by Jon Pence
We are one just a few days from Selection Sunday and the automatic bids are beginning to fall into place. Let’s take a quick look at the teams that have already clinched a spot.
Atlantic Sun: Lipscomb
Big South: Radford
Big Ten: Michigan
Colonial: College of Charleston
Horizon: Wright State
Missouri Valley: Loyola-Chicago
Northeast: LIU Brooklyn
Ohio Valley: Murray State
Southern: UNC Greensboro
Summit: South Dakota State
The biggest change in today’s bracket is the inclusion of Notre Dame and the Irish will likely be a big storyline on Selection Sunday. The Irish lost star forward, Bonzie Colson on January 2nd, and played nearly the entire ACC conference schedule without him. Colson returned on senior night and the Irish have played well since his return. Let’s dig deeper into Notre Dame’s season.
News broke of Bonzie Colson’s on January 2nd so let’s take quick a look at the Irish with and without Colson.
- From the start of the season until the injury, Notre Dame went 10-3 with a win in the Maui Classic that included a victory over a Wichita State team that is seeded #4 in today’s bracket.
- The Irish started ACC play on January 3rd with wins over NC State and Syracuse before losing 7 straight. The Irish started to turn things around though and won 4 of their next 6. Overall, Notre Dame went a respectable 7-9 without Colson including victories over NC State and FSU (both in today’s bracket).
- Colson returned for senior night against Pitt on February 28th and the Irish won big. More importantly, Notre Dame went to Virginia on the following Saturday and gave the #1 overall seed in today’s bracket a tough game before losing 62-57. In the ACC Tournament, the Irish opened with a “too close for comfort” win over Pitt, followed by a comeback win over Virginia Tech (another team in today’s bracket). Three games proved to be too much though as Duke eliminated the Irish on Thursday night.
- Notre Dame went 13-5 with wins over Wichita State, Virginia Tech but with ugly losses to Indiana and Ball State
- Notre Dame with 7-9 with wins over NC State and FSU and an ugly 7 game losing streak. It is worth noting the Irish played several games without Matt Farrell as well.
Bottom line: If we don’t see any at-large bids stolen, the Irish are one of the top 25 teams in the country with Colson and should find themselves in the tournament.
Check out today’s bracket below.
Final Four: East vs West & Midwest vs South
ALL CAPS/conference indicates an automatic bid
(1) VIRGINIA/ACC vs. (16) LIU BROOKLYN/Northeast
(8) Missouri vs. (9) Butler
(5) GONZAGA/WCC vs. (12) UL LAFAYETTE/Sun Belt
(4) Texas Tech vs. (13) MURRAY STATE/Ohio Valley
(3) MICHIGAN/Big Ten vs. (14) SFA/Southland
(6) Florida vs. (11) Arizona State/Louisville
(7) Texas A&M vs. (10) FSU
(2) CINCINNATI/AAC vs. (15) PENN/Ivy League
(1) KANSAS/Big 12 vs. (16) IONA/MAAC/PRAIRIE VIEW/SWAC
(8) RHODE ISLAND/Atlantic 10 vs. (9) NC State
(5) Clemson vs. (12) NEW MEXICO STATE/WAC
(4) ARIZONA/Pac-12 vs. (13) BUFFALO/Mid-American
(3) Michigan State vs. (14) UNC GREENSBORO/Southern
(6) Miami vs. (11) UCLA
(7) NEVADA/Mountain West vs. (10) Oklahoma
(2) Xavier vs. (15) WRIGHT STATE/Horizon
(1) VILLANOVA/Big East vs. (16) LIPSCOMB/Atlantic Sun/BETHUNE-COOKMAN/MEAC
(8) Virginia Tech vs. (9) St. Bonaventure
(5) Kentucky vs. (12) LOYOLA-CHICAGO/Missouri Valley
(4) West Virginia vs. (13) VERMONT/America East
(3) AUBURN/SEC vs. (14) MONTANA/Big Sky
(6) TCU vs. (11) Saint Mary’s/Notre Dame
(7) Seton Hall vs. (10) Texas
(2) UNC vs. (15) UC SANTA BARBARA/Big West
(1) Duke vs. (16) RADFORD/Big South
(8) Creighton vs. (9) USC
(5) Ohio State vs. (12) OLD DOMINION/Conference USA
(4) Wichita State vs. (13) SOUTH DAKOTA STATE/Summit
(3) Tennessee vs. (14) BUCKNELL/Patriot League
(6) Houston vs. (11) Providence
(7) Arkansas vs. (10) Kansas State
(2) Purdue vs. (15) COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON/Colonial
Last Four In
First Four Out
Next Four Out
Multiple Bid Conferences
Here’s where the fun begins and where we set the Sports Channel 8 bracketology apart from everyone else. You can simulate the bracket above using NCAAGameSim.com. Enjoy!