UNI's win over the Redbirds means that the at-large pool remains the same as it did in Sunday's projection. We have one new entrant in the "projected conference leaders group," the Lafayette Leopards, who will host the Patriot League final on Wednesday night, after they upset top seed Bucknell on its home floor.
All three teams that clinched auto bids on Sunday -- Coastal Carolina, Northern Iowa, and North Florida -- were all in the morning's projection. A further trio will put their names in ALL CAPS on Monday night, while the West Coast Conference semifinals will have significant bubble impact. I'll have more on those games after Monday's full projection and rundown.
|(1) MIDWEST |
|Louisville (Thu/Sat)||Charlotte (Fri/Sun)|
|1||Kentucky (SEC)||1||Virginia (ACC)|
|16||COASTAL CAROLINA/NORTH FLORIDA||16||Montana/St. Francis-Brooklyn|
|9||N.C. State||↓ 9||Ohio State|
|Jacksonville (Thu/Sat)||Seattle (Fri/Sun)|
|5||West Virginia||5||North Carolina|
|12||Wofford (SoCon)||122||Harvard (Ivy)|
|4||Louisville||↑ 4||NORTHERN IOWA (MVC)|
|13||Stephen F. Austin (Southland)||↑ 13||Central Michigan (MAC)|
|Columbus (Fri/Sun)||Pittsburgh (Thu/Sat)|
|14||South Dakota State (Summit)||14||William & Mary (CAA)|
|Omaha (Fri/Sun)||Omaha (Fri/Sun)|
|10||Davidson (A 10)||10||Ole Miss|
|2||Wisconsin (Big Ten)||2||Kansas (Big 12)|
|↑ 15||BELMONT (OVC)||15||N.C. Central (MEAC)|
|(4) WEST |
Los Angeles (Thu/Sat)
|Pittsburgh (Thu/Sat)||Charlotte (Fri/Sun)|
|1||Villanova (Big East)||1||Duke|
|*16||Lafayette (Patriot)||16||Texas Southern (SWAC)|
|Jacksonville (Thu/Sat)||Portland (Thu/Sat)|
|13||Louisiana Tech (C-USA)||13||Valparaiso (Horizon)|
|Columbus (Fri/Sun)||Louisville (Thu/Sat)|
|6||SMU (AAC)||6||Wichita State|
|3||Notre Dame||3||Iowa State|
|14||Georgia State (Sun Belt)||14||UC Davis (Big West)|
|Portland (Thu/Sat)||Seattle (Fri/Sun)|
|7||Michigan State||7||San Diego State|
|10||Boise State (MW)||10||Oklahoma State|
|2||Arizona (Pac-12)||2||Gonzaga (WCC)|
|15||Albany (AE)||15||New Mexico State (WAC)|
|FIRST FOUR (Dayton)|
|Tuesday: To Louisville||Tuesday: To Jacksonville|
|16||COASTAL CAROLINA (Big South)||12||BYU|
|16||NORTH FLORIDA (A-Sun)||12||Texas|
|Wednesday: To Charlotte||Wednesday: To Columbus
|16||Montana (Big Sky)||11||Indiana|
|16||St. Francis-Brooklyn (NEC)||11||Temple|
* = new team
|BIDS BY CONFERENCE||AVOIDING DAYTON||ARRIVALS||DEPARTURES|
|Big 12: 7||Oklahoma State||Lafayette||Bucknell|
|Big Ten: 7||Purdue|
|Big East: 6||Colorado State|
|SEC: 5||LAST FOUR IN|
|A 10: 3||Indiana|
|MVC: 2||FIRST FOUR OUT|
|WCC: 2||Texas A&M|
|One-Bid Conferences: 21||Miami|
|NEXT FOUR OUT|
Also considered (in rank order): Richmond, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Rhode Island, Buffalo
The final Sunday slate of the regular season featured a few games that affected the at-large picture. First, Cincinnati shored up its position with a 77-65 win over a Memphis team that will need to win the American Athletic Conference Tournament. The same looks likely for Tulsa, who will be the two seed in Hartford, as the Golden Hurricane fell to SMU in Moody Coliseum. The result gave the Mustangs the American's regular season title and deprived Frank Haith's team of a needed quality road win.
Wisconsin trounced Ohio State, which has the look of a nine or 10 seed right now, in Columbus. The Badgers are knocking on the door of the top line, though they'll probably need to win the Big Ten Tournament on Selection Sunday afternoon to claim one. With the way Bo Ryan's team has been playing of late, I'm planning on having to build two final brackets. The selection committee may be forced to.
Monday night's schedule will be highlighted by three conference finals. While two regional rivalries are on tap in the trio of matchups, one team's quest in matchup number three looms as particularly significant. Plus, the WCC semifinals in Las Vegas, which will garner high ratings in bubble markets.
SoCon Championship, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
The top seeded Wofford Terriers, who could earn an 11 or 12 seed with a win, will face neighbor and archrival Furman, who are 11-21 and therefore a near-automatic First Four selection if they pull the upset. The Terriers swept the Paladins during the regular season, as you would expect, but Wofford won by just two in Greenville in the pair's regular season finale.
CAA Championship, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
For the second season in a row, the William & Mary Tribe is one game away from its first-ever NCAA bid. Tony Shaver's squad is one of five original Division I members to have never qualified for the men's basketball championships, with the others being Army, The Citadel, Northwestern, and St. Francis-Brooklyn Terriers (who will have their chance tomorrow). In 2014, the Delaware Blue Hens defeated the Tribe by one in a thrilling final in Baltimore. Tonight, third-seeded Northeastern is the opposition. William & Mary swept the Huskies during the regular season, but as we all know, that means nothing when a bid is on the line. Keep in mind that the Tribe went two overtimes against Hofstra in a thrilling Sunday semifinal.
MAAC Championship, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Defending tournament champion Manhattan is looking for a repeat, but the Jaspers will need to take down the top-seeded Iona Gaels to make a return trip. This is the third finals meeting in a row for the pair, with Iona winning in 2013 by three and the Jaspers returning the favor last season -- by the same margin. The Gaels are one of the more entertaining teams in all of America, but they need to watch out for the upset. The archrivals played twice in a 14-day span in February, with Iona winning both meetings, but just by seven total points -- three in the Bronx and four in New Rochelle.
WCC Semifinals, 9 p.m. (ESPN) and 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Semifinal number one features the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs and fourth-seeded Pepperdine Waves, a squad that played the Zags close in two meetings, falling by just two in Malibu and eight in Spokane. Fans of BYU's bubble rivals will be cheering for Portland in the nightcap, though the Cougars capped a season sweep of the Pilots on the road with an 82-69 win on Feb. 26, two nights before winning in Spokane.
If the Cougars fail to reach Tuesday's final, it's highly likely there will be one new at-large team in that morning's projection.