Thursday, March 13, 2014

Georgetown Has Their Bubble Popped, BYU May Have As Well

John Thompson III will some explaining to do when he gets back to D.C. I'll explain after the bracket.

Last Four Byes: Pittsburgh, St. Joseph's, Nebraska, Dayton
Last Four In: Arkansas, California, Tennessee, Xavier
First Four Out: BYU, Providence, Minnesota, Florida State
Next Four Out: St. John's, Missouri, Green Bay, Illinois

Conference Rundown:
7: Big 12, Pac-12
6: Atlantic 10, Big Ten
5: ACC, American
4: SEC
3: Big East
2: Mountain West
23 one-bid leagues

Georgetown had the unfortunate displeasure of being the Big East bubble who had to play in the first round of the Big East tournament. That was all well and good, however, because they got to play lowly DePaul and was getting a shot at Creighton in the quarterfinals. The Hoyas were getting a chance at a sixth top-50 win to really help their tournament standing. They just needed to get past DePaul...and they failed. That's right. Georgetown lost to DePaul in the first round of the Big East tournament, 60-56.

So not only can the Hoyas forget about playing Creighton, they can forget about the NCAA Tournament all together. They're finished. The committee will not select a 14-loss team that already had a sub-200 loss on their resume and now just added a loss to the worst team in their conference in the tournament. On the bright side, perhaps the Hoyas can cash in all those top-50 wins for a No. 1 seed in the NIT and just maybe set up a rematch against Florida Gulf Coast.

Another team may have had their bubble popped without even playing. The injury suffered by BYU guard Kyle Collinsworth turned out to be a torn ACL, an injury that could end the hopes of the Cougars making the field. If the committee takes this into account, with them already on the bubble, there's a good chance BYU will now not be selected for the field. For the time being, BYU is now the first team out and Xavier moves back into the field. This will bear watching.

One team that will not have to worry is American University. In coach Mike Brennan's first year as head coach, the Eagles, picked 9th in the preseason poll, upset top-seed Boston University 55-36. Darius Gardner had 18 points to lead the winners and Tony Wroblicky added 15 and eight rebounds. AU went 19/34 from the field while BU was a miserable 16/52 and just 1/17 from three-point land. Amazingly, BU only went to the foul line seven times and hit just three times. All in all, a dominating performance for the Eagles, who slide in as a 15-seed in the bracket. The next set of automatic bids won't be handed out until Saturday when a whopping 14 bids will be up for grabs.

Colorado defeated USC, Oregon knocked off Oregon State and Stanford got past Washington State, which should put all three just about in the tournament. The Pac 12 quarterfinals have four great games on top. The most intriguing one is Colorado-California. If the Bears win, I have to think they will have done enough to get in.

Oklahoma State and Baylor are just about locks after avoiding the late bad loss in the Big 12 openers last night. The Cowboys defeated Texas Tech to set up a third meeting with Kansas, while Baylor won against TCU. They'll square off with Oklahoma today.

The SWAC tournament may actually have all eligible teams in their semifinals, after all. Texas Southern defeated Grambling in the early game while No. 8 Prairie View upset top-seeded Southern, who is ineligible, which means they can't even play in the NIT. That means four of the five remaining teams are eligible and if Alabama A&M can defeat Arkansas-Pine Bluff today, then all four semifinalists will be eligible and would set up a true SWAC championship for the auto-bid.

Thursday of Championship Week means all the power conferences are in action as the Big Ten finally gets underway. We're hitting the home stretch, folks. Here's the rundown of games today.

American Athletic Quarterfinals (in Memphis) (all games on ESPNU)
No. 6 Houston vs. No. 3 SMU, 1:00
No. 7 Rutgers vs. No. 2 Louisville, 3:00
No. 9 UCF vs. No. 1 Cincinnati, 7:00
No. 5 Memphis vs. No. 4 Connecticut, 9:00

ACC Second Round (in Greensboro, NC) (all games on ESPN)
No. 9 Florida State vs. No. 8 Maryland, 12:00
No. 12 Wake Forest vs. No. 5 Pittsburgh, 2:00
No. 10 Miami (FL) vs. No. 7 North Carolina State
No. 11 Georgia Tech vs. No. 6 Clemson, 9:00

Atlantic 10 Second Round (in Brooklyn) (all games on NBC Sports Network)
No. 9 St. Bonaventure vs. No. 8 La Salle, 12:00
No. 13 Fordham vs. No. 5 Dayton, 2:30
No. 10 Duquesne vs. No. 7 Richmond, 6:30
No. 11 Rhode Island vs. No. 6 Massachusetts, 9:00

