Those squads hanging around on either side of the cut line needed a St. Joseph's win over St. Bonaventure in the first Atlantic 10 Tournament semifinal. The Hawks delivered that result with aplomb, claiming a 67-48 victory over the Bonnies. St. Joe's, now safely in the field, will square off against VCU in tomorrow's final. The Rams used an impressive second half to dispatch George Washington, 74-55.
In the ACC Tournament semifinals, N.C. State's late resurgence ended with a 75-67 loss to Duke. The Wolfpack are now likely headed for a high seed in the NIT. The Blue Devils, a possible No. 2 seed, will line up against Virginia, another team with a shot for such a nod, in Sunday's championship. The Cavaliers slipped by Pittsburgh 51-48 in the day's first semifinal.
Tennessee, on the other hand, could not defeat Florida, the overall No. 1 seed in my Saturday projection. The Volunteers gave the Gators a fight right up until the end in the first SEC Tournament semifinal in Atlanta. Florida, 56-49 winners, will face Kentucky for the title tomorrow afternoon. The Wildcats ended Georgia's slim hopes with an impressive 70-58 triumph in the final game of the day.
The fourth top seed may well be settled in Indianapolis at about the same time as the SEC crown, as league regular-season champion Michigan (who took out Ohio State) meets Michigan State (who eliminated Wisconsin) for the Big Ten Tournament title. With today's results, the Wolverines will replace the Badgers as the final No. 1 in my Sunday morning projection.
As it stands right now, my Last Four In and First Four Out are unchanged from this morning. However, I may make some changes as I review selection sheets during the evening. It's a different story for the top two lines, however, as Michigan and Wisconsin trade places.