- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger38 mins ago
Having spent the afternoon watching their peers exchange hugs and high fives after hearing their names called on the NCAA tournament selection show, members of the University of San Diego basketball team decided they wanted to experience that too.
They made a funny video emulating the celebrations of teams that make the NCAA tournament only the Toreros are bound for the third-tier College Invitational Tournament instead.
The video begins with an off-camera voice annoucing San Diego will face Portland State in the opening round. Four Toreros players lean forward in anticipation, then leap off the couch, screaming and fist pumping as though Greg Gumbel had just called their name on the real selection show.
Wrote sophomore guard Nick Kerr on Instagram, "We were feeling a little left out that there wasn't a CIT selection show so we made our own... #citselection #wemadeit #kindof #torerogang."
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger2 hrs ago
Thanks to a loss in its conference title game on March 9 against Atlantic Sun co-champion Mercer, Florida Gulf Coast won't have the chance to try to duplicate its memorable Sweet 16 run of a year ago.
The Eagles' absence robs the NCAA tournament of a potentially fun storyline, but there are still a handful of double digit-seeded mid-majors with the potential for a Dunk City-esque run. A look at five candidates to do some damage below beginning with the team that eliminated Florida Gulf Coast:
- The Dagger13 hrs ago
Three who can carry their teams:
• Marcus Paige, G, North Carolina
• Sean Kilpatrick, G, Cincinnati
• Shabazz Napier, G, UConn
Most intriguing opening round matchup: No. 5 Cincinnati vs. No. 12 Harvard
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger14 hrs ago
Having fallen out of contention for both the NCAA tournament and the NIT by dropping 10 of its last 15 games this season, Indiana had a decision to make Sunday evening.
Would one of the nation's most tradition-rich college basketball programs deign to participate in the third-tier College Basketball Invitational tournament?
Indiana athletic director Fred Glass announced his decision Sunday night, informing the Indianapolis Star that the Hoosiers planned to pass on the chance to headline the CBI. Glass left no doubt why the school was declining the invitation, telling The Star, "We're Indiana. We don't play in the CBI."
It's easy to understand why Indiana would be wary of tarnishing its image in a tournament like the CBI. Kentucky was the butt of jokes for days last March when it fell to Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT. It would only be worse for the Hoosiers if they got upset by a small-conference opponent in an even less prestigious tournament.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger16 hrs ago
To understand how much it means to make the NCAA tournament, all you have to do is watch the reaction of the last team to make this year's field.
NC State gathered to watch the selection show Sunday evening even though most mock brackets didn't project the Wolfpack to make the field. They jumped up and down, screamed and pumped their fists after being rewarded for their faith when CBS host Greg Gumbel revealed they had earned a First Four matchup with fellow bubble team Xavier on Tuesday night.
"In!!!!!!!!" read the tweet from the Twitter account of NC State men's basketball, and the Wolfpack certainly weren't in by much. Their 21-13 record and wins over Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Tennessee were just good enough to make them the final at-large team to gain entry to the field, according to the list released by the NCAA.
NC State wasn't the only jubilant bubble team to post video of its reaction to learning it earned an NCAA bid. Here's a handful of others:
Dayton (11th seed, South Region)
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger17 hrs ago
There's only one more time-honored Selection Sunday tradition than filling out an NCAA tournament bracket: Second-guessing the selection commitee's decisions.
This year's committee did a good job with some aspects of the bracket but missed the mark on others. Here's a look at three things the committee got right and three it got wrong:
What they got right: The fourth No. 1 seed
If the most difficult decision for this year's committee members was selecting the final No. 1 seed, then credit them for making an inspired choice. Big East champ Villanova (28-4) had fewer losses than Virginia and Big Ten champ Michigan (25-8) had more quality wins, but neither of them accomplished more than Virginia (28-6).
