How the seeds will line up in each of the four regions come Selection Sunday, March 15
How the seeds will line up in each of the four regions come Selection Sunday, March 15|Bob Vetrone Jr.
NCAAB

NCAA Tournament Countdown - The Road From 353 to 68 . . . (201)

Bob Vetrone

Bob Vetrone

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11 (1 a.m.)

> TEAMS WITH NCAA TITLE HOPES − 201

> Teams With Automatic Bids (12): Belmont, Bradley, East Tennessee St., Gonzaga, Hofstra, Liberty, North Dakota St., Northern Kentucky, Robert Morris, Utah St., Winthrop, Yale

> Teams Alive for 20 Remaining Automatic Bids (185)

> Teams in At-Large Pool (4): Brigham Young, Northern Iowa, Saint Mary’s, San Diego St.

By canceling its Conference Tournament, the Ivy League knocked Harvard, Princeton and Penn from NCAA participation.

Those conference tournaments underway that knocked out teams Tuesday (AL denotes At-Large Consideration):

> America East – Stony Brook, UMBC

> ACC – Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

> CAA – Northeastern

> Horizon – Illinois-Chicago

> MAAC – Canisius, Fairfield, Marist

> MEAC – Maryland-Eastern Shore, South Carolina St.

> NEC – St. Francis (Pa.)

> SWAC ­– Alabama A&M, Alabama St., Alcorn St., Grambling

> Summit – North Dakota

> WCC – Saint Mary’s (AL)

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TUESDAY, MARCH 10 (8 a.m.)

> TEAMS WITH NCAA TITLE HOPES − 221

> Teams With Automatic Bids (6): Belmont, Bradley, East Tennessee St., Liberty, Utah St., Winthrop

> Teams Alive for Remaining Automatic Bids (212)

> Teams in At-Large Pool (3): Brigham Young, Northern Iowa, San Diego St.

Those conference tournaments underway that knocked out teams Monday (AL denotes At-Large Consideration):

> Colonial Athletic Conference – Delaware, Elon

> Horizon League – Green Bay, Wright St.

> Middle Atlantic Conference – Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan

> Southern Conference – Wofford

> Summit League – IPFW, Oral Roberts

> Sun Belt Conference – Coastal Carolina, Louisiana

> West Coast Conference – Brigham Young (AL), San Francisco

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MONDAY, MARCH 9 (12:01 a.m.)

> TEAMS WITH NCAA TITLE HOPES − 235

> Teams With Automatic Bids (5): Belmont, Bradley, Liberty, Utah St., Winthrop

> Teams Alive for Remaining Automatic Bids (228)

> Teams in At-Large Pool (2): Northern Iowa, San Diego St.

Those conference tournaments underway that knocked out teams Sunday (AL denotes At-Large Consideration):

> Atlantic Sun – Lipscomb

> Big South – Hampton

> Colonial Athletic Association – Charleston, Drexel, Towson, William & Mary

> Missouri Valley Conference – Valparaiso

> Patriot League – Bucknell, Lafayette

> Southern Conference – Chattanooga, Western Carolina

> Summit League – Omaha, South Dakota

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SUNDAY, MARCH 8 (2 a.m.)

> TEAMS WITH NCAA TITLE HOPES − 248

> Teams With Automatic Bids (2): Belmont, Utah St.

> Teams Alive for Remaining Automatic Bids (244)

> Teams in At-Large Pool (2): Northern Iowa, San Diego St.

> Utah St. (Mountain West) and Belmont (Ohio Valley Conference) earned the first two automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments.

> Penn’s victory knocked Brown from Ivy League contention and finalized that league’s tournament field . . . Cal Poly lost its finale and became the one Big West school to not qualify for its tourney.

Those conference tournaments underway that knocked out teams Saturday (AL denotes At-Large Consideration):

> America East – Albany, Maine, New Hampshire, Umass-Lowell

> Colonial Athletic Association – James Madison, UNCW

> Missouri Valley Conference – Drake, Missouri St.,

> Mountain West – San Diego St. (AL)

> Northeast Conference – LIU, Sacred Heart

> Ohio Valley Conference – Murray St.

> Southern Conference – Furman, Mercer, UNC Greensboro, VMI

> Summit League – Denver, South Dakota St.

> Sun Belt – Arkansas St., Texas-Arlington

> West Coast Conference – Pacific, Pepperdine

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SATURDAY, MARCH 7 (2 a.m.)

> TEAMS WITH NCAA TITLE HOPES − 269MONDAY, MARCH 9 (12:01 a.m.)

