NOTES ON THE BRACKET
-Weber State and Central Connecticut both won their conference tournaments last night, so no changes were made to the bracket. The only thing that did change yesterday was that I accidentally had VCU in the field twice. One of those spots should have gone to Gonzaga, so that has been updated.
-All the major conference tournaments get underway today, so more changes to the bracket will undoubtedly happen. The first round of the NCAA Tournament is great because of all the games, but if youre a big time basketball fan, today might be even better. At least eight teams are still alive in all the major conferences, and all are fighting for spots in the NCAA Tournament. At no point in the season are there so many high stakes games being played in just one day. The win and advance portion of the season is in full swing.
CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT GAMES
BIG EAST QUARTERFINALS
-9. VILLANOVA VS 1. GEORGETOWN. Both these teams are in the NCAA Tournament and are just looking to improve their seed. The two split the regular season series with each team winning on the road, so this is the rubber match, so to speak. Georgetown will get a good seed regardless, but Nova can really improve their resume with a win today against a high quality opponent.
-5. SYRACUSE VS 4. NOTRE DAME. Notre Dame is in the NCAA Tournament, but really needs to improve their resume if they want a good seed, so today is a big game for them. Syracuse is in, but close. A win in this game will most likely lock them in to the NCAAs, so this is a pivotal game for both teams.
-7. WEST VIRGINA VS 2. LOUISVILLE. Louisville is looking at a #5 or #6 seed at worst no matter what happens today, whereas West Virginia is a big win or two away from cementing their spot in the dance. The two have a nice rivarly going, but did not play each other this season, which makes todays game all that more interesting. WVU is playing for their tournament lives and Louisville is looking to end up with a #4 seed, and both are facing each other in a rivalry game.
-6. MARQUETTE VS 3. PITTSBURGH. Both teams are locks for the NCAA Tournament. Pitt could end up with a #2 seed with a strong showing in the Big East, and Marquette still has a chance at making the pod system and getting into Chicago with a strong showing of their own. Its a good opportunity for both teams to add another quality win to their resume.
PAC TEN QUARTERFINALS
-8. CALIFORNIA VS 1. UCLA. This is the one game today that shouldnt be all that interesting. UCLA is clearly the better opponent and Cal shouldnt give them much trouble. If UCLA can avoid stubbing their toes in this one, it will likely be enough to put them at a #1 seed. Cal did clobber Oregon State in the opening round, and that will give them some confidence, but UCLA just clearly looks better and they have quite a bit to play for.
-5. ARIZONA VS 4. OREGON. Both these teams are in the NCAA Tournament, but both are looking to improve their seed, and a win today will allow one of these teams to do that. It will also give them a likely match-up with UCLA, which is another chance to really boost their resume.
-6. STANFORD VS 3. USC. These two teams faced each other recently with USC winning in a thriller. USC appears to be a lock, and Stanford appears to be pretty safe as well, but a win today would really help them out and make them a superlock. USC still has a shot at the pod system, but they pretty much need to win this tournament in order for that to happen. Stanford is just looking to improve their seeding.
-7. WASHINGTON VS 2. WASHINGTON STATE. Huge rivalry game, and its an important one. Washington needs to win this tournament in order to make the NCAAs, but theyve looked impressive this past week and maybe, just maybe, they can get hot and make a run at it. Wazzu has a good seed locked up already, but a strong showing in this tournament will likely land them into the pod system. They faced USC in an overtime thriller just last week, so that would be a classic if the two faced each other again in the semis.
ACC OPENING ROUND
-12. MIAMI, FL VS 5. MARYLAND (winner gets Boston College). Maryland is on an absolute tear and pretty much has a good seed in the NCAA Tournament wrapped up already. They can improve upon that even more with a strong showing in the ACC Tourney. Miamis NCAA hopes will die once theyre elmininated from this tourney.
-11. WAKE FOREST VS 6. GEORGIA TECH (winner gets Virginia Tech). Georgia Tech appears to be in, but theyre much closer to the bubble than theyd like to be and a loss in this game gets them even closer. A win in this game, along with a win in the quarterfinals will make them a superlock. Wake, on the other hand, needs to win the ACC just to get in.
-10. NORTH CAROLINA STATE VS 7. DUKE (winner gets Virginia). Although Duke has struggled this year, theyre still most likely the best #7 seed in the history of the ACC Tournament. They shouldnt have much trouble advancing to the quarters today, and will likely be favored to beat Virginia tomorrow. Theyre a lock for the NCAA Tournament and are just playing to improve their seed.
-9. FLORIDA STATE VS 8. CLEMSON (winner gets North Carolina). Both teams are on the outside of the bubble, but can play their way in with a win today and an upset of North Carolina. The loser of this game doesnt even need to waste their time watching the selection show.
MOUNTAIN WEST QUARTERFINALS
-8. TCU VS 1. BYU. BYU is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, but with some big wins on a neutral floor they could really improve their seed. Right now I have them projected in as a #9 seed, but that will go up significantly if they win this tournament. TCU is not much of an opponent, and whereas some wins will help their profile, a loss today will really damage it.
