Unfortunately for Arkansas, it had to face No. 1 South Carolina in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals and got blown out. The Razorbacks move onto the bubble as one of the last four byes. Idle South Dakota also fell to the last four byes and joins Missouri State and Washington State, who remain there. The Lady Bears still have another regular season game and then the MVC Tournament to improve their resume with, while the Cougars have to sit tight until Selection Sunday.
Two of the last four in, Florida State and Northwestern, ended their conference tournament runs with losses in the quarterfinals. They too will have to sit tight, while fellow last four in team Gonzaga still has a chance to advance in the WCC Tournament. If the Zags upset No. 17 BYU in the championship round, they will get an automatic bid and will probably get a bye as well because of the quality win.
First four out teams Villanova and DePaul begin the Big East Tournament today and DePaul has No. 7 UConn on its side of the bracket, though upsetting the Huskies will be a tall task now that Paige Bueckers is back. Of course, winning the Big East Tournament would mean an automatic bid, but could either the Wildcats or Blue Demons make it to the Big Dance just by getting to the final?
If it’s all chalk, DePaul will meet UConn in the semis and Villanova will meet projected No. 8 seed Creighton. A win over UConn should move DePaul into the field. Would a win over Creighton be enough to move Villanova past idle Boston College (first team out), Northwestern (last team in) and Florida State? Of course, things can also be affected by top-seeded teams who are not at-large candidates failing to win their conference tournament.
A-10 teams UMass (first four out) and Rhode Island (next four out) went in opposite directions Friday. The Minutewomen just barely edged Fordham to keep their automatic and slim at-large hopes alive. Meanwhile, the Rams lost to St. Joe’s, likely ending their tournament hopes. Dayton is currently the A-10’s automatic representative in ESPN’s bracketology.
Alabama (next four out) couldn't keep its Cinderella run in the SEC Tournament alive, falling to a Tennessee team that it split the regular-season series with.