Sunday, March 13, 2005

Tournament/Bubble Watch

Happy Selection Sunday, folks. The most important date of the college basketball season is upon us. With about five hours left until the NCAA Tournament is revealed, the Field of 65 is almost filled. After Utah State and New Mexico won their conference tournaments and a bid to the tourney, bubble teams across the nation got a little more nervous. Those two clubs may have taken two bids away from the squads on the tournament fence. The last two or three days of the major conference tournaments have made the teams going to the Big Dance fairly obvious. The breakdown of the tournament as of 12:40 PM is as follows:

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

That adds up to 63 bids, leaving two bids up for grabs.

For the final two bids, there are several teams fighting for them. DePaul, UAB, Buffalo, Miami (Ohio), Notre Dame, Northern Iowa. In addition, Maryland and Wichita State have an outside shot, in my opinion. Both teams were awful down the stretch.

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