Two more tickets were punched Monday night and a few more championship games were set. None of the big-boy conferences have started yet so there was virtually no change to the bracket other than the latest automatic qualifiers. Let’s check out the latest bracket, recap some of Monday’s action and look ahead to Tuesday, which includes a few more automatic bids at stake, as well the start of the ACC Tournament.
Tuesday, March 12th
|East Region (Washington, D.C.)||West Region (Anaheim)|
|East Region (Washington, D.C.)||West Region (Anaheim)|
|Columbia (Mar. 22/24)||Salt Lake City (Mar. 21/23)|
|1. Virginia (ACC)||1. Gonzaga (West Coast)|
|16. Norfolk St (MEAC) / St. Francis (PA) (NEC)||16. Iona (MAAC) / Prairie View A&M (SWAC)|
|8. Ohio State||8. Oklahoma|
|9. Ole Miss||9. Utah State|
|San Jose (Mar. 22/24)||San Jose (Mar. 22/24)|
|5. Virginia Tech||5. Nevada (Mountain West)|
|12. Alabama / Minnesota||12. Liberty (Atlantic Sun)|
|4. Kansas State (Big 12)||4. Florida State|
|13. Hofstra (Colonial)||13. New Mexico State (WAC)|
|Jacksonville (Mar. 21/23)||Tulsa (Mar. 22/24)|
|6. Villanova||6. Mississippi State|
|11. Arizona State||11. TCU|
|3. LSU (SEC)||3. Houston (AAC)|
|14. Harvard (Ivy)||14. UC Irvine (Big West)|
|Des Moines (Mar. 21/23)||Des Moines (Mar. 21/23)|
|7. Iowa State||7. Louisville|
|10. Seton Hall||10. Temple|
|2. Michigan State||2. Michigan|
|15. Colgate (Patriot)||15. Sam Houston State (Southland)|
|Midwest Region (Kansas City)||South Region (Louisville)|
|Columbia (Mar. 22/24)||Columbus (Mar. 22/24)|
|1. North Carolina||1. Kentucky|
|16. Omaha (Summit)||16. Bradley (Missouri Valley)|
|8. Iowa||8. VCU (Atlantic 10)|
|9. Washington (Pac-12)||9. UCF|
|Hartford (Mar. 21/23)||Salt Lake City (Mar. 21/23)|
|5. Buffalo (MAC)||5. Marquette|
|12. Clemson / Indiana||12. Murray State (Ohio Valley)|
|4. Wisconsin||4. Kansas|
|13. Vermont (America East)||13. Old Dominion (C-USA)|
|Tulsa (Mar. 22/24)||Hartford (Mar. 21/23)|
|6. Cincinnati||6. Auburn|
|11. Florida||11. Baylor|
|3. Texas Tech||3. Purdue|
|14. Georgia State (Sun Belt)||14. Montana (Big Sky)|
|Jacksonville (Mar. 21/23)||Columbus (Mar. 22/24)|
|7. Maryland||7. Wofford (Southern)|
|10. Syracuse||10. St. John's|
|2. Tennessee||2. Duke|
|15. Gardner-Webb (Big South)||15. Wright State (Horizon)|
- Last Four Byes: Baylor, Florida, TCU, Arizona State
- Last Four In: Minnesota, Alabama, Clemson, Indiana
- First Four Out: Texas, Creighton, North Carolina State, Belmont
- Next Four Out: Saint Mary’s, Providence, Xavier, Butler
Big Ten - 9
ACC - 8
SEC - 8
Big 12 - 7
American - 4
Big East - 4
Mountain West - 2
Pac-12 - 2
One-bid leagues - 24
After a couple of top seeds were upset over the weekend and sent to the NIT, there was no such fate Monday as the regular-season champions of the Southern (Wofford) and Metro Atlantic (Iona) completed the double-dip and won their respective conference tournaments. Wofford fought off a game UNC Greensboro squad, but pulled away late to win by 12, while Iona cruised in the second half to a 21-point victory over Monmouth.
The Wofford win is very notable for bubble teams as the pool stays a bit wider. A UNC Greensboro win would have taken away a spot in the field for a bubble team as Wofford would have garnered an at-large bid, shrinking the bubble.
There is no question the Terriers will be a popular sleeper pick in the NCAA Tournament as winners of 20 straight heading into the dance and currently sitting at No. 20 in the AP Poll. It will be a big surprise if Wofford is not wearing their home uniforms in the first round of the tournament.
Also on Monday, we saw championship games set in the Colonial, Horizon, Summit and West Coast. And that’s where we’ll begin our look at the action upcoming on Tuesday.
Colonial Championship (in North Charleston, SC)
No. 1 Hofstra vs. No. 2 Northeastern, 7:00, CBSSN
Hofstra needed overtime to knock off Delaware in the semifinals while Northeastern squeaked out a three-point win over Charleston in the other semifinal. These teams split their two regular-season meetings, with each team winning at home.