> TEAMS WITH NCAA TITLE HOPES − 235

> Teams With Automatic Bids (5): Belmont, Bradley, Liberty, Utah St., Winthrop

> Teams Alive for Remaining Automatic Bids (228)

> Teams in At-Large Pool (2): Northern Iowa, San Diego St.

Those conference tournaments underway that knocked out teams Sunday (AL denotes At-Large Consideration):

> Atlantic Sun – Lipscomb

> Big South – Hampton

> Colonial Athletic Association – Charleston, Drexel, Towson, William & Mary

> Missouri Valley Conference – Valparaiso

> Patriot League – Bucknell, Lafayette

> Southern Conference – Chattanooga, Western Carolina

> Summit League – Omaha, South Dakota

● ● ●

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (268)

> Teams in At-Large Pool (1): Northern Iowa

> Dartmouth’s loss dropped them out of contention for a spot in the Ivy League Tournament. That will go to Penn or Brown following Saturday’s regular season finales.

Those conference tournaments underway that knocked out teams Friday (AL denotes At-Large Consideration):

> Big South – Gardner-Webb, Radford

> Missouri Valley – Indiana St., Loyola Chicago, Northern Iowa (AL), Southern Illinois

> Mountain West – Boise St., Wyoming

> Ohio Valley Conference – Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky

> Southern Conference – Samford, The Citadel

> West Coast Conference – Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara

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FRIDAY, MARCH 6 (2 a.m.)

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (283)

Twenty-four teams went by the wayside Thursday . . .

> With one day remaining in the regular season, the SWAC now knows which eight of its 10 teams will make their conference tourney. Out are Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Mississippi Valley State.

FYI, that leaves just two leagues whose conference tourney fields are not complete. The Ivy League (playing Friday/Saturday), which has three teams vying for the fourth and final spot in its event . . . and the Big West, which will see either CS-Fullerton or Cal Poly not make its field after Saturday’s season finales.

Those conference tournaments underway that knocked out teams Thursday (none of whom which would be considered for NCAA At-Large bids):

> Atlantic Sun – North Florida, Stetson

> Big South – Charleston Southern, Longwood, UNC Asheville, USC Upstate

> Horizon – Oakland, Youngstown St.

> Missouri Valley – Evansville, Illinois St.

> Mountain West – Air Force, Nevada, New Mexico, UNLV

> Ohio Valley – Eastern Illinois, Tennessee St.

> Patriot League – American, Army, Lehigh, Navy

> West Coast Conferece – Portland, San Diego

● ● ●

THURSDAY, MARCH 5 (1 a.m.)

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (307)

> Southern Mississippi lost to Rice, 72-57, and became the second non-qualifier for the Conference USA Tournament. That leaves 12 of the 14 to vye for the conference crown.

Three more conference tournaments kicked off Wednesday, and below are those that will not be making the NCAAs. Tip of the cap to St. Francis Brooklyn, which misses a last-second shot that would have upset top-seed Robert Morris in the Northeast Conference.

> Mountain West –

Air Force

New Mexico

Wyoming

> Northeast Conference –

St. Francis Brooklyn

Bryant

Mount St. Mary’s

Fairleigh Dickinson

> Ohio Valley Conference –

Morehead State

Jacksonville State

● ● ●

TUESDAY, MARCH 3 (11 p.m.)

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (317)

Conference tournaments have begun, and along with them come the multiple eliminations from NCAA Tournament contention.

Four conferences kicked off Tuesday with 12 games. All were home games for higher seeds, which went 12-0.

The following lower seeds are going home:

> Atlantic Sun –

Florida Gulf Coast

Jacksonville

New Jersey Tech

North Alabama

> Big South –

Campbell

High Point

Presbyterian

> Horizon League –

Cleveland St.

IUPUI

Milwaukee

> Patriot League –

Holy Cross

Loyola (Md.)

● ● ●

SUNDAY, MARCH 1 (10 p.m.)

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (329)

> Middle Tennessee State fell to Rice, 77-66, on Sunday, dropping to 3-13 in Conference USA play and will not be one of the 12 teams to reach the C-USA tourney. One other school in the 14-team league will fail to qualify as the regular season concludes March 4 and 7.

Earlier in the weekend . . .

> Binghamton became the one America East team to not qualify for the conference tournament when the Bearcats dropped a decision to New Hampshire. At 4-12, Binghamton could still tie Maine (4-11) for the final slot, but Maine won both regular season meetings and owns the tie-breaker.

