The other teams that are still in contention for an at-large bid are:
Maryland, Notre Dame, Wichita State, Northern Iowa, Miami (Ohio), and the loser of Buffalo-Ohio


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