Monday, March 2, 2015

Wildcats replace Bulldogs, New AQs Join Field

It was a wild weekend in college basketball, a perfect way to end February and begin March.

We have a new team on the top line. With their loss to BYU on Saturday, Gonzaga dropped to a No. 2 seed and now have a very steep uphill battle to get back to the top line. Taking their place as the top seed in the West is Villanova, who wrapped up the outright Big East championship by defeating Xavier on Saturday. Right on their tail is Wisconsin, who claimed the Big Ten championship with thei win over Michigan State, and Arizona, clinching a share of the Pac-12 title by virtue of their road win at Utah.

As for the new AQs, there are plenty of them and not just at the bottom of the bracket.

Boise State completed a season-sweep of San Diego State when they pulled the upset at Viejas on Saturday, pulling the Broncos to a tie atop the Mountain West standings, but the aforementioned sweep gives Boise the tiebreaker, and thus the automatic berth from the MWC in today's projection.

We have a three-way tie atop the Atlantic 10 standings and VCU is not one of them. Dayton's upset win over the Rams knocked Shaka Smart's team out of the A10 picture for now, while the Flyers kept pace with Davidson and Rhode Island. However, due to holding victories over both Dayton and Rhode Island, Davidson gets the AQ spot. Two key games in the A10 this week will decide the champion. Dayton hosts Rhode Island on Tuesday and Davidson is home against VCU on Thursday.

In the American Athletic, Tulsa needed overtime to win at Memphis Saturday, which was key because SMU fell at Connecticut Sunday. This means Tulsa now has a half-game lead on the Mustangs, enough to give the Golden Hurricane a spot in today's field.

Also joining the fray from our last projection are Toledo (MAC), Georgia Southern (Sun Belt), Charleston Southern (Big South) and Sacramento State (Big Sky).

Because of this, the bubble shrunk quite a bit, as far as today's selections went. Because of the fewer amount of at-large spots, teams like Temple and Texas A&M are now among the last four in, though that should change over the next two weeks.

After all that, here now is the full bracket. (Bracket Matrix)

Last Four Byes: North Carolina State, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, Michigan State
Last Four In: Oregon, Temple, Texas A&M, Purdue
First Four Out: Illinois, BYU, UCLA, Stanford
Next Four Out: Texas, Miami (FL), Old Dominion, Rhode Island

Conference Rundown

Big Ten - 7
ACC - 6
Big 12 - 6
Big East - 6
SEC - 6
American Athletic - 4
Atlantic 10 - 3
Mountain West - 3
Pac-12 - 3
Missouri Valley - 2
One-bid Leagues - 22

For this week, I will separate the notable games into regular season and conference tournament games, as the first conference tournament games get underway Tuesday in the Atlantic Sun, Horizon League and Patriot League.

Notable Games


Virginia at Syracuse, 7:00, ESPN
Baylor at Texas, 7:00, ESPNU
Central Arkansas at Sam Houston State, 7:30
Incarnate Word at Stephen F. Austin, 8:00
North Carolina Central at Savannah State, 8:00
Texas Southern at Alabama A&M, 8:30
Oklahoma at Iowa State, 9:00, ESPN

Tuesday (Regular Season)

Maryland at Rutgers, 7:00, Big Ten Network
North Carolina at Georgia Tech, 7:00, ESPNU
Georgetown at Butler, 7:00, FOX Sports 1
Toledo at Central Michigan, 7:00
Kent State at Bowling Green, 7:00
Rhode Island at Dayton, 7:00, CBS Sports Network
Iowa at Indiana, 7:00, ESPN
Ole Miss at Alabama, 7:00, SEC Network
Kentucky at Georgia, 9:00, ESPN
West Virginia at Kansas, 9:00, ESPN2
North Carolina State at Clemson, 9:00, ESPN3
Texas A&M at Florida, 9:00, ESPNU
Villanova at Creighton, 9:15, FOX Sports 1

Atlantic Sun Quarterfinals

No. 8 Stetson at No. 1 North Florida, 7:30
No. 5 Lipscomb at No. 4 Northern Kentucky, 7:00
No. 7 Jacksonville at No. 2 Florida Gulf Coast, 7:00
No. 6 Kennesaw State at No. 3 South Carolina Upstate, 7:00

Note: Northern Kentucky is ineligible to receive the Atlantic Sun's automatic bid due to them still transitioning into Division I, but are allowed to compete for the conference championship. If they happen to win the A-Sun tournament, then the team they beat in the finals will receive the AQ.

