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Bracketology: Arkansas, Cal out; Providence, BYU in

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With the Razorbacks and Golden Bears falling in their respective conference tournaments on Thursday, space opened up for the Friars, who play Seton Hall in today's Big East semifinals, and the Cougars, who may just be passing through for the day. That's because Friday's schedule is absolutely chock full of meaningful games. SB Nation's GIF Tournament V

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

BYU isn't the only team whose position in the bracket may not be totally secure. Newly-anointed No. 1 seed Wisconsin may not hold its position beyond this evening. The Badgers replace Thursday's East top seed Villanova, which was stunned by Seton Hall on Thursday. Bo Ryan's squad edges out several other teams -- all of whom have blemishes on their profile and all of whom are in action today.

While it was tempting to keep Villanova in the final No. 1 spot, I felt that a team with just a single Top 25 win (out of four against the Top 50) didn't have enough marquee wins to secure it. Kansas' eight losses might just be too many, even with sterling computer numbers. Plus, Joel Embiid's status is very much up in the air. Virginia's RPI ranking is a bit too high (12th) and a 3-4 record against the Top 50 probably isn't good enough. Michigan boasts the Big Ten regular season crown, which should give it an edge over the Badgers, and more Top 50 wins than the Badgers, but Wisconsin gets the edge in Top 25 wins (5-2 vs. 4-4). A bad loss to Charlotte in Puerto Rico doesn't help the Wolverines' case either. A pair of bad losses, particularly last Wednesday's to Wake Forest, likely doom Duke's chances.

Honestly, the team I'd watch out for over the next three days is Syracuse, which had injury problems in three of its four losses, something the Selection Committee will strongly consider. That's particularly true if the Orange plays like it did on Sunday against Florida State, when Jerami Grant returned from a back injury. If Jim Boeheim's team can claim the ACC Tournament title in its first attempt, it may very well earn the final top seed at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

I'll have more on what to watch on a loaded Friday after today's bracket and rundown.

Memphis (Thu/Sat)
(2) WEST
Anaheim (Thu/Sat)
Orlando (Thu/Sat) San Diego (Fri/Sun)
1 Florida (SEC) 1 Arizona (Pac-12)
16 COASTAL CAROLINA/Texas Sthn. 16 MILWAUKEE (Horizon)
8 Oregon 8 88 Oklahoma State
9 Kansas State 9 GONZAGA (WCC)
Spokane (Thu/Sat) Spokane (Thu/Sat)
5 Oklahoma 5 Michigan State
12 NORTH DAKOTA STATE (Summit) 122 BYU/Xavier
4 Cincinnati (AAC) 4 San Diego State (MW)
13 DELAWARE (CAA) 13 Louisiana Tech (C-USA)
Raleigh (Fri/Sun) San Antonio (Fri/Sun)
6 UMass 666 Ohio State
11 SMU 11 St. Joseph's
3 Duke 3 Iowa State
14 EASTERN KENTUCKY (OVC) 14 Western Michigan (MAC)
Milwaukee (Thu/Sat) Buffalo (Thu/Sat)
7 VCU 7 Connecticut
10 Pittsburgh 10 Iowa
2 Michigan (Big Ten) 2 Syracuse
15 N.C. Central (MEAC) 15 AMERICAN (Patriot)
(4) EAST
New York (Fri/Sun)
Indianapolis (Fri/Sun)
Milwaukee (Thu/Sat) St. Louis (Fri/Sun)
1 Wisconsin 1 WICHITA STATE (MVC)
16 WOFFORD (SoCon) 16 MT. ST. MARY'S/Weber State
8 Memphis 8 New Mexico
9 Colorado 9 Arizona State
San Diego (Fri/Sun) Orlando (Thu/Sat)
5 Saint Louis (A 10) 5 Kentucky
4 North Carolina 4 Louisville
13 Stephen F. Austin (Southland) 13 MERCER (A-Sun)
Raleigh (Fri/Sun) San Antonio (Fri/Sun)
6 Texas 6 UCLA
11 Providence/Tennessee 11 Dayton
3 Virginia (ACC) 3 Creighton (Big East)
14 Georgia State (Sun Belt) 14 UC Irvine (Big West)
Buffalo (Thu/Sat) St. Louis (Fri/Sun)
7 Baylor 7 George Washington
10 Stanford 10 Nebraska
2 Villanova 2 Kansas (Big 12)
15 Stony Brook (AmEast) 15 Utah Valley (WAC)
Tuesday: To Orlando Tuesday: To Spokane
16 Texas Southern (SWAC) 12 Xavier
Wednesday: To St. Louis Wednesday: To Raleigh
16 MOUNT ST. MARY'S (NEC) *11 Providence
16 Weber State (Big Sky) 11 Tennessee

