No extra analysis -- let's get right to the rises and falls.
St. Mary's - I was really torn on how to handle them if they lost to Gonzaga in the WCC finals again. I didn't think the committee was going to show them or Utah State a lot of respect in losses, but they took care of that problem by whipping the Zags.
Washington - Amazing what can happen when you just win while everybody else falls apart. The Huskies haven't played anybody even remotely good since losing to Cal on 2/11, but they've won seven of eight and ten of twelve, and they look really good just by not looking terrible.
Cincinnati - They played their way back to the edge of the bubble, but they needed at least one more win to get back to real consideration ... and they dribbled the ball off their legs against WVU instead.
Dayton - How bad have the bubble teams performed this week? Dayton loses five of seven to end the regular season, but by simply beating George Washington on Tuesday, the Flyers crept back into consideration. If Washington and Illinois lose today, they might be right back in the friggin' draw.
Seton Hall - They're technically in right now thanks to their win over Providence, but if Illinois beats Wisconsin today, or if there's any upset conference tourney winner (and there's usually one), then they're probably out. They didn't put up enough of a fight against Notre Dame on Wednesday, but ... they're in by default at the moment.
Arizona State - Guys, all you needed to do was not lose to 7-seed Stanford yesterday, and you were probably in. Then you went and got dominated in the second half and lost. NOBODY wants these last few bubble spots.
Memphis - Guys, all you needed to do was not lose to 7-seed Houston yesterday, and you were probably in. Then you went and got dominated in the first half and lost. NOBODY wants these last few bubble spots.
UAB - Guys, all you needed to do was not lose to 6-seed Southern Miss yesterday, and you were probably in. Then you went and got dominated in the first half and lost.. NOBODY wants these last few bubble spots.
Wake Forest - Just in case you thought Mizzou had the least impressive showing of any likely 7-10 seed over the weekend, the Deacs went and lost to 12-seed Miami by 21 yesterday.
In all, any justifiable hand-wringing Mizzou fans were putting themselves through should have gone completely out the window. Thanks to everybody else's own horrific performances, not only is Mizzou nowhere close to the bubble line, they're not even in the Last 8 In. And they only fell one seed!
Last 8 In
San Diego State
As I said, The Hall's probably not really in when all's said and done, but if Illinois and Dayton both lay eggs today and nobody sneaks in via tourney upset, maybe they're safe. Either way, I'm not happy about it ... was REALLY not wanting to have to draw up a bracket with 9 teams from the same conference, but alas ...
8 9 Out
Seriously, one more win and Cincinnati might have gone from "Definitely out" to "In" in just a couple of days. I do think, though, that if the Illini win today, they're in again.
9 - Big East
7 - ACC, Big 12
5 - SEC
4 - Big Ten, Mountain West
3 - Atlantic 10
2 - Pac-10, WCC
Nine. Ugh. Meanwhile, right now the Big East, ACC and Big 12 take up TWENTY-THREE SPOTS in the field. This is Billy Packer's dream bracket come true.
Midwest Region (in St. Louis)
1 Kansas vs 16 Lehigh
8 Northern Iowa vs 9 Virginia Tech
in Oklahoma City
5 Georgetown vs 12 Ole Miss
4 Temple vs 13 Washington
6 Butler vs 11 Wake Forest
3 New Mexico vs 14 Montana
in San Jose
7 Oklahoma State vs 10 Utah State
2 Villanova vs 15 Vermont
West Region (in Salt Lake City)
1 Kentucky vs 16 East Tennessee St.
8 Gonzaga vs 9 Marquette
in New Orleans
5 Texas A&M vs 12 San Diego State
4 Michigan State vs 13 Wofford
6 Texas vs 11 California
3 Ohio State vs 14 Akron
7 Clemson vs 10 Florida
2 West Virginia vs 15 Morgan State
South Region (in Houston)
1 Syracuse vs 16 Winthrop / UA-Pine Bluff
8 UNLV vs 9 St. Mary's
5 Maryland vs 12 Siena
4 Tennessee vs 13 Cornell
6 Xavier vs 11 UTEP
3 Baylor vs 14 Sam Houston
in New Orleans
7 Florida State vs 10 Notre Dame
2 Purdue vs 15 UC-Santa Barbara
East Region (in Syracuse)
1 Duke vs 16 Robert Morris
8 Missouri vs 9 Louisville
5 BYU vs 12 Seton Hall
4 Wisconsin vs 13 Murray State
in San Jose
6 Vanderbilt vs 11 Georgia Tech
3 Pittsburgh vs 14 Oakland
7 Richmond vs 10 Old Dominion
2 Kansas State vs 15 North Texas
in Oklahoma City
My At-First-Glance Final Four
Kansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kansas State
Second glance: Georgetown, Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke
Missouri's inevitable path to destiny™ (ahem)
Louisville, Duke, Wisconsin, Kansas State, Tennessee, Kansas