Wow, what a weekend full of upset surprises.
First, Murray State lost to Belmont in the Ohio Valley final, ruining their perfect conference record, and their chances for an NCAA bid. I will admit some enjoyment in the vindication of my position that many AP voters had no idea what they're doing, as Murray State clearly had no business being ranked. It's funny how they went from the 25th ranked team in the country to receiving not a single vote today.
-Then, Wichita State lost in the MVC semifinal to Illinois State, who nearly took down Northern Iowa in the final. UNI pulled off the victory, allowing bubble teams to breathe a sigh of releif
-Finally, after a dramatic Yale victory over Harvard in what should have sealed their tournament entry, the Bulldogs lost to Dartmouth to fall back into a tie with Harvard for the conference regular season. There will now be a tie-breaker rubber match game played between Harvard and Yale on Saturday the 14th.
In additional to Belmont and Northern Iowa, two other teams punched their ticket over the weekend.
-Coastal Carolina beat Gardner Webb (who had previously upset favorite High Point) in the semifinal on Saturday, and then cruised past Winthrop in Sunday's Big South final.
-North Florida beat South Carolina Upstate on Sunday to claim the Atlantic Sun bid.
Three more teams will punch their ticket in conference tourney finals tonight:
-Northeastern will face William & Mary in the Colonial Athletic Association championship. The teams split their regular season meetings, each won by the home team. I give the slight edge to William & Mary.
-Surprise Furman plays Wofford for the Southern Conference bid. After winning just five regular season games, Furman advanced to the final, but will be huge underdogs to a Wofford team that is currently on the at-large bubble and likely to receive one of the first few automatic bids outside the at-large field (12- or 13-seed) if they win tonight.
The Manhattan Jaspers play the Iona Gaels in the MAAC finals. Iona is heavy favorites, with only three conference losses on the season.
1's: Kentucky, Virginia, Villanova, Duke
2's: Kansas, Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga
3's: Maryland, Baylor, Iowa State, Notre Dame
4's: Oklahoma, Utah, Louisville, West Virginia
5's: North Carolina, Northern Iowa, Georgetown, Wichita State
6's: SMU, Arkansas, Butler, Colorado State
7's: VCU, Providence, Saint John's, Iowa
8's: San Diego State, Oklahoma State, Texas, North Carolina State
9's: Cincinnati, Ohio State, Davidson, Michigan State
10's: Oregon, Indiana, Temple, LSU
11's: Xavier, Georgia, Texas A&M, Tulsa, Dayton
12's: Purdue, Boise State, Old Dominion, Stephen F. Austin, Wofford
13's: Buffalo, Green Bay, Harvard, UC Davis
14's: Iona, William & Mary, Georgia State, Eastern Washington
15's: South Dakota State, Stony Brook, Belmont, North Carolina Central
16's: New Mexico State, Coastal Carolina, Lafayett, Texas Southern, Saint Francis (NY), North Florida
FFO: Illinois, Ole Miss, Connecticut, UCLA
NFO: Richmond, Alabama, BYU, Miami (FL)