PROJECTED AUTOMATIC BIDS (31)
ATLANTIC SUN-Central Florida
BIG 12-Oklahoma State
COLONIAL ATHLETIC-Old Dominion
OHIO VALLEY-Eastern Kentucky
ATLANTIC 10-George Washington
PROJECTED AT-LARGE BIDS (34)
St. Mary's (CA)
Last four in:
Wichita State…The Shockers finished second in the solid Missouri Valley Conference ahead of Northern Iowa, and its computer numbers are close to the Panthers. Also went further in the conference tournament then did UNI.
St. Joseph's…We're projecting George Washington to win the Atlantic 10 Tournament this weekend. As a result, we predict the Selection Committee will overlook the Redhawks paltry RPI and SOS and put them in as the regular season champion, which they did for Air Force in a similar situation last year.
N.C. State…Has some solid wins and some bad losses, mainly due to inconsistent play stemming from injuries. However, we project the Wolfpack will play their win in today by upsetting Wake Forest (without Chris Paul) in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. But if they lose their hopes could be dashed.
Indiana…We project the Hoosiers to beat Minnesota today, giving them 11 Big Ten conference victories, a top 20 strength of schedule, and perhaps the final at-large spot in the field. Unbelievable that a team whose best road win is at Michigan is even being considered for a bid.
Last four out:
Northern Iowa…would've been a lock had it beaten SW Missouri State in Missouri Valley Conference Tournament quarterfinals. Solid computer numbers still make them a viable candidate, but leapfrogging the Shockers is tough.
Iowa…Posted several quality wins in their overall body of 20 victories, but sub.500-conference record hurts. Then there is the fact most of the body was compiled with the now defrocked Pierre Pierce on the roster. Beat Michigan State on Friday night – pray Pacific and Vermont don't lose – and then we'll talk.
DePaul…Blew late lead against UAB in Conference USA quarterfinals to complete a late-season skid. Could still get a bid, however, considering how tough it is to distinguish differences between these last few teams.
Davidson…Looking for a Cinderella choice? Could get the sympathy of the Selection Committee despite RPI of 78 because they finished undefeated in their conference's regular season. Putting them here tells you just how anemic the list of final at-large candidates is.
Syracuse Region—1. North Carolina, 2. Kentucky, 3. Washington, 4. Connecticut, 5. Gonzaga, 6. Cincinnati, 7. Iowa State, 8. Creighton, 9. Mississippi State, 10. Vermont, 11. West Virginia, 12. St. Joseph's, 13. Indiana, 14. Old Dominion, 15. Eastern Kentucky, 16. Oakland/Alabama A&M winner.
Chicago Region—1. Illinois, 2. Oklahoma State, 3. Villanova, 4. Alabama, 5. Charlotte, 6. Southern Illinois, 7. Nevada, 8. Georgia Tech, 9. Miami University, 10. Stanford, 11. Minnesota, 12. Texas, 13. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 14. Central Florida, 15. SE Louisiana, 16, Chattanooga,
Austin Region—1. Wake Forest, 2. Louisville, 3. Kansas, 4. Boston College, 5. Wisconsin, 6. LSU, 7. Pittsburgh, 8. Texas Tech, 9. UCLA, 10. UAB, 11. New Mexico, 12. Wichita State, 13. Louisiana-Lafayette, 14. Pennsylvania, 15. Winthrop, 16. Farleigh Dickinson,
Albuquerque Region—1. Arizona, 2. Duke, 3. Oklahoma, 4. Michigan State, 5. Syracuse, 6. Utah, 7. Florida, 8. Pacific, 9. St. Mary's (CA), 10. George Washington, 11. UTEP, 12. N.C. State, 13. Holy Cross, 14. Montana, 15. Niagara, 16. Coppin State.