I’m not going to lie to you: a lot of reasonable people have given up on Xavier’s tournament chances this year. The Muskies have backed out of every opportunity to control their own fate, and now there’s just scoreboard watching and lighting candles left. The season has come down to its last 30 hours, and there’s only anxiety left.
Anyway, the NCAA still needs to fill 68 slots in the tournament. Games played today will go a long way towards determining who will fill the final few slots on Selection Sunday.
Saint Louis v. Davidson, 1pm, A10 semifinal, CBSSN
Possible bid thief alert here. Davidson is safely in, win or lose. If they fall today or tomorrow, someone less deserving is going to take the A10 auto bid, likely shrinking the bubble by one spot. A two-bid A10 would be death knell for whatever team is currently at the bottom of the bubble.
Indiana v. Iowa, 1pm, Big 10 semifinal, CBS
Indiana has probably punched its ticket by actually winning games in its conference tournament, but it would breathe a lot easier if it took a win in this one. They can’t damage the resume here, as Iowa is a Q1 game, but they sure would be leaving an opportunity on the table. The committee does weird things sometimes; Indiana can rise above that fray if they pinch this one.
Texas A&M v. Arkansas, 1pm, SEC semifinal, ESPN
Basically the same as above but with different team names. Texas A&M is probably a bit further adrift of safety than Indiana, but a win here would - I think - see them safely in.
Richmond v. Dayton, 3:30pm, A10 semifanl, CBSSN
I don’t see it for Dayton, but they’re in on enough brackets in the Bracket Matrix that it bears mention here. Dropping this one would likely see them heading to the NIT.
Memphis v. SMU, 5pm, AAC semifinal, ESPN2
Remember when Memphis was dead and buried? They’re safely in now. SMU is right on the cut line; they probably have the most at stake of any bubble team in action today. If they drop this one, it’s going to be a rough 24 hours for them. Win against the scalding hot Tigers and they’re in.
Virginia Tech v. Duke, 8:30pm, ACC final, ESPN
Did Virginia Tech punch their ticket with a deep run in the ACC tournament? They can remove all doubt if they take this one. Not only would it add another Q1 win to their resume, it would also give them the league’s automatic bid. If they don’t take this one, they’ve got a resume fairly similar to Xavier’s, and we all know how uncomfortable that is.