Four More Days…

Gonzaga all but cemented a No. 1 seed with a win over St Mary’s in the WCC Championship game.  That leaves just one top seed still in play.  The main candidates left are North Carolina, Kentucky, Baylor, Oregon and UCLA.  For now the Bruins hold the top spot, but will probably have to win the Pac-12 Tournament (which will likely involve beating Arizona and Oregon) to keep it.

With a win yesterday in the ACC Opening Round, Wake Forest has a stronger hold on an at-large bid.  The Deacons shouldn’t need to beat Virginia Tech tonight; but with a loss they–along with the other teams on the 9 and 10 lines–are slightly vulnerable to teams on the bubble passing them with quality wins later in the week.  One of those teams is  Clemson, which can play its way into the tentative bracket with a win against Duke today.

1 Kansas (Big 12) Villanova (BigEast) Gonzaga (WCC) UCLA
2 Kentucky (SEC) North Carolina (ACC) Oregon (Pac 12) Baylor
3 Butler Arizona Louisville Duke
4 Virginia Purdue (B1G) West Virginia Florida State
5 Cincinnati Florida Notre Dame Maryland
6 Wisconsin SMU Minnesota Creighton
7 Virginia Tech Iowa State St Mary’s South Carolina
8 Seton Hall Oklahoma State Northwestern Marquette
9 Michigan Miami FL Arkansas Dayton
10 Wichita State (MVC) Wake Forest Vanderbilt USC
11 Middle Tenn (CUSA)   Xavier / Mich St UNC-Wilmington (CAA) VCU / Kansas St
12 Vermont (AEast) Houston (AAC) Nevada (MWC) Rhode Island (A10)
13 E Tenn St (SoCon) Winthrop (BigSouth) UT-Arlington (SUN) Princeton (IVY)
14 Akron (MAC) Cal St Bakersfield (WAC) Bucknell (PAT) FGCU (A-Sun)
15 Iona (MAAC) Northern Kentucky (HOR) EWU (Big Sky) Texas Southern (SWAC)
16 New Orleans (SLAND) / South Dakota State (SUM) Mt St Mary’s (NEC) / Jacksonville State (OVC) UC Irvine (BigWest) NC Central (MEAC)

Four more automatic bids were given out Tuesday night, as Mt St Mary’s, Northern Kentucky and South Dakota State  join Gonzaga in the field.

NKU sits on the 15 line currently, but has a shot to slide up if favorites in the Ivy or Patriot League (whose championship is tonight) fail to earn auto bids.  With 16 losses and a sub-500 record against D-1 opponents, South Dakota State moves in to one of the First Four slots on the 16 line.



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