Where the 2019 NCAA Tournament Field Stands Heading Into the Final Weekend
Only three days remain until Selection Sunday and the field of 68 is getting narrower and narrower, by the day. Here is a quick look at the teams that have already secured automatic bids and bought themselves tickets to the Big Dance.
Murray State Racers (Ohio Valley Champions)
Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs (Big South Champions)
Bradley Braves (Missouri Valley Champions)
Liberty Flames (Atlantic Sun Champions)
Wofford Terriers (Southern Conference Champions)
Iona Gaels (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champions)
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (Northeast Conference Champions)
Northern Kentucky Norse (Horizon League Champions)
Northeastern Huskies (Colonial Athletic Conference Champions)
Saint Mary’s Gaels (West Coast Conference Champions)
North Dakota State Bison (Summit League Champions)
Colgate Raiders (Patriot League Champions)
In term’s of at-large bids, here are the teams that are locks to get in: Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, Baylor, Oklahoma, Marquette, Villanova, Seton Hall, Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington, Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Auburn, Houston, Cincinnati, UCF, Gonzaga, Nevada, Buffalo, Saint Mary’s, Murray State, VCU, Utah State.
Finally, these are the teams firmly on the bubble, praying that their names get called on Selection Sunday.
TCU Horned Frogs: Prior to the Big 12 tournament beginning, TCU must’ve felt good about their tournament chances, but a bad loss to Oklahoma State in the first round has them feeling a little uneasy. Their full season resume should still be good enough to get them in
Ohio State Buckeyes: Last night’s win against Indiana was essentially an ‘elimination game’. With the win, and the return of Kaleb Wesson from suspension, Ohio State should get in.
St. John’s Red Storm: It’s been a disappointing season for the Red Storm. Prior the season, many had them as a lock to get into the NCAA tournament and a sleeper to win the Big East. They’ll still likely sneak in, but it’s crazy how much this team has underachieved.
Temple Owls: The win last week against UCF was huge. Unless they lose tonight against Wichita State, Temple should be safe.
NC State Wolfpack: Speaking of elimination games, the nail-biter win against Clemson two nights ago has kept NC State alive, though they are on thin ice. The ‘real’ bubble starts here.
Florida Gators: Should Florida beat LSU in this afternoon’s SEC quarter final, that should keep them inside the bubble, but a loss would quite possibly mean an end to their NCAA tournament hopes.
Belmont Bruins: Belmont suffered a disappointing loss to Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference finals and are now fully relying on the committee, come Sunday. They don’t necessarily have the resume that some of the aforementioned schools do, because of their conference but let’s show some love to the mid-majors!
Arizona State Sun Devils: The Pac 12 has reached a historic low. It’s almost scary. From being a power-house conference to potentially having only one team represented at the NCAA tournament. A loss tonight against Oregon would likely push Arizona State out of the bubble.
Alabama Crimson Tide: Last night’s win against Ole Miss kept their tournament hopes alive. A win against Kentucky tonight in the quarter’s would all but assure them a spot.
UNC Greensboro Spartans: Like Belmont, as a mid-major, UNC Greensboro is at a disadvantage because of their schedule. They pushed a superior Wofford team to the limit and had a respectable non-conference schedule. I’d personally really like to see them get in.
Creighton Bluejays: The two-point loss to Xavier yesterday really hurts and probably leaves them just short of the tournament field.
Texas Longhorns: The loss last night to Kansas hurt. There aren’t too many teams that have ever got to the big dance with a 16-16 record, but it’s possible
Xavier Muskateers: The win against Creighton helps, but they will need to beat Villanova tonight too if they want a chance of making the field.
Georgetown Hoyas: The future is finally bright again in Georgetown with their star-studded all-freshman backcourt of James Akinjo and Mac McClung. They likely won’t be dancing this year, but look out for them next year.
Oregon Ducks: They definitely need to beat Arizona State tonight and will most likely need to win in the finals too to secure an automatic birth. They’re playing their best basketball of the year.