We’re less than 24 hours to the most beautiful time of the year and everyone is excited about it (except Vanderbilt probably).
Selection Sunday starts tomorrow at 6pm ET, but before that we have a lot to work out – like who will be the No. 1 overall seed and where they will play. No. 1 overall will dictate where everyone else goes, and a lot can happen on Championship Sunday when conference tournament titles are awarded in the SEC, Big 12 and AAC, among others.
A lot can happen by the time the bracket changes from pin to pin. But for now, these are Saturday’s winners and losers. Kansas may falter for a while after failing to show up against the Longhorns, but a run to the Final Four will make everyone feel better and forget about that accomplishment.
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With a 72-61 win over Missouri in the semifinals of the SEC tournament, the No. 5 Tide remains in contention for the No. 1 overall seed. That becomes even more likely with a win over Texas A&M in Sunday’s SEC Finals, but given their No. 2 rankings on the NET – only Houston is ahead of Alabama on the NET – they’re basically a ban for the South 1 seed anyway, What Tide Means Fans only have to drive six hours to Louisville (that’s a short drive considering the potential reward). Status: Almost certainly a #1 seed
A 69-48 win over Cincinnati in the AAC semifinals has put Houston in a great position to be a 1 seed when the selection committee splits the final round tomorrow. The Cougars are likely frustrated that they won’t get the Kansas City Regional, but if they mind business they can play for a national championship in front of a friendly home crowd. Life is about compromises. Status: Competing for #1 overall seed
The Aggies are on a great run, having won 10 of their last 11, most recently an 87-75 win over Vanderbilt in the other SEC semifinal (and it wasn’t as close as the result might suggest). Don’t be surprised if TAMU beats Alabama in Sunday’s SEC Championship. If that happens, Alabama will still be a 1-seed, but Houston, another 1-seed, would likely take over the south region and push Alabama east. Status: Move up the seed line
The Bison won a crazy game in the final 23 seconds and earned their first NCAA tournament bid in 31 years, the last time Howard also won the regular-season championship. Only one player, Jelani Williams, posted a double-digit result (20 points), but it was just enough as Howard defeated Norfolk State 65-64. State: dancing
The Jayhawks had a great opportunity to win the No. 1 overall seed and instead laid a big egg against No. 7 Texas and were drilled 76-56. What does this mean for your sowing? Kansas is almost certainly still No. 1 — KU plays in the top league in the country and has No. 6 on the NET ranking — but losing the No. 1 overall means the Jayhawks likely won’t be in Kansas City, that certainly her choice would be. Status: No. 1 seed, but questionable which region
The Commodores’ bubble almost certainly burst after losing to Texas A&M in the SEC semifinals in a game that at times looked clearly overwhelmed. The loss, coupled with a NET ranking in the 80s (yikes), almost certainly means Vanderbilt is heading into the NIT with a 20-14 season record. Status: First four out
The Spartans lost a heartthrob in one of Saturday’s first few games, and with it an automatic bid for the NCAA tournament. Playing to 64-60 with 23.7 seconds unraveled everything. Howard’s Marcus Dockery hit a 3 – his first in six tries – to put the Bison on one, and then Norfolk State threw the ball away on the ensuing possession with 13.2 left. Howard responded by driving, being fouled and hitting both foul shots. Howard deserves credit for playing under pressure, but it was a tough end for Norfolk State. Status: No participation in selection Sunday
Follow Lindsay Schnell on Twitter @Lindsay_Quick