Big 12: 7 Nebraska BYU Arkansas
A 10: 6 SMU Providence California
Big Ten: 6 St. Joseph's

Pac-12: 6 Dayton


ACC: 5

Big East: 4 Tennessee

SEC: 3 Providence



1-Bid Conferences: 22 Minnesota

Florida State





Green Bay

Southern Mississippi


Also considered: Toledo, Georgetown, N.C. State, LSU, Georgia, Marquette, Utah, Indiana, Richmond

For a more detailed look at the Last Four In and First Four Out, here are their capsules for Friday.

The Friday of Selection Week is perhaps the most meaningful day in the college basketball season. Here's a look at what games will impact the at-large picture throughout the day.

Higher Education

  • In the American semifinals, Houston would like to potential earn a sixth bid for the conference; however, to earn a place in Saturday's final, they'll have to get past a Louisville team that flat out embarrassed Rutgers on Thursday. The nightcap, the rubber match between Cincinnati and Connecticut, who rolled by host Memphis, really deserves your attention, however.
  • The main attraction in the A-10 quarterfinals in Brooklyn is the afternoon's second quarterfinal, a crucial bubble game between Dayton and St. Joseph's. The Hawks handled the Flyers twice during the regular season, but Dayton did a bit more in November and December than their rivals.
  • All four ACC quarterfinals have bubble implications, as Pitt looks to remain in and Clemson, Florida State and N.C. State are all interested in breaking down the cut line door. However, if all four favorites win, we will have a remarkable doubleheader on Saturday afternoon in Greensboro: Virginia-UNC and Duke-Syracuse, part III.
  • Big 12 Tournament

  • Since all four Big 12 semifinalists are safely in the field at this point, seeding is on the line. For Kansas, that's a place on the two line, especially considering Embiid's injury. As for the Jayhawks' opponent, Iowa State, it's looking to remain among the protected seed class, while Texas, which faces Baylor in game two, might be able to reach that grouping by claiming the title in Kansas City.
  • With Villanova's departure, Providence has a great chance to reach tomorrow's Big East final with a win against Seton Hall. Of course, a defeat to the Pirates might just cost the Friars a place. Xavier can also further solidify its position by knocking off Creighton at Madison Square Garden.
  • In the Big Ten quarterfinals, Nebraska should be OK, even with a loss to Ohio State in the second game of the afternoon doubleheader. Minnesota, which opens the night session against Wisconsin, really needs a victory, however. Keep an eye on Illinois, which opens the day's play in Indianapolis against Michigan, as potential threat for the auto bid.
  • The only hope for a third bid out of the Mountain West is a surprise auto bid winner. Host UNLV (against San Diego State) and Boise State (vs. New Mexico) will do their best to make that a possibility.
  • Colorado and Stanford made sure there would be no drama in their Selection Sunday plans by eliminating Cal and Arizona State on Thursday in the Pac-12 quarterfinals. Today, the Buffaloes and Cardinal will look to grab a seeding boosting wins over Arizona and UCLA, respectively.
  • Finally, in the SEC, it's a big day for bubble teams, as Missouri and LSU, both currently out, can improve their stakes with victories over the conference's top two teams. Mizzou takes on Florida to start the day's proceedings in Atlanta, while the Bayou Bengals will look to grab a second win over Kentucky in game one of the night session. Meanwhile, Tennessee will want to avoid the dreaded late horrible loss. Instead of facing fellow bubbler Arkansas as planned, the Vols take on South Carolina, A loss to the Gamecocks, currently 130th in the RPI, would likely send Cuonzo Martin's team to yet another NIT.

My next full bracketology update will arrive on Saturday, but as events warrant, I'll be chiming in with mini updates as this exceptionally busy Friday unfolds. As always, I'll also be active during the day's action on Twitter @ChrisDobbertean. Also, for a full TV preview head over Blogging the Bracket later this morning.