The top half of the bracket is really beginning to take shape. The top line of Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga and San Diego State is holding firm. The two-line saw a change from the initial committee rankings last week. Maryland moves up in place of West Virginia after their loss at Kansas State. The Terrapins join Duke, Dayton and Louisville.
As for the bubble, San Diego State, at least for now, is not the only Mountain West team in the field. Utah State has moved into the last four in group. Their wins over LSU and Florida could end up looming large among the bubble teams. The downside for the Aggies is they have already been swept in the regular season by the Aztecs. While we can say they could use a win over San Diego State in the Mountain West, that would likely lock up their spot, regardless, as that meeting would likely come in the tournament final and a win would give Utah State the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Memphis has taken a tumble and recently suffered a bad home loss to South Florida. The Tigers are now in danger of missing the tournament in what has been quite the roller-coaster season, which included the suspension and eventual departure from the school of James Wiseman.
Richmond and VCU meet Saturday in a huge bubble contest. Both teams are currently on the outside looking in. VCU suffered an ugly loss Wednesday against George Mason. This game might be more important for the Rams but that certainly doesn't mean this isn't important for the Spiders. The loser will have a bigger hole to climb out of. VCU easily took the first meeting back on January 28, winning at home by 19.
So now let's take a look at the latest bracket before an important weekend of games.
Last Four Byes: Stanford, Cincinnati, Wichita State, Purdue
Last Four In: Memphis, Arizona State, Utah State, Florida
First Four Out: Richmond, Rhode Island, North Carolina State, Xavier
Next Four Out: Mississippi State, VCU, UNC Greensboro, Georgetown
Big Ten - 11
Pac-12 - 6
Big 12 - 5
Big East - 5
SEC - 5
American Athletic - 4
ACC - 4
West Coast - 3
Mountain West - 2
One-bid leagues - 23