The bid thieves were out in force last night, and they’ve moved one conference champion to the outside looking on the field of 68 for the 2021 NCAA Tournament according to Joe Lunardi of ESPN.
The Georgetown Hoyas paved the Creighton Bluejays 73-48 to win the Big East Tournament for the first time since 2007. Since Georgetown had zero chance to make the field without an automatic bid, they took away a spot from an at-large team on the bubble, as Creighton will hear their named called today somewhere around a 5-6 seed.
The same thing happened on the west coast, as Oregon State blew through the Pac-12 Tournament and knocked off the USC Trojans 70-68 in the final to get their dance card. It took another bubble spot from an at-large, and according to Lunardi that team is the Wichita State Shockers of the American Conference.
Wichita was the regular season champion of the AAC, but lost 60-59 to Cincinnati in Saturday’s semifinal to put their March in jeopardy. The irony is that if Cincinnati defeats Houston today in the AAC final, that would be yet another stolen bid from a bubble team. The Bearcats are just 12-10 this season with a KenPom ranking of 110: They won’t even make the NIT without a win today, whereas Houston’s 23-3 record has them No. 6 in KenPom, and likely a two-seed from the NCAA Selection Committee with a win today.
Here are the latest projections from Joe Lunardi of the 16 teams on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament:
Last Four Byes
- Michigan State
Last Four In (First Four Participants)
- Utah State
First Four Out
- Wichita State
- Saint Louis
- Colorado State
Next Four Out
- Western Kentucky
- Boise State
Key games today:
No. 5-seed Cincinnati vs. No 2-seed Houston: American Conference Championship, 3:15 p.m. ESPN
That’s basically it. If you’re on the bubble, you’re rooting for the Cougars. If you’re from Southern Ohio, or are just into chaos, you’re pulling for the Bearcats.
And the team that loses their spot will know who cost them, as the four standby schools that will be named to replace potential COVID-19 stricken teams before the NCAA Tournament begins will be placed in order from 1-4. As of now Lunardi has those teams as Wichita State, Saint Louis, Colorado State, and Mississippi, but Utah State would drop Ole Miss from this group with a Cincinnati win today