STATE OF SHOCKER: An upset loss to Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament has Wichita State in a risky position heading towards Selection Sunday. Photo courtesy KWCH

STATE OF SHOCKER: An upset loss to Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament has Wichita State in a risky position heading towards Selection Sunday. Photo courtesy KWCH

Conference tournaments are in mid-swing with the major conferences beginning theirs today and Selection Sunday is this weekend making now the perfect time to begin taking a look at how the NCAA Tournament field is shaping up.

Early on, the real wild card is Wichita State. Heading into the Missouri Valley conference tournament, they had a real strong case for making the field and perhaps being seeded eighth or better. But following a semifinal loss to Northern Iowa, who went on to win the tournament to snatch up the automatic berth, that good standing is suddenly in doubt. What makes matters worse is that their conference tournament is already over, which means while most of the NCAA will be making last-minute arguments via their play as to why they should be in the tournament, the Shockers will be at home making no such case. If a few bubble teams play really well this week, you can bet Wichita State will be biting their finger nails come Selection Sunday.

For now, though, they are in. As are two more teams each from the American Athletic Conference –Tulsa and Connecticut – and the SEC – Vanderbilt and South Carolina. For each conference to have half their total bids currently sitting squarely on the bubble is a less than desirable position. All four teams will have to have strong conference tournaments to remain in the running. Plus, one more thing to keep an eye on in the SEC tournament: Florida is currently on the outside looking in, but if they can find a way to upset top-seeded Texas A&M in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament, they will be very much in the conversation moving forward.

March Madness: Projecting The Field (v1)
MIDWEST (Chicago) EAST (Philadelphia)
1 Kansas^ 1 Virginia^
16 Texas Southern^/Austin Peay# 16 Hampton^/Florida Gulf Coast#
8 Colorado 8 VCU
9 Butler 9 USC
5 Purdue 5 Iowa St.
12 Northern Iowa# 12 Yale#
4 Texas A&M^ 4 Maryland
13 Little Rock^ 13 Chattanooga#
6 Dayton^ 6 Texas
11 Pittsburgh 11 Vanderbilt/Connecticut
3 Utah 3 Indiana
14 Stephen F. Austin^ 14 Iona#
7 Seton Hall 7 Notre Dame
10 Temple^ 10 Wichita St.
2 Michigan St.^ 2 Xavier
15 Weber St.^ 15 Wright St.^
WEST (Anaheim) SOUTH (Louisville)
1 Oregon^ 1 Villanova^
16 Wagner^ 16 Lehigh^
8 Providence 8 St. Mary’s^
9 St. Bonaventure 9 Oregon St.
5 Iowa 5 California
12 South Dakota St.^ 12 Akron^
4 Kentucky 4 Duke
13 Stony Brook^ 13 UNC-Wilmington#
6 Arizona 6 Baylor
11 San Diego St.^ 11 Tulsa/South Carolina
3 West Virginia 3 Miami
14 Hawaii^ 14 UAB
7 Texas Tech 7 Wisconsin
10 Cincinnati 10 St. Joseph’s
2 North Carolina 2 Oklahoma
15 New Mexico St.^ 15 UNC-Asheville#

^ = Projected Conference Champion
# = Automatic Berth Clinched
* = New Team To Bracket Projection
Bold = First Round “First Four” Game

Last Four In: Vanderbilt, Tulsa, South Carolina, Connecticut
First Four Out: Syracuse, Valparaiso, Monmouth, Florida
Next Four Out: George Washington, Michigan, Houston, Princeton