Providence by USATSI

OUT OF THE FRIAR PAN: Providence best argument for an at-large birth is simply not losing when they aren’t supposed to. Photo courtesy USATSI

Yesterday was what I like to call ‘Moving Day’. It’s the last real day where we see a whole bunch of teams slide either up or down the bracket. So, as you might expect, this bracket will look almost completely different from the March 12th update.

And seeing as it would probably take until the next bracket update, I’ll just run through a couple of highlights and things worth talking about:

-After much hemming and hawing between Providence and Minnesota, I decided yesterday’s outcomes, albeit predictable, was enough to sway the committee that the Friars should be in. Short of an absolute drubbing at the hands of Creighton today, I think Providence is in and safe all at the last minute.

-Southern Miss., joined a growing list of mid-major darlings who didn’t get the job done in their conference tournaments and now don’t have the resume for an at-large bid. Perhaps them, Green Bay, and Belmont can have their own mini-tournament. I believe it’s called the NIT.

-Kansas had been hanging onto the last #1 seed by the tips of their finger nails and last night’s loss to Iowa State was the final drop in the bucket. Michigan is your new final #1 seed, though I’m guessing this race, even on the Saturday before Selection Sunday, is far, far from over.

-Villanova and St. Louis both caught the one-and-done bug and their seeds have taken a blow accordingly. Heading into the tournament, all these two schools are doing is showing the selection committee how upset-prone they are.

March Madness: Projecting The Field (v4)

East Midwest
1 Florida^ 1 Wichita St. #
16 Mt. St. Mary’s #/C. Carolina # 16 Stony Brook^
8 George Washington 8 Memphis
9 Arizona St. 9 Kansas State
5 Ohio State 5 UCLA
12 Harvard # 12 Iowa/Providence*
4 Louisville^ 4 San Diego St.^
13 Delaware # 13 Louisiana Tech^*
6 North Carolina 6 St. Louis
11 Xavier 11 Stanford
3 Iowa State^ 3 Syracuse
14 Georgia St.^ 14 N.C. Central^
7 Massachusetts 7 Connecticut
10 Pittsburgh 10 Dayton
2 Wisconsin 2 Kansas
15 American #* 15 Eastern Kentucky #
West South
1 Arizona^ 1 Michigan^
16 Tx. Southern^/C.S.-Northridge^* 16 Weber State^*
8 Gonzaga# 8 Oregon
9 Oklahoma St. 9 St. Joseph’s
5 VCU^ 5 Kentucky
12 North Dakota St. # 12 Toledo^
4 Michigan St. 4 Cincinnati
13 Stephen F. Austin^ 13 Manhattan #
6 New Mexico 6 Oklahoma
11 Tennessee 11 BYU/Nebraska
3 Duke 3 Villanova
14 New Mexico St.^ 14 Mercer #
7 Texas 7 Baylor
10 SMU 10 Colorado
2 Creighton^ 2 Virginia^
15 UW-Milwaukee # 15 Wofford #
^ = Projected Conference Champion
# = Automatic Berth Clinched
* = New Team To Bracket Projection
Bold = First Round “First Four” Game

Last Four In: Iowa, BYU, Nebraska, Providence
First Four Out: Southern Miss., Minnesota, Missouri, Belmont
Next Four Out: Florida St., Arkansas, California, N.C. State