The 2021 NCAA Tournament is just around the corner, and we are now one week away from Selection Sunday. The men’s college basketball regular season wraps up today, which means Championship Week kicks off on Monday. It starts small, but by mid-week, every major conference will be in action and quite a few smaller conferences will have determined their champion.
Sunday has some big matchups left to settle conference tournament brackets, but Saturday was the last huge day of the regular season. Late Saturday, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi unveiled his latest 2021 NCAA men’s tournament bracket to reflect what was another wild day.
Arguably the biggest upset saw Navy knocked off in the Patriot League tournament. The Midshipmen won the regular season title but were stunned by Loyola in the quarterfinals and are at best going to the NIT. There were also plenty of notable games among ranked opponents. No. 17 Oklahoma State beat No. 6 West Virginia, unranked Providence beat No. 10 Villanova, and unranked Notre Dame beat No. 11 Florida State.
Nothing changed on the top line, with Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, and Michigan all but settled for the four No. 1 seeds. Everything else from there could be up for grabs over the course of Championship Week. Lunardi’s current last four in are Michigan State, Colorado State, Boise State, and Xavier. His first four out are Utah State, Saint Louis, Seton Hall, and Syracuse, and his next four out are Memphis, SMU, Mississippi, and St. John’s.
From that group of 12 teams hanging around, Saint Louis has seen their season come to a close in the Atlantic-10 tournament. A semifinal loss to No. 1 seed St. Bonaventure could be the end of their NCAA Tournament hopes. They rank 44th in NET and 48th in the KenPom Ratings, which puts them firmly on the bubble and hoping we don’t see upsets during Championship Week.
The rest all remain alive with a chance to improve their case or outright punch their ticket with a run through their respective conference tournaments. Most of those 12 would likely be out with an opening game loss, but two or more wins could turn the tide.