Slowly but surely, the bracket is getting filled after five more teams played their way into the field on Monday night. With three more teams set to earn their bids on Tuesday night, let's look at who was able to join FGCU, Harvard, Liberty, Belmont and Creighton.
James Madison Dukes
Colonial Athletic Association – (20-14, 11-7) – Coach Matt Brady – RPI 188 – KenPom 177
The Duke Dogs are dancing for the first time in 19 years. Welcome back. JMU had everything going for it against Northeastern, hitting shots early, getting some favorable bounces and receiving some home cooking in a 70-57 win. Northeastern was the 1-seed and came back from a huge deficit to beat George Mason, but couldn't quite shake a huge JMU first half run.
The Dukes aren't looking at a very high seed, but that doesn't really matter when you are breaking an NCAA Tournament drought as long as theirs. James Madison got to 20 wins the way Seth Greenberg's old Virginia Tech teams did -- by beating as many East Tennessee States and San Diegos as possible.
Southern Conference – (26-7, 17-1) – Coach Bob McKillop – RPI 69 – KenPom 58
The Wildcats are in the NCAA Tournament for what feels like the 20th straight year. Bob McKillop has been able to make Davidson a consistent player in March (with or without Steph Curry, mind you) thanks to a combination of efficiency on offense, taking care of the ball, hitting free throws and relying on veterans.
The Wildcats punched their ticket with a dominating performance over Charleston, 74-55, showcasing why they were the one-seed in the SoCon with just one conference loss all season. Non-con wins over West Virginia, Vanderbilt and Richmond were just good enough in a strong slate by the computer numbers, and Davidson will probably be a neutral court coinflip to move into the field of 32.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Sun Belt Conference – (20-15, 10-10) – Coach Ray Harper – RPI 166 – KenPom 181
I don't exactly know how they did it, but WKU is back in the tournament for the second straight year. The team had to win four straight in the Sun Belt tournament, including Monday's 65-63 win over Florida International. The Hilltoppers held the Golden Panthers to 38.7 percent shooting and just 26 percent from distance.
WKU is once again set for a 16-seed and potentially the play-in opponent for Liberty. But at least we'll get to see Big Red in the tournament, which is always a treat.
MAAC – (20-13, 11-7) – Coach Tim Cluess – RPI 102 – KenPom 97
The fourth-seeded Gaels were a shocking at-large team last year, but they weren't going to let the committee decide their tournament fate for the second straight year, winning 60-57 over Manhattan to capture the MAAC title. Iona's Lamont Jones, who averages 23 points per game and uses 30.3 percent of the Gaels' possessions, scored 14 in the win and was named tournament MVP.
Iona had quality wins over Denver, Wake Forest and Georgia this year, and the Gaels run the nation's 17th quickest offense. They're top 20 in offensive efficiency, almost assuring they'll meet up with a defensive stalwart or another run-and-gun team when the committee pulls the final bracket together
WCC – (31-2, 16-0) – Coach Mark Few – RPI 10 – KenPom 4
Gonzaga likely wrapped up a Number 1 seed in its 65-51 victory over St. Mary's, capturing the West Coast Conference title. St. Mary's and Gonzaga seem to have a stranglehold on the WCC, as both teams are dominated by good guard play, international recruits and dynastic coaches. St. Mary's shouldn't be in any trouble of missing the NCAA Tournament, with a 25 KenPom rating and a 30 RPI, but there were major seeding implications in play, especially for the Zags.
Gonzaga beat Clemson, Davidson, Oklahoma, Washington State, Baylor and Oklahoma State, as well as sweeping St. Mary's in the three meetings. The Bulldogs' only two losses were an early season home loss to Illinois and a road loss to Butler on Jan. 19.
Three teams will join the 10 already in the field on Tuesday night.
Horizon League: Wright State vs. Valparaiso
Northeast Conference: Mount St. Mary's vs. LIU Brooklyn
Summit Conference: North Dakota State vs. South Dakota State