For the conferences that have concluded their tournaments, some teams moved down while others kept their position on the bubble. Here’s how it looks heading into the final weekend before March Madness:
Miami: Last 4 Bye ↓ Last 4 In
Syracuse: Last 4 In ↓ Next 4 Out
Illinois: Last 4 Bye ↔ Last 4 Byes
Purdue: Last 4 Bye ↓ Last 4 In
Nebraska: First 4 Out ↓ Next 4 Out
Oregon: First 4 Out ↔ First 4 Out
Washington: Next 4 Out ↔ Next 4 Out
Alabama: ↓ Last 4 Byes
Mississippi State: ↓ Last 4 Byes
Arkansas: First 4 Out ↔ First 4 Out
Missouri: Next 4 Out ↓ (Off the Bubble)
Marquette: Last 4 In ↔ Last 4 In
St. John’s: Last 4 In ↓ First 4 Out
Conference championships concluding this weekend
As we enter into the last weekend of conference championships, 14 women’s teams will earn their automatic bid into March Madness.
Nine games will happen on Saturday:
MAC (11:00am ET) Winner #1 Toledo/#4 Kent State vs Winner #2 Bowling Green/#3 Ball State
SWAC (1:00pm ET) Winner #3 Alabama St/#7 AR-Pine Bluff vs Winner #1 Jackson St/#4 Southern U
MAAC (3:30pm ET) Winner #1 Iona/#4 Siena vs Winner #2 Niagara/#6 Manhattan
MEAC (4:00pm ET) Winner #1 Norfolk St/#4 NC Central vs Winner #3 Howard / #7 UMES
Ivy (5:00pm ET) Winner #1 Princeton/#4 Penn vs Winner #2 Columbia/#3 Harvard
C-USA (5:30pm ET) Winner #1 Middle Tenn/#4 UTEP vs Winner #2 Western KY/#6 UTSA
Big West (6:00pm ET) Winner #5 UCSB/#9 CSUB vs Winner #2 Long Beach St/#3 Hawaii
WAC (6:30pm ET) Winner #1 SFA/#4 Cal Baptist vs Winner #2 Southern Utah/#3 Grand Canyon
ASUN (7:00pm ET) #2 Liberty vs #1 FGCU
Another day, another two 🎟️ punched!
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessWBB) March 10, 2023
The remaining five conferences will finish up on Sunday before the Selection Show:
Patriot (TBD) #2 Holy Cross vs #1 Boston U
NEC (12pm est) #2 Sacred Heart vs #1 FCU
MVC, CAA, & Big12 (2:00pm ET)
So… what on earth should I watch?
With both the men’s and women’s tournaments wrapping up, where should you be focused? Here’s are four key championships to watch this weekend.
Fans of Bubble teams listed above! Watch one (or both) of these championships: ASUN and/or C-USA. They are each one-bid conferences but, if someone other than their top ranked team wins it, these teams are good enough to get an at-large bid (stealing one from a bubble team!).
ASUN or C-USA
ASUN’s Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU) Eagles received votes to be in the AP’s Top 25 and are the #1 seed in this conference. If they don’t win the championship when they match up against the Liberty Flames on Saturday, they’ll still get a bid.
Middle Tennessee is ranked #24 in the AP’s Top 25 and won the C-USA conference regular season title. If they don’t win their tournament, they’ll still get in. They matchup against UTEP Friday evening (5:30pm est) in the semi-finals.
Ivy or Big12
Fans with Bubble teams in the Ivy or Big12 will want to tune into their conference championship game this weekend.
Columbia was the regular season Ivy League winner (23-4; 12-2), although Princeton received the #1 seed in their conference tournament and are considered a Last 4 In team. Columbia matches up against Harvard, Friday night (7:00pm ET) after a Princeton vs Penn matchup earlier that day (4:30pm ET).
The Big12 is expected to send around six teams to March Madness. Four teams were voted into or had votes for the AP’s Top 25, which leaves two remaining spots. The teams on the bubble include Kansas (Last 4 Byes), who was upset Thursday by TCU (57-52). Had Kansas won, they would have had to play #2 Oklahoma (#16 overall) Friday (6:00pm ET).
— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) March 10, 2023
Kansas State is a bubble team (Next 4 Out) who also had to play Thursday but they beat Texas Tech (79-69). Friday afternoon (2:30pm ET) they play against Texas, the #1 seed in the conference tournament and #12 overall.
The last bubble team is West Virginia (First 4 Out) who didn’t have to play Thursday due to a first round bye. Friday around lunch (12:00pm ET) West Virginia will matchup against Oklahoma State.
Here’s the reality: Whether you’re a bubble team or lower in your conference, winning the championship is the easiest way to guarantee yourself a spot to go dancing.
The Playbook is powered by Genius Sports, the official data collection partner of the NCAA, via the NCAA LiveStats tool.