Friday update: Georgia Tech helps itself, Illinois gets crucial win
The Gophers aren't dead yet after an
Georgia Tech took a huge step toward securing an NCAA bid
The news is not as good for Florida,
In the A-10, Dayton lost its composure and another close game and saw its at-large hopes extinguished in
Mississippi became the latest bubble team to fail in its first postseason game,
Virginia Tech may have made an awful mistake by
Ugh. What a day of bubble carnage. At-large contenders nationwide spit the bit, leaving a gaping hole in the bottom of the bracket and a plethora of uninspiring options for the committee to sift through.
Hey, who wants a 96-team tournament? (
Most notably, Memphis, UAB and Arizona State all likely killed their at-large chances with quarterfinal losses, and in the process rekindled the hopes of teams like Seton Hall, which had very slim aspirations 24 hours earlier. Florida and Georgia Tech took steps forward by not losing. Washington may nail down an NCAA bid merely by beating Oregon State and Stanford. Teams like William & Mary have every right to raise their hand at this point.
But, yeah, let's get 32 more teams in the bracket! (
Today may be the most important bracket-shaping day. There are a ton of meaningful games:
Of course, next season, many of the losers of these games may just have to be content with their 18 seed. Doesn't that sound fantastic? (
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Duke remains strongly in the mix for a No. 1 seed. Maryland's playing for a protected one. Clemson and Wake Forest will drop in seeding after first-round exits. Florida State and Virginia Tech look to take advantage of their surprise quarterfinal foes. Georgia Tech still probably needs another win.
Texas continues to slide, K-State impressed in its quest for a 2-seed, Kansas will be a No. 1 and Baylor looks very solid in its move for a top-four perch. K-State vs. Baylor is a great semifinal game.
The Irish move into lock status with their win over Pitt to make the Big East tournament semifinals. Combine the late-season surge with the losses around them in other leagues, and the Irish can book their seat at the dance. West Virginia escaped Cincinnati at the buzzer and has a prime chance to win the tourney and stake a claim to a 1-seed in the NCAAs. Marquette continues to rise and Louisville's tenuous position looks much safer now. The Big East probably will end up with eight bids.
Purdue has won twice since losing
Arizona State ended its at-large push ingloriously, getting worked by Stanford. Cal draws UCLA next in its bid to avoid at-large scrutiny, although the Bears are probably fine at this point despite no real credible measureables besides the league title in a down year and an SOS-fueled RPI.
The teams behind the big three are not making this very easy. It's very possible this league only gets four teams in if the three locks all make the semis. Kentucky will be a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs.
Maybe moving the bulk of the tournament to late in championship week will be a masterstroke for the A-10. Teams like Rhode Island and Dayton now have real chances to play their way into the NCAAs.
Old Dominion held off William & Mary for the CAA crown, and likely will be the only team in the NCAAs from this conference.
The quarterfinals weren't particularly easy for anyone, but the league's big four will square off on Friday, with large implications for San Diego State, which probably cements a bid with a win over New Mexico.
UNI pulled away from Wichita State in the second half of the MVC final to nail down the title and remove any at-large doubt. Now Wichita State waits and hopes, but likely is headed to the NIT.
UTEP crushed UCF in the C-USA quarters and now gets host Tulsa while the other side of the bracket will create a bid stealer, either Houston or Southern Miss, after Memphis and UAB both bowed out.
Butler pounded Wright State to complete a 20-0 romp through the Horizon League. The Bulldogs will be joined by Saint Mary's and Gonzaga from the WCC after the Gaels routed the Zags to claim the auto bid.