This is the calm before the storm of the NCAA tournament. Really, it's still the calm before the high major conferences kick off their tournaments. While there are tickets being punched today, there is no fear of bubble resumes being strengthened or of bids being stolen.
Last night, the Terriers of Wofford played their way into the big dance behind 23 points from Karl Cochran. That sewed up the bid from the Southern Conference. Over in the MAAC, Manhattan also earned their chance to briefly appear on the grandest of stages by dropping Iona by three points, 71-68. The last team of the night to earn a bid was Delaware, who overcame a late six point deficit to knock off a William and Mary team that was trying to reach the tournament for the first time. Delaware isn't exactly a regular participant, having last appeared in 1999.
Other results of note were Gonzaga and BYU both advancing to the WCC final. Both are probably in the tournament as of right now, but Chris Dobbertean of SBN has BYU as the last team avoiding Dayton. A loss for the Cougars could drop them off the bubble. It's probably worth cheering against them. The MAC also kicked off last night, and Kent State, the arch rival of my graduate alma mater, choked out in the first round.
Tonight there is another full slate of games, and another night of no one to really cheer heartily against. The SWAC tournament, with it's four teams ineligible for the NCAAs, starts, as does the MEAC. Finals will be played in the Horizon (Milwaukee v. Wright St.), Summit (IPFW v. North Dakota St.), and Northeast (Mount St. Mary's v. Robert Morris), as well as the aforementioned WCC final. None of those (except the WCC) have any chance of impacting the bubble as they are all one bid leagues.
Enjoy a day of watching young men getting a chance to live the dream, because tomorrow the bubble, and with it Xavier's chances, swings back into full action.