The bracket projections have been updated with this weekend’s results. The only at-large movement was that I moved in Marquette after their homecourt drubbing of Xavier, replacing Michigan State who was blown out at Purdue. The win gave Marquette 4 wins over TRMD Top 50 teams (Xavier, Villanova, Creighton and Seton Hall). Only 25 teams have more than 4 top 50 wins.
I also swapped out two auto bid teams. In the Southland, I now have New Orleans as the highest rated team, replacing Sam Houston State. It’s been 20 years since the Privateers were last in the tournament (1996). In the Big Sky, Weber State has been replaced by the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota. North Dakota has never made the tournament since joining Division I in 2008. Just as a general reminder, also projected in the field for the first time ever is the Northwestern Wildcats as an at large, and Fort Wayne Mastodons as the Summit auto bid.
Three more teams joined the graveyard this weekend. The Northeast Conference Tournament decided their 8 tournament teams, and Central Connecticut is not included. Eastern Illinois, despite most likely finishing the regular season with a winning overall record, has been eliminated from making the Ohio Valley conference tournament. Finally, today’s summit league result meant that Oral Roberts will be the lone conference team not included in the bracket. That’s 14 total teams out of the running, leaving 337 still dreaming.
Conference Tournament Fortnight is on the horizon. This is our last week before the Atlantic Sun raises the curtain on the greatest two-week sprint in sports next Monday night.