The college basketball regular season officially wrapped up on Sunday and we’re officially on the fast track to Selection Sunday in just under a week. Yesterday’s games had some major bracketology implications, with some teams already receiving automatic bids through conference tournament wins and cementing their spot in the tournament, and others wavering on the bubble with close finishes against conference opponents. Let’s take a look at how Sunday’s games affected bracketology projections for the week ahead of Selection Sunday.
Key games for bracketology on March 5
Houston 67, Memphis 65
Memphis came up just short for the second time this season in a heartbreaker. Houston pulled off a textbook buzzer beater to survive and remain a No. 1 seed, and this loss shouldn’t drop Memphis by much, if at all. The Tigers have proven that they can hang right alongside a top team. They are currently projected to grab a No. 9 seed in the tournament, and a deep run in the AAC championship could boost that further.
Northwestern 65, Rutgers 53
Northwestern found themselves in an interesting situation in a very tight Big Ten race yesterday. If the Wildcats won, they would get a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. If they lost, they’d be sent to No. 9. Well, they pulled off a big win over Rutgers, and the Wildcats are projected to grab a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. A high Big Ten seed will help them make a statement during conference tournament week. Rutgers now finds themselves on the bubble as one of the Last Four Byes, and are projected to get an 11-seed play-in game.
Indiana 75, Michigan 73
Michigan found themselves on the bubble ahead of this game, and while a close loss against a highly-ranked team is hardly a death knell, the Wolverines are on a precipice heading into the Big Ten tournament. As one of ESPN’s Next Four Out and CBS’s Last Four in with a First Four berth, they have an uphill battle to fight this week to make it into the other side of the bubble come Sunday.
Drake 77, Bradley 51
With quite the statement win over the Missouri Valley Conference’s No. 1 seed, Drake is headed to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs are currently projected to grab a No. 12 seed.
Other automatic bids from March 5: Kennesaw State beat Liberty, 67-66, to get an automatic bid from the Atlantic Sun conference. UNC Asheville beat Campbell, 77-73, for an auto-bid from the Big South.