The first team guaranteed a spot in the 2011 NCAA Tournament? UNC-Asheville, which just punched its Big Dance ticket with a victory over Coastal Carolina in the Big South Tournament championship game.
The Bulldogs downed the Chanticleers 60-47 and moved to 19-13 on the season behind four players scoring in double figures. Guard Chris Stephenson led UNC-Asheville with 14 points. The Bulldogs also held Coastal Carolina to just 16 of 47 shooting (34%) and forced 21 turnovers. They figure to make a quick exit in the NCAA Tournament as a 15 or 16 seed.
Meanwhile, the Chanticleers have 28 wins on the year, but all March Madness hopes are likely lost for Coastal Carolina without the Big South's automatic bid. Our Chris Dobbertean had them earning a 15 seed in his most recent bit of bracketology, and a lack of big wins on their slate probably dooms their at-large candidacy, even with the historically weak 2011 bubble.
For updates on every automatic bid to the 2011 NCAA Tournament, keep this StoryStream bookmarked. For bracketology and 2011 NCAA Tournament field projections, be sure to visit SB Nation's Blogging the Bracket.