-5. WYOMONG VS 4. AIR FORCE. I believe Air Force is in regardless, but they have been stumbling lately and just need to avoid a poor loss in this game in order to solidify a pretty decent resume. Air Force has never won a postseason tournament game, so this would be their first if they can pull it off, which they should. However, Wyoming was a #7 seed last season and defeated Air Force in the quarterfinals, so an upset is not out of the question.
-6. COLORADO STATE VS 3. SAN DIEGO STATE. San diego State is a very inconsistent team, but theyve been playing well down the stretch and may be able to win this tournament and steal a bid away from a bubble team. Then again, as inconsistent as they are, they may end up losing today. They may get a look from the selection committee if they advance to the championship game, but chances are they need to win the whole thing in order to get in.
-7. UTAH AT 2. UNLV. UNLV is the host team, and they are on fire right now. Theyre a lock for the NCAA Tournament, and can lock up a good seed with a strong showing. At the very least, they want to avoid a poor RPI loss to Utah today.
SEC OPENING ROUND
-W6. LSU VS E3. TENNESSEE (winner gets Mississippi). Tennessee is pretty safe for a bid, and has been really hot down the stretch. This tournament is a chance for them to improve upon their seeding, and their first two games appear to be very winnable. LSU was one of the biggest dissapointments of the year, but the talent is still there, so this is their one final shot to do something this season.
-E5. GEORGIA VS W4. AUBURN (winner gets Florida). If Georgia wins this game and then upsets Florida, it will be enough to get them some serious consideration and may even land them in the field, but Anything short of that and theyre done as far as the NCAA Tournament goes. Auburn needs to win the whole tournament in order to make the field as well.
-E6. SOUTH CAROLINA VS W3. ARKANSAS (winner gets Vanderbilt). Arkansas is within reach of making the NCAA Tournament, but they probably need to at least get to the semis in order to make that happen. A loss today pretty much eliminates them from the picture. South Carolina needs to win this tournament just to get into the dance.
-W5. ALABAMA VS E4. KENTUCKY (winner gets Mississippi State). Kentucky pretty much has a bid locked up, but they have been struggling as of late and their seed has taken a hit. A few wins in this conference tournament would really help them out. Alabama is outside looking in. They can get to the NCAAs without winning it, but anything short of making the championship game isnt likely to be enough. Still, the opportunity for them is there, and they are a talented team, so if they can get hot and rack up some statement wins it could end up saving their season.
BIG TWELVE OPENING ROUND
-12. COLORADO VS 5. TEXAS TECH (winner gets Kansas State). Texas Tech appears to have done enough to get into the dance, but a loss today to a very poor Colorado team will really damage their resume. They just need to take care of business and they should be fine. If they win this game and their quarterfinal game theyre a superlock.
-11. BAYLOR VS 6. MISSOURI (winner gets Texas). Neither team can get in without winning the Big Twelve title game, so this is an elimination game of sorts.
-10. NEBRASKA VS 7. OKLAHOMA STATE (winner gets Texas A&M). The two just faced each other earlier this week with Nebraska winning. No true road wins for Oklahoma State is bad news, but if they can advance to the championship game they will get a serious look. Nebraska needs to win it in order to get in.
-9. OKLAHOMA VS 8. IOWA STATE (winner gets Kansas). Both teams need to win the tournament in order to get a bid.
BIG TEN OPENING ROUND
-11. PENN STATE VS 6. ILLINOIS (winner gets Indiana). Illinois has been playing better, but like a lot of Big Ten teams theyve struggled on the road. Some wins on a neutral floor will really help their resume, and if they can avoid a loss today and pull off a win against Indiana in the quarters they are pretty much a lock.
-10. NORTHWESTERN AT 7. MICHIGAN STATE (winner gets Wisconsin). The Spartans have a very strong case for the NCAA Tournament and if they avoid a loss today they should be a lock. This tournament is a great chance for them to improve their resume and earn a very good seed in the NCAAs.
-9. MINNESOTA VS 8. MICHIGAN (winner gets Ohio State). Michigan needs to win at least two games in order to have a strong enough case to think about an at-large. They played Ohio State rather tough the last time they faced them, and if they could pull off the upset it could be enough to land them into the field.
ATLANTIC TEN QUARTERFINALS
-8. DAYTON VS 1. XAVIER. Xavier is in, but close to the bubble, and a loss would in this game to rival Dayton would really have them sweating on Selection Sunday. Dayton needs to win the conference tourney just to get in.
-5. FORDHAM VS 4. RHODE ISLAND. Both teams had good regular seasons and actually had a chance to finish first in the league. Both need to win the tourney in order to get to the dance, though.
-6. SAINT JOSEPHS VS 3. GEORGE WASHINGTON. George Washington is an athletic team, and Saint Joes is good at running the set offense, so it should be an interesting game due to the conflicting styles. The winner advances to see another day whereas the best the loser can hope for is a spot in the NIT.