Besides No. 1 overall seed Florida, the Cavaliers were the only major-conference team to sweep both the regular season and conference tournament championships in their league. They won 19 of their last 21 games after a rocky non-conference season, defeating Syracuse, North Carolina and Pittsburgh in the regular season and avenging a previous loss to Duke in Sunday's ACC title game in Greensboro.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger20 hrs ago
Hall of fame coach Larry Brown's first NCAA tournament game since winning the 1988 national title with Kansas will have to wait at least another year.
SMU was expected to receive one of the final at-large bids on Sunday, but Brown's team instead became the most surprising omission from the field of 68. NC State, BYU, Tennessee and Xavier were among the bubble teams the selection committee decided were more worthy even though the Mustangs were ranked 25th in the edition of the AP poll released last Monday.
Committee chairman Ron Wellman told CBS that SMU's modest strength of schedule outweighed its 23-9 record and four victories against NCAA tournament-bound teams from its league.
"SMU had an outstanding resume but their non-conference strength of schedule was in the 300s, which is not very good obviously," Wellman said. "Their overall strength of schedule was 129. The next lowest strength of schedule in the field is 91, so there was quite a bit of difference between their strength of schedule and the other teams in the field.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger20 hrs ago
We already knew Florida, Arizona and Wichita State would be three of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament. Now we know which team will be joining them on the top seed line.
Virginia's reward for sweeping the ACC regular season and tournament titles was receiving the fourth No. 1 seed when the NCAA tournament bracket was unveiled Sunday evening. Big Ten regular season champ Michigan (25-8) had more quality wins and Villanova (28-4) had fewer losses, but the committee apparently felt the Cavaliers (27-6) accomplished more.
SEC regular season and tournament champion Florida is the top overall seed as expected and will headline the South Region. Unbeaten Wichita State earned the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region and Pac-12 champion Arizona will be the No. 1 in the West.
Here are the full West Region matchups:
San Diego (Friday) No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 16 Weber State No. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State
Spokane (Thursday) No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 12 North Dakota State No. 4 San Diego State vs. No. 13 New Mexico State
Milwaukee (Thursday) No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 15 American No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 BYU
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
Bubble teams will find out their fate at 6 p.m. ET Sunday when CBS unveils the NCAA tournament bracket. Here's a look at how the contenders for the final at-large spots in the field compare against one another and my assessment of which teams will sneak in and which ones will have their bubble burst:
63. SMU (23-9, 12-6): All SMU had to do to sleep easy Saturday night was not lose to Houston in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament. Alas, the Mustangs fell by four and now find themselves closer to the bubble than they anticipated a few weeks ago. SMU has four great wins -- two over UConn and another two at home against Cincinnati and Memphis. The problem is those are the only four top 100 wins the Mustangs have, plus their profile is weighed down by a trio of losses to teams 140 and worse in the RPI. That explains why SMU's own RPI has slipped to 55. There's a good chance SMU makes the field and even avoids the First Four, but it's closer than many would have thought as recently as last week.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger1 day ago
LAS VEGAS --- The difference between elation and dejection for UCLA on Saturday night essentially came down to deceiving one of the nation's best perimeter defenders.
When Kyle Anderson drove right around a Jordan Adams top-of-the-key screen with the score tied and less than 50 seconds remaining, the UCLA point guard's job was to lure his screener's defender into trying to cut off his path to the rim. Arizona guard Nick Johnson took two steps to his left and could not recover in time, giving Adams the space to catch a pass from Anderson, set his feet and bury a 3-pointer that propelled UCLA to a scintillating 75-71 Pac-12 title game victory.
"It's a really hard play to guard," Adams said. "Nick has to help on Kyle or Kyle has a straight line to the basket. When they both help, I'm wide-open for a kickback. I looked back and once I saw Nick help, I got my feet set and focused on the shot."
Adams' 3-pointer was the signature moment of a UCLA victory that signals the Bruins (26-8) may be a team to be feared in the NCAA tournament.