Big East Quarterfinals (in New York) (all games on FOX Sports 1)
No. 8 Seton Hall vs. No. 1 Villanova, 12:00
No. 5 St. John's vs. No. 4 Providence, 2:30
No. 10 DePaul vs. No. 2 Creighton, 7:00
No. 6 Marquette vs. No. 3 Xavier, 9:30

Big Sky Quarterfinals (in Ogden, Utah)
No. 7 Sacramento State vs. No. 2 North Dakota, 4:05
No. 6 Northern Colorado vs. No. 3 Northern Arizona, 6:30
No. 5 Portland State vs. No. 4 Montana, 9:00

Big Ten First Round (in Indianapolis)
No. 9 Illinois vs. No. 8 Indiana, 12:00, Big Ten Network
No. 12 Purdue vs. No. 5 Ohio State, 2:25, Big Ten Network
No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 7 Minnesota, 6:30, ESPN2
No. 11 Northwestern vs. No. 6 Iowa, 8:55, ESPN2

Big 12 Quarterfinals (in Kansas City, MO)
No. 5 Kansas State vs. No. 4 Iowa State, 12:30, ESPN2
No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. No. 1 Kansas, 3:00, ESPN2
No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 2 Oklahoma, 7:00, ESPN3
No. 6 West Virginia vs. No. 3 Texas, 9:30, ESPN3

Big West Quarterfinals (in Anaheim)
No. 7 Cal Poly vs. No. 2 UC Santa Barbara, 3:00
No. 6 Cal State Fullerton vs. No. 3 Long Beach State, 5:30
No. 8 UC Riverside vs. No. 1 UC Irvine, 9:00
No. 5 Cal State Northridge vs. No. 4 Hawaii, 11:30

Conference USA Quarterfinals (in El Paso, TX)
No. 7 Tulane vs. No. 2 Tulsa, 2:00
No. 6 Old Dominion vs. No. 3 Middle Tennessee, 4:30
No. 5 UTEP vs. No. 4 Southern Miss, 8:00
No. 9 Charlotte vs. No. 1 Louisiana Tech, 10:30

MAC Quarterfinals (in Cleveland) (both games on ESPN3)
No. 5 Ohio vs. No. 4 Akron, 6:30
No. 6 Eastern Michigan vs. No. 3 Buffalo, 9:00

MEAC Quarterfinals (in Norfolk, VA)
No. 6 Florida A&M vs. No. 3 Morgan State, 6:00
No. Savannah State vs. No. 4 Norfolk State, 8:00

Mountain West Quarterfinals (in Las Vegas)
No. 8 Utah State vs. No. 1 San Diego State, 3:00
No. 5 Wyoming vs. No. 4 UNLV, 5:30
No. 7 Fresno State vs. No. 2 New Mexico, 9:00
No. 6 Boise State vs. No. 3 Nevada, 11:30

Pac 12 Quarterfinals (in Las Vegas)
No. 8 Utah vs. No. 1 Arizona, 3:00, Pac 12 Network
No. 5 Colorado vs. No. 4 California, 5:30, Pac 12 Network
No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 2 UCLA, 9:00, Pac 12 Network
No. 6 Stanford vs. No. 3 Arizona Sttae, 11:30, FOX Sports 1

SEC Second Round (in Atlanta) (all games on ESPN3)
No. 9 Texas A&M vs. No. 8 Missouri, 1:00
No. 13 South Carolina vs. No. 5 Arkansas, 3:25
No. 10 Alabama vs. No. 7 LSU, 7:00
No. 14 Mississippi State vs. No. 6 Mississippi, 9:25

Southland Quarterfinals (in Katy, TX)
No. 5 Nicholls State vs. No. 4 Northwestern State, 6:00
No. 6 Oral Roberts vs. No. 3 Sam Houston State, 8:30

Sun Belt First Round (in New Orleans)
No. 8 Troy vs. No. 5 Arkansas-Little Rock, 7:00
No. 7 Louisiana-Monroe vs. No. 6 Texas-Arlington, 9:30

SWAC Quarterfinals (in Houston) (ineligible teams marked with *)
No. 6 Alcorn State vs. No. 3 Alabama State, 1:30
No. 5 Alabama A&M vs. No. 4 Arkansas-Pine Bluff*, 9:00

WAC Quarterfinals (in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena)
No. 8 Texas-Pan American vs. No. 1 Utah Valley, 3:00
No. 5 Idaho vs. No. 4 UMKC, 5:30
No. 6 Cal State Bakersfield vs. No. 3 Chicago State, 9:00
No. 7 Seattle vs. No. 2 New Mexico State, 11:30

Wow, what a lineup, especially on FOX Sports 1. If you have multiple TVs, pat yourself on the back and get ready for a great day of action. Expect a much different-looking bracket tomorrow. Until then, take care and I'll see you all tomorrow.

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