Championship Week Live Thread: Day Five (Early) -AND- Mini-Rock-M-Tology!


Alright, now that that pesky "Having to watch Mizzou play" thing is out of the way, it's time to focus on the rest of the country.  Lots and lots of interesting basketball today (and plenty of uninteresting ball too)...including three early-day "play-in" games of sorts.  Among other things, the winners of Bama-UGa, Illinois-Michigan and BC-Clemson are almost definitely in the field (the losers might be too, but the winners almost assuredly are).  And of course, oddly-placed-as-always Patriot League finals tip off in the late-afternoon...

11:00 AM CT

No. 1 Ohio State vs Northwestern (Big Ten Quarterfinals, ESPN)
No. 7 North Carolina vs Miami (ACC Quarterfinals, ESPN2)
No. 20 Xavier vs Dayton (Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals)

12:00 PM CT

Alabama vs Georgia (SEC Quarterfinals, ESPN3)

1:00 PM CT

Illinois vs Michigan (Big Ten Quarterfinals, ESPN)
Boston College vs Clemson (ACC Quarterfinals, ESPN2)

1:30 PM CT

St. Joseph's vs Duquesne (Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals)

2:00 PM CT

UTEP vs Tulsa (Conference USA Semis)

2:30 PM CT

No. 16 Kentucky vs Ole Miss (SEC Quarterfinals, ESPN3)

3:45 PM CT

Bucknell vs Lafayette (Patriot League Finals, ESPN2)

After the jump: ROCK-M-TOLOGY!

Last 8 In

Georgia
Richmond
Clemson
Colorado
Boston College
Virginia Tech
Michigan State
Alabama

I know I have Georgia rated higher than others, but whatever.  I think Colorado's surge bumped them straight from "First 8 Out" to above the "First Four" line, so kudos to them for that (especially considering how close they came to losing to Iowa State and missing the opportunity to beat KSU).

First 8 9 Out

New Mexico
UAB
St. Mary's
USC
Memphis
Colorado State
Missouri State
VCU

I'm struggling to figure out where all the sudden USC love comes from.  An 18-13 record (now 11-8) is far from amazing, but they went from completely off the radar screen to directly on the bubble border, if you believe Joe Lunardi.

The most amazing thing here: with losses to Colorado State, Missouri State, VCU and Washington State in recent days, the bubble is large enough that really only 72-73 teams have a chance at 68 spots, I think.  I don't know how the committee will view USC, and I still know little about their view of Alabama, but things have coagulated to the point where there are very, very few tossups right now.

By Conference

11 - Big East
6 - ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC
3 - Atlantic 10, MWC, Pac-10
2 - Colonial

The Bracket

FIRST FOUR (in Dayton)

Michigan State vs Virginia Tech
Boston College vs Alabama

Texas Southern vs UA-Little Rock
McNeese State vs Bethune Cookman

SOUTHWEST REGIONAL (in San Antonio)

1 Kansas vs 16 Texas Southern / UALR
8 Old Dominion vs 9 Tennessee
in Tulsa

5 Arizona vs 12 Colorado
4 St. John's vs 13 Memphis
in Denver

6 UNLV vs 11 Clemson
3 Florida vs 14 Wofford
in Tampa

7 Temple vs 10 Marquette
2 North Carolina vs 15 Boston U.
in Charlotte

WEST REGIONAL (in Anaheim)

1 Duke vs 16 Northern Colorado
8 Washington vs 9 George Mason
in Charlotte

5 Texas A&M vs 12 Virginia Tech / Michigan State
4 Georgetown vs 13 Harvard
in Tampa

6 West Virginia vs 11 Georgia
3 BYU vs 14 Long Island
in Tucson

7 Utah State vs 10 Illinois
2 Pittsburgh vs 15 St. Peter's
in Washington, DC

EAST REGIONAL (in Newark)

1 Ohio State vs 16 McNeese State / Bethune Cookman
8 Villanova vs 9 UCLA
in Cleveland

5 Louisville vs 12 Belmont
4 Kentucky vs 13 Indiana State
in Washington, DC

6 Xavier vs 11 Michigan
3 Syracuse vs 14 Bucknell
in Cleveland

7 Kansas State vs 10 Butler
2 San Diego State vs 15 Long Beach
in Tucson

SOUTHEAST REGIONAL (in New Orleans)

1 Notre Dame vs 16 UNC-Asheville
8 Missouri vs 9 Florida State
in Chicago

5 Connecticut vs 12 Boston College / Alabama
4 Wisconsin vs 13 Oakland
in Tulsa

6 Cincinnati vs 11 Richmond
3 Purdue vs 14 Morehead State
in Chicago

7 Vanderbilt vs 10 Gonzaga
2 Texas vs 15 Kent State
in Denver

My At-First-Glance Final Four

Kansas, Duke, Syracuse, Wisconsin

Second glance: Florida, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Notre Dame

Missouri's inevitable path to destiny (ahem)

Florida State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Texas, Syracuse, Duke

And if this isn't enough bracket talk for you, here's SBN's latest.

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