Here are six things we learned from Wednesday's games:
1. All Big East Tournament games last 40 minutes, except when the referees are tired and just want to go home.
2. The Big East is going to get 11 bids, thanks to Marquette's win over West Virginia. The Golden Eagles are up to a 9 seed in today's bracket.
3. There's a very good chance that Villanova ends up the lowest seeded Big East team.
4. Colorado is the last Big XII bubble team left standing. Baylor and Nebraska are done after losing to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, respectively.
5. If the Buffs want to stay on the right side of the bubble, they probably need to beat Kansas State today - and they definitely need to play better than they did against Iowa State.
6. Long Island (from the Northeast) and Northern Colorado (from the Big Sky) are going dancing. Both are on the 15 line in today's bracket.
Today is shaping up to be the biggest day of Championship Week for about a dozen residents of Bubbleville. Just about every major conference has games going on that feature teams fighting for tourney bids.
We'll start in the ACC, where Boston College and Virginia Tech will look to avoid upsets that would surely ensure them of top seeds in the NIT. Both teams will need two wins this week to ensure that their name is called on Sunday, but both will first need to get by ACC bottom feeders Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.
The Big Ten conference tourney also gets started today and features Penn State and Michigan State both playing for their bubble lives. As long as the Spartans avoid an upset against Iowa, they should be safe. Penn State, meanwhile, will need to beat Indiana today and then take down Wisconsin tomorrow to get any serious consideration.
The SEC tourney kicks off today with Georgia looking to take care of Auburn, which would set up another bubble battle against Alabama for tomorrow. Tennessee also needs to take care of Arkansas (who already beat them earlier in the year) in order to avoid being talked about in the same breath as Virginia Tech's and Michigan State on the bubble.
A few weeks ago, it looked like there would be no bubble battles in the Pac-10 tourney. Since then, the bubble has gotten even softer and USC won five of six down the stretch to finish above .500 in conference. Washington State also picked up wins over Washington and USC to keep their name in the mix. USC faces off with Cal today (who can also climb onto the bubble with a win), and if the Trojans can pick up the win, they will be in decent shape for a bid. A win over Arizona on Friday would likely lock down their spot. If Washington State is able to take down Washington for the third time this season, that could create an interesting scenario and potentially put Washington in danger.
Elsewhere on the bubble, Colorado will attempt to take down Kansas State for the third time this season and, in the process, solidify their tourney bid. In the MWC, Colorado State faces off against New Mexico in what is an at-large elimination game. In C-USA action, UAB needs to avoid an upset at the hands of East Carolina to stay in the at-large mix. If they do that, we like their chances to go dancing. Memphis, meanwhile, opens up with Southern Miss. The Tigers will need a deep tourney run (probably a trip to the finals) to get at-lare worthy. Fans of bubble teams throughout the country need to root hard against UTEP this week. The Miners are playing the C-USA tourney on their home floor, where they went 16-2 this year, and are looking like the best bid-stealer candidate left out there.
Last Four In
Michigan State, Alabama, Boston College, Colorado
First Four Out
Virginia Tech, Clemson, USC, Missouri State
Next Four Out
Penn State, VCU, Colorado State, Washington State
Big East (11), Big XII (6), Big Ten (6), SEC (6), ACC (4), A-10 (3), MWC (3), Pac-10 (3), Colonial (2), Conference USA (2), WCC (2)
America East - Boston University
ACC - Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Boston College
Atlantic Sun - Belmont
A-10 - Xavier, Temple, Richmond
Big East - Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Louisville, St. John's, Connecticut, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Marquette, Villanova
Big Sky - Northern Colorado
Big South - UNC-Asheville
Big Ten - Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State
Big XII - Kansas, Texas, Kansas State, Texas A&M, Missouri, Colorado
Big West - Long Beach State
Colonial - Old Dominion, George Mason
Conference USA - UTEP, UAB
Horizon - Butler
Ivy - Princeton
MAAC - St. Peter's
MAC - Kent State
MEAC - Bethune-Cookman
MVC - Indiana State
MWC - BYU, San Diego State, UNLV
Northeast - Long Island
Ohio Valley - Morehead State
Pac-10 - Arizona, UCLA, Washington
Patriot - Bucknell
SEC - Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama
Southern - Wofford
Southland - McNeese State
Summit - Oakland
Sun Belt - Arkansas-Little Rock
SWAC - Texas Southern
WAC - Utah State
WCC - Gonzaga, St. Mary's
Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame
Duke, BYU, Syracuse, Purdue
North Carolina, San Diego State, Florida, Texas
Louisville, Wisconsin, St. John's, Kentucky
Connecticut, Xavier, Arizona, Kansas State
West Virginia, Cincinnati, Temple, Texas A&M
Georgetown, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Old Dominion
UNLV, Missouri, Utah State, George Mason
Illinois, Florida State, Tennessee, Marquette
Villanova, Gonzaga, Butler, Washington
Richmond, Michigan, Georgia, St. Mary's
UAB, Michigan State vs. Alabama (FF), Boston College vs. Colorado (FF), UTEP
Belmont, Princeton, Oakland, Kent State
Bucknell, Indiana State, St. Peter's, Wofford
Morehead State, Long Beach State, Long Island, Northern Colorado
Boston University, UNC-Asheville, McNeese State vs. Texas Southern (FF), Bethune-Cookman vs. Arkansas-Little Rock (FF)
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)
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