-7. SAINT LOUIS VS 2. MASSACHUSETTS. Massachusetts has a little bit of a case for an at-large, but not much of one. A loss today would pretty much eliminate them from any consdideration. SLU is a good defensive team and could give U Mass some trouble.
-9. IDAHO VS 1. NEVADA. Nevadas place in the NCAA Tournament is secure. All theyre playing for in this tournament is a chance to improve upon their seed. A loss today to a really bad Idaho team would really cause them to take a hit, but by no means would it knock them out of the NCAAs.
-5. HAWAII VS 4. UTAH STATE. HawaiI took Nevada to overtime once this season, and came close to beating them the second time the two teams met as well. Utah State actually pulled off the upset the last time the two faced, so whoever wins this game has already shown that they can compete with Nevada. Both teams need to win the conference tournament in order to get to the dance, but both are playing well and are capable of doing it.
-6. BOISE STATE VS 3. FRESNO STATE. Both of these teams are good teams, but havent done enough to make the NCAAs without winning the conference tournament. Still, both can challenge for it. It should be a good game today as both teams are fighting in order to stay alive.
-7. LOUISIANA TECH AT 2. NEW MEXICO STATE. New Mexico State is the host team, and that gives them a huge advantage. A win today will get them to the semis, which means theyre just one win away from playing for the conference championship. That is the attitude theyll likely take into this. Seeing as how much the fans are going to be behind them, they will not be an easy team to beat. Like everyone else other than Nevada, they need the automatic bid in order to get in, though.
CONFERENCE USA QUARTERFINALS
-8. MARSHALL AT 1. MEMPHIS. Memphis is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, and should be able to make the pod system if they can win this. They have struggled in their last few games, though, so it isnt a given by any means. If Memphis loses before the championship game, it means one less bubble team will make the field.
-5. TULSA VS 4. TULANE. Tulsa won their opening round game against East Carolina, and has a pretty good team overall. They still need to win this tourney in order to get in.
-6. SOUTHERN MISS VS 3. HOUSTON. Houston is streaky, but if they get hot at the right time they could end up going on a run in this with a shot to knock off Memphis and advance to the dance.
-7. RICE VS 2. UCF. Both teams need the conference tourney title to get in.
MID AMERICAN QUARTERFINALS
-8. Eastern Michigan vs 1. Toledo
-5. Ohio vs 4. Miami, OH
-6. Western Michigan vs 3. Kent State
-7. Central Michigan vs 2. Akron
This tournament is always a fun one. Toledo has the top seed, but Akron still looks like the best team to me. Still, with the parity and rivalry in this league, any of these teams could end up winning it. The Ohio vs Miami game is interesting, ad the potential match up between rivals Kent State and Akron in the semis is also interesting.
-8. Southeast Lousiana vs 1. TX A&M Chorpus Christi
-5. Texas Arlington vs 4. McNeese State
-7. Lamar vs 2. Sam Houton
-6. Stephen F. Austin vs 3. Northwestern State
They changed the format of this tournament to one in which the the site is predetermined and the seeding is standard rather than the better seeded team hosting the games. For a league such as this that generally only sends one team, I think it was better the way before. The better seeded teams should be able to get the games at home, or get some sort of break. That way the regular season counts for something. Still, TAMUCC and Sam Houston appear to be the two best teams, and that would be an exciting game if the two ended up squaring off in the championship game.
BIG WEST QUARTERFINALS
-7. Pacific vs 3. Cal State Fullerton (winner gets Cal Poly)
-5. UC Irvine vs 4. Santa Barbara (winner gets Long Beach)
Pacific looked very impressive in their opening round game and could be able to pull off the uspet if they play like that again today. Long Beach is the favorite to win this tournament, but none of these teams can get in without the automatic bid.
-6. Norfolk State vs 3. North Carolina A&T (winner gets Florida A&M)
-5. Morgan State vs 4. South Carolina State (winner gets Delaware State)
Delaware State still appears to be the best team and had very little trouble with Coppin State in their quarterfinal game. Still, it looks like the best the winner of this league can hope for is a #16 seed.
-5. Texas Southern vs 4. Alcorn State (winner gets Mississippi Valley State)
-6. Arkansas Pine Bluff vs 3. Grambling (winner gets Jackson State)
The top two seeds played yesterday, which gives them an extra days rest prior to the semifinals. Mississippi Valley State and Jackson State both won without too much trouble. The winner of this conference is most likely headed to Dayton for the play-in game.
Day Three NCAA Tournament NBA Draft Prospect Viewing Guide
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The name on the back of the jersey means just as much as the name on the front here at DraftExpress, so if you're watching the tournament with an eye on scouting players who will eventually play in the NBA, you've come to the right place.
Day Two NCAA Tournament NBA Draft Prospect Viewing Guide
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The name on the back of the jersey means just as much as the name on the front here at DraftExpress, so if youre watching the NCAA tournament with an eye on scouting future NBA players, youve come to the right place.