Bracketology: Iowa State and Illinois grab big wins

USA TODAY Sports

If the first set of games on this Thursday afternoon is any indication, the final four days before the Selection Show are going to be something special.

The matchup of the day so far -- the Big Ten first round matchup between Illinois and Minnesota -- did not disappoint. The Illini topped the Gophers 51-49 on a Brandon Paul buzzer beater, which followed an unfortunate turnover by Minnesota's Austin Hollins. The Gophers should still be in the field on Sunday -- an RPI ranking of 26th with the 2nd best strength of schedule and five Top 100 wins is enough, especially this season -- but perhaps the committee will make Minnesota play an extra game in Dayton. As for the Illini, they get a shot at a seventh top 50 win and a second victory over Indiana in tomorrow's quarterfinals.

I've had Iowa State in my "Last Four In" for the past few days, but that's no longer the case after the Cyclones got a great comeback win over Oklahoma in the first Big 12 quarterfinal in Kansas City. Fred Hoiberg's team might just get another shot at Kansas in tomorrow's semifinals. As for the Sooners, they should be OK, thanks again to excellent computer numbers (RPI: 31, SOS: 17), but they'll likely be stuck in the 11-12 seed range due to a relative lack of quality wins (3-7 vs. the RPI Top 50).

In the race for No. 1 seeds, Georgetown is very much alive after blasting Cincinnati in the first Big East quarterfinal, 62-43. The Bearcats will probably we wearing their dark jerseys as a 10-12 seed next Thursday or Friday.

The late afternoon session includes a must-win game for Tennessee (against Mississippi State) and a potential quality win opportunity for fellow bubble team Arizona State against Pac-12 regular season champ UCLA. Pittsburgh and Syracuse meet in the second Big East quarterfinal, while Butler, Kansas, Michigan and N.C. State all open up tourney play.

Updated Last Four Byes: Cincinnati, California, Minnesota, Oklahoma
Updated Last Four IN: St. Mary's, Kentucky, Boise State, Tennessee

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.