I. Bracket Update: 3/08
I have made a few changes to today's bracket.
1. The more I think about it, the more I fear for Creighton. I left them out today in favor of Florida State. I reserve the right to change my mind...again.
2. Also, I think Michigan is playing for their bid against Minnesota tomorrow.
3. Syracuse just posted a must-win over Cincinnati. This at least makes the 'Cuse viable again. They probably need another one, though.
4. This is so painful, but I left out George Mason because of PG Tony Skinn's suspension. They were Bubble already, and this pushed them over to the bad side.
5. North Carolina moves up to a 2 and Gonzaga falls to a 3. Zags simply do not have the quality wins to hold onto a 2 this season.
6. Moved IN: Florida State and Cal. Dropped OUT: Creighton and George Mason. The Bears are ahead of Arizona and the committee does not like to skip over teams in the conference standings. Cal cannot afford an upset in the Pac-10 Tourney, though.
Multi-Bid Conference Breakdown
Big East (8): UConn, Villanova, Pitt, West Virginia, Georgetown, Marquette, Cincinnati, Seton Hall
Big Ten (7): Ohio State, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan
SEC (6): LSU, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky
MVC (5): Southern Illinois, Wichita State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Bradley
ACC (4): Duke, North Carolina, Boston College, NC State
Pac-10 (4): UCLA, Washington, Arizona, California
Big 12 (4): Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M
CUSA (2): Memphis, UAB
Colonial (3): UNC-Wilmington, Hofstra
Last Four IN: Michigan, Hofstra, Florida State, California
First Four OUT: Creighton, Syracuse, Air Force, George Mason
On the Board: Colorado, Maryland, Utah State, Houston, Vanderbilt
II. South Alabama Speeds Past WKU, 95-70
From the under-12 timeout in the first half, this game was over. South Alabama used a superior game plan, superior speed, and scrappy, in-your-face defense to fluster WKU on both ends of floor. The Jags steadily built a whopping 19-point half-time lead with blistering three-point shooting and slick cuts into the paint. Western KY never got rolling on offense and looked lead-footed on defense for the entire game. The Jags saw ten players play double-digit minutes as they cruised home in the second half.
WKU guard and Sun Belt POY Anthony Winchester shot 6-21 from the field including 2-11 from 3-pt range...and the rest of the team followed suit. In fact, the stats were eerily reminiscent of the Troy debacle where the Toppers went 5-38 from long range. Last night, they went 6-32. It is not often that a team gets up 16 more shots than its opponent and loses by 25, but WKU did just that last night. The Jags strolled to victory behind 62% shooting as a team. Congratulations to USA who clearly proved that the best team from the Sun Belt will be going to the NCAA tourney.
III. Here is today's updated One Stop Shop. Lockbox or Bracket update coming later if I can find time. Thanks for emailing with corrections. Keep 'em coming if you see them.
IV. Today/Tonight's GOI
--Big Sky Championship Game: Northern Arizona vs. Montana
--Northeast Championship Game: Monmouth at Fairleigh Dickinson
--Big West Semifinals
--Atlantic 10 1st Round
--Big East 1st Round
--CUSA 1st Round
--Mid-Eastern 1st Round/Quarters
--Pac 10 1st Round