College Basketball's Christmas Eve: Saturday Bracketeering
It's another long day of basketball as 12 automatic bids will be handed out by the end of the day. The brackets will be announced in a little more than 24 hours, giving today that feeling of anticipation that is usually reserved for kids on Christmas Eve. While automatic bids are handed out right and left there are a few bid thieves hanging around waiting to deliver coal in someone's stockings. Houston is playing in the Conference USA Championship against UTEP while Miami and North Carolina State have both advanced to the semis of the ACC Tournament. Minnesota is another team that may cause problems if they keep winning.
Here's the field as the action begins Saturday morning. I'll update my projected brackets later in the day.
Automatic Bids: Cornell, Winthrop, East Tennessee State, Murray State, Northern Iowa, Old Dominion, Siena, St. Mary's, Wofford, North Texas, Butler, Oakland, Robert Morris, Montana, Lehigh
Locks: Richmond, Temple, Xavier, Clemson, Duke, Maryland, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, BYU, New Mexico, California, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, Florida State, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame
At-Large Probables: Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, UTEP, San Diego State, UNLV, Illinois, Georgia Tech
Bubble Teams: Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Florida, Utah State, Memphis, Washington, Mississippi State, Minnesota
Outside Looking In: South Florida, Charlotte, Connecticut, Marshall, Kent State, Wichita State, Ole Miss, UAB, Arizona State, Seton Hall, Tulsa, Dayton