Horizon Championship (in Detroit, MI)
No. 1 Wright State vs. No. 2 Northern Kentucky, 7:00, ESPN
Sure enough, we’ve got the top teams in the Horizon squaring off for the title. Wright State is looking for back-to-back conference titles, while the Norse are going for their second conference title in just their third year of eligibility in Division 1.
No. 2 Fairleigh Dickinson at No. 1 St. Francis (PA), 7:00, ESPN2
The Red Flash get to host the championship game in the hopes of ending a nearly 30-year NCAA Tournament drought. The last time St. Francis danced was way back in 1991, which also happens to be the only time they have danced. FDU has danced five times in the past, the most recent being in 2016, when Dunk City, aka Florida Gulf Coast, got the best of them in the First Four. This is another matchup of teams that split during the season, however these teams won on the other’s home floor, so that’s a confidence booster for Fairleigh Dickinson.
Summit Championship (in Sioux Falls, SD)
No. 2 Omaha vs. No. 4 North Dakota State. 9:00, ESPN2
Omaha survived a nailbiter, winning by just one point over Purdue Fort Wayne in the semifinals and now are in position to reach their first NCAA Tournament, after falling short in 2017. But to get there, they have to get past a Bison team that fought off a valiant effort from No. 8 Western Illinois and are back in the title game for the time since being the first victim of Mike Daum’s reign of terror for South Dakota State back in 2016.
West Coast Championship (in Las Vegas, NV)
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 2 Saint Mary’s, 9:00, ESPN
Is anyone surprised it’s these two yet again? I didn’t think so. Pepperdine and San Diego had good runs, but it was a tall order for them to take out Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s. The Gaels will look to do what no one has been able to do during conference play and that’s beat Gonzaga and steal a bid, while the Bulldogs are eyeing the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
ACC First Round (in Charlotte, NC)
No. 12 Miami (FL) vs. No. 13 Wake Forest, 12:00, ESPN
No. 15 Notre Dame vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech, 2:00. ESPN
No. 11 Boston College vs. No. 14 Pittsburgh, 7:00, ESPNU
The first of the Power 5 tournaments gets underway Tuesday in Charlotte, as the bottom six teams take the court to begin what they hope is a five-day gauntlet. No bubble action to talk about here. All these teams are just hoping to spoil the party.
America East Semifinals
No. 7 Binghamton at No. 1 Vermont, 7:00, ESPN+
No. 4 Hartford at No. 3 UMBC, 7:00, ESPN+
Thanks to Binghamton’s stunner against Stony Brook in the quarterfinals, we’re potentially set up for another final between Vermont and UMBC. And we all know how that story went, right Virginia fans? But don’t pencil in UMBC just yet. Hartford swept the season series from UMBC, including a nine-point loss at home to Hartford on February 6.
MEAC First Round (in Norfolk, VA)
No. 8 Maryland-Eastern Shore vs. No. 9 South Carolina State, 6:00
No. 7 Coppin State vs. No. 10 Morgan State, 8:30
The second day of the first round of the MEAC tournament takes place today. No. 11 Delaware State upset No. 6 Savannah State on Monday, sending Delaware State to the second round on Thursday (while today’s winners have to turn around and play tomorrow because they want the top seeds to get a day off between the quarterfinals and semifinals) and sending Savannah State down to Division II, as this was their final season in Division I.
Sun Belt First Round
No. 10 Appalachian State at No. 7 Louisiana-Monroe, 8:00, ESPN+
No. 9 Arkansas State at No. 8 South Alabama, 8:00, ESPN+
The Sun Belt is using the same format as the West Coast, in which ten teams make the field in a stepladder format, where the top two seeds (Georgia State and Texas-Arlington) have a bye all the way to the semifinals and only need two wins to win the championship, while the bottom four teams will have to win three games to get the semifinals and five games to win the tournament. These games are on campus sites, with the winners joining the other eight teams in New Orleans on Thursday. No. 5 Louisiana and No. 6 Coastal Carolina await Tuesday’s winners on Thursday. This has the potential to be a fun tournament, as the top four teams were all separated by one game, though Georgia State won the regular-season title outright. But Texas-Arlington, Georgia Southern and Texas State are all strong contenders in this field.
No. 7 Southern at No. 2 Texas Southern, 8:30
No. 5 Arkansas-Pine Bluff at No. 4 Grambling, 8:30
No. 6 Alabama State at No. 3 Jackson State. 9:00
No. 8 Alcorn State at No. 1 Prairie View A&M. 9:00
A change of scenary for the SWAC, which used to host its tournaments in Texas. This year, the top four seeds host the quarterfinals before the scene shifts to Birmingham, Alabama for the semifinals and finals. The conference was pretty much all Prairie View, going 17-1 in conference play and winning the title by three games over Texas Southern, though Texas Southern was the only team to beat Prairie View in conference play.