> Cornell was the second team knocked from the Ivy League race. Penn Brown and Dartmouth are vying for the fourth slot in the tourney. Yale, Harvard and Princeton are in.

> Tennessee Tech lost to Jacksonville to finish ninth in the Ohio Valley Conference, where eight of the 12 teams qualified for the tourney.

> Incarnate Word fell to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and can now finish no higher than ninth in the Southland, which sends eight to its tournament.

> Denver topped Western Illinois in a showdown for the eighth and final spot in the Summit League tournament.

> And Troy was officially eliminated from the 10-team Sun Belt Tournament with a loss to South Alabama.

● ● ●

FRIDAY, FEB. 28 (1 a.m.)

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (336)

Despite what we wrote here yesterday, Troy remains alive for a Sun Belt Conference slot. The Trojans (5-13) can still overtake Coastal Carolina (7-11), over whom they currently own a tie-breaker. Our late-night apologies to them.

Elsewhere in the Sun Belt, Louisiana-Monroe dropped a 79-63 decision to Arkansas-Little Rock, and at 5-14 is out of the running for a spot.

Despite a 22-5 run in the second half, Wagner fell to LIU Brooklyn to see their Northeast Conference Tournament hopes die. With regular-season champion Merrimack ineligible and Central Connecticut State and Wagner out, the eight teams for the NEC tournament are set, although some seeding changes could occur with Saturday’s regular season finales.

● ● ●

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26 (11 p.m.)

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (337)

The Southland Conference has 13 teams but only eight will qualify for the conference tournament. The first three of the five who will not qualify were determined Wednesday.

With losses, neither Southeastern Louisiana, Houston Baptist nor New Orleans can win more than seven Southland games. Since eight teams have already reached the eight-win mark, they are all out.

Elsewhere, Louisiana defeated Arkansas State to get to 7-11 in the Sun Belt (where eight of the 10 teams qualify), knocking Troy (5-13) out of any chance at a tournament slot. Louisiana beat the Trojans twice during the season and own the tie-breaker.

Louisiana-Monroe is also 5-13 in the Sun Belt, but remains alive because it currently owns a tie-breaker over Louisiana. The two teams have split their match-up, but Monroe has a win over the current top seed Arkansas-Little Rock.

● ● ●

SUNDAY, FEB. 23 (2 a.m.)

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (341)

Four teams (of 12) will miss the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament . . . and we now know three of them.

SIU-Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri State and Tennessee-Martin each lost Saturday night and can not finish in the top 8 of the conference.

● ● ●

SATURDAY, FEB. 22 (12 a.m.)

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (344)

Central Connecticut State let a six-point halftime lead disappear and the Blue Devils’ 68-56 loss left them at 3-13 in Northeast Conference play, and a finish no higher than ninth for a league with an eight-team tournament.

Columbia also had a halftime lead (35-30) but fell to visiting Brown and saw its Ivy League record drop to 1-8 with five games remaining. Since there are already four teams (the size of the conference field) with six wins and they all will be playing each other for the next 2½ weeks, the fourth-place finisher will no doubt finish with more than six wins.

● ● ●

FRIDAY, FEB. 21 (3 a.m.)

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (346)

Kennesaw State became the first eligible team eliminated from 2020 NCAA Tournament consideration when the Owls fell to 0-13 in Atlantic Sun play with a loss to North Alabama, clinching a ninth-place finish in a league that sends eight to its conference tourney.

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TUESDAY, FEB. 18 (3 p.m.)

> Teams Alive for Automatic Bids (347)

You have your version of Bracketology . . . We have ours.

Ours is concerned with the teams that are still alive for slots in the tournament, either by (A) an automatic berth via their league championship or (B) a legitimate at-large selection once they are eliminated from gaining that automatic bid.

We start with the entire lot of 353 Men’s Division I Basketball Participants and follow as they get knocked out of contention chronologically.

First off, there are six teams ineligible for the NCAA Tournament:

> Cal Baptist (transition)

> Detroit Mercy (penalty)

> Florida A&M (penalty)

> Georgia Tech (penalty)

> Merrimack (transition)

> North Alabama (transition).

That leaves 347 teams, all eligible and still in contention for their conference title. In fact, the first actual elimination may be just hours away . . .

For the record, Detroit Mercy (Horizon) and North Alabama (Atlantic Sun) are eligible for their conference tournament, but would not receive a bid if they win it.

For updates and more information, follow #2020NCAACountdown on Twitter as well as @ChrisDobbertean whose Conference Tournament Central 2020 Page on his Blogging the Bracket Website is the place I will be spending the most time between now and Selection Sunday.

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