With Selection Sunday just 9 days away, 61 teams have almost assuredly punched their golden tickets to the field of 68 which leaves 7 “At Large” bids available. There are 16 quality conference underachievers vying for these seven spots which will lead to a Battle Royale in conference tournament action.
61 Locks= 23 automatic bids to the small conferences (although watch the Mountain West / Nevada and Conference USA / Middle Tennessee State). If these two schools don’t win their conference tourney, they are still most definitely invited! So if you’re a bubble team root for those MTS Blue Raiders and the Nevada Wolf Pack.
38 Bids= to quality conferences. ACC (8), SEC (6), Big 12 (5), Big East (5), Big 10 (4), American (3), PAC 12 (3), West Coast (2), Atlantic 10 (2).
You are on the guest list, teams that will be dancing: (American) Cincinnati, Wichita St., Houston, (A10)Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, (ACC) Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Miami, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Louisville,(Big 12) Kansas, W. Virginia, Texas Tech, T.C.U. Oklahoma,(Big East) Xavier, Villanova, Creighton, Seton Hall, Butler, (Big 10) Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan, (PAC 12)Arizona, U.S.C., Arizona State,(SEC) Auburn, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Missouri, (W.Coast) Gonzaga, St. Mary’s and the 23 small conference champions.
The remaining 7 bids will be awarded to the following bubble teams that make NOISE in their conference tournaments. Bubble Teams= Listed best to worst chances: Providence, Florida, Miss. State, Nebraska, Syracuse, UCLA, Kansas St., Oregon, Marquette, Notre Dame, Baylor, Alabama, Utah, Texas, Washington, and Stanford.
Chicago’s very own, Loyola Ramblers, despite their 25 wins, Loyola must ramble off and win the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament to make the big dance, otherwise they will be standing at the punch bowl with the rest of Illinois Universities wondering if they should follow Sean Miller’s $$ gameplan next year.
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