Horizon League First Round

No. 8 Youngstown State at No. 5 Detroit, 7:00, ESPN3
No. 7 Wright State at No. 6 UIC, 7:00, ESPN3

Patriot League First Round

No. 9 Loyola (MD) at No. 8 Holy Cross, 7:00
No. 10 Army at No. 7 Navy, 7:00

Wednesday (regular season)

Ohio State at Penn State, 6:00, Big Ten Network
Notre Dame at Louisville, 7:00, ESPN2 
Providence at Seton Hall, 7:00, FOX Sports 1
Tennessee at LSU, 7:00, SEC Network
Wake Forest at Duke, 8:00, ESPN3
Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh, 8:00, ESPN3
Purdue at Michigan State, 8:00, Big Ten Network
New Mexico State at Texas-Pan American, 8:00 (reschedule from Saturday)
TCU at Oklahoma State, 9:00, ESPNU
Cincinnati at Tulsa, 9:00, CBS Sports Network
St. John's at Marquette, 9:00, FOX Sports 1
USC at UCLA, 9:00, ESPN2
Colorado State at Nevada, 10:00
Nebraska at Illinois, 10:00, Big Ten Network
Boise State at San Jose State, 10:15
San Diego State at UNLV, 11:00, CBS Sports Network
Oregon at Oregon State, 11:00

America East Quarterfinals

No. 8 Maine at No. 1 Albany, 7:00
No. 5 Hartford at No. 4 New Hampshire, 7:00
No. 7 UMBC at No. 2 Vermont, 7:00
No. 6 Binghamton at No. 3 Stony Brook, 7:00

Big South First Round (all games in Myrtle Beach, SC)

No. 9 Longwood vs. No. 8 Presbyterian, 12:00
No. 10 Campbell vs. No. 7 Gardner-Webb, 2:00
No. 11 Liberty vs. No. 6 UNC Asheville, 6:00

Northeast Quarterfinals

No. 8 LIU Brooklyn at No. 1 St. Francis (NY), 7:00
No. 5 St. Francis (PA) at No. 4 Mount St. Mary's, 7:00
No. 7 Wagner at No. 2 Robert Morris, 7:00
No. 6 Sacred Heart at No. 3 Bryant, 7:00

Ohio Valley First Round (all games in Nashville)

No. 8 Southeast Missouri State vs. No. 5 Morehead State, 6:00
No. 7 SIU-Edwardsville vs. No. 6 Eastern Illinois, 8:00

Thursday (regular season)

Alcorn State at Texas Southern, 6:00
Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7:00, ESPN
Arkansas at South Carolina, 7:00, ESPN2
Temple at East Carolina, 7:00, ESPNU
Texas-Arlington at Georgia Southern, 7:30
North Carolina A&T at North Carolina Central, 7:30
Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech, 8:00, CBS Sports Network
Marshall at Old Dominion, 8:00
Georgia State at Louisiana-Monroe, 8:00
Sam Houston State at Lamar, 8:30
California at Arizona, 9:00, ESPN
VCU at Davidson, 9:00, ESPNU
Sacramento State at Southern Utah, 9:00
Northwestern State at Stephen F. Austin, 9:00
Eastern Washington at Idaho State, 9:05
UC Riverside at UC Davis, 10:00
Utah at Washington State, 11:00, ESPNU
Stanford at Arizona State, 11:00, FOX Sports 1

Thursday (conference tournaments)

Atlantic Sun Semifinals

No. 5 Lipscomb at No. 1 North Florida
No. 3 South Carolina Upstate at No. 2 Florida Gulf Coast

Metro Atlantic First Round (all games in Albany, NY)

No. 9 Niagara vs. No. 8 Siena, 5:00
No. 10 Fairfield vs. No. 7 Saint Peter's, 7:00
No. 11 Marist vs. No. 6 Quinnipiac, 9:00

Missouri Valley First Round (all games in St. Louis)

No. 9 Southern Illinois vs. No. 8 Missouri State, 6:00
No. 10 Bradley vs. No. 7 Drake, 8:30

Ohio Valley Quarterfinals (all games in Nashville)

No. 5 Morehead State vs. No. 4 Tennessee-Martin, 6:00
No. 6 Eastern Illinois vs. No. 3 Belmont, 8:00

Patriot League Quarterfinals

No. 8 Holy Cross at No. 1 Bucknell, 7:00
No. 5 Boston University at No. 4 Lafayette, 7:00
No. 7 Navy at No. 2 Colgate, 7:00
No. 6 American at No. 3 Lehigh, 7:00 

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