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March Madness Notes March 9th

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A couple of quick thoughts from Friday's action.

Two at-large berths disappeared last night as Xavier (Atlantic 10) and Nevada (WAC) were both upset. Both of those leagues were in line to send just one team to the NCAA tournament, but now Xavier and Nevada will earn at-large berths in addition to whoever wins their conference tournaments. This is horrible news for bubble teams. Kansas State beat Texas Tech handedly but with bids disappearing I'm still not sold on the Wildcats being a lock.

What is going on in the SEC tournament? The league was dominated by the SEC East (Florida, Kentucky, Vandy, and Tennessee) all season while the SEC West was a picture of mediocrity. Coming into the SEC tournament it appeared the SEC would land four bids and all of them would come from the East. Don't look now--the West has landed three teams in the semifinals and either Mississippi State or Arkansas will be playing for an automatic berth tomorrow afternoon. Florida is still in great position to ruin the party with two more wins, but a team from the SEC West could make another team's bubble burst.

"Tournament Tom" is back, sort of. His Houston Cougars (18-14, 10-6) take on #5 Memphis (29-3, 16-0) at 10:35 AM in the Conference USA finals. The winner, obviously, earns an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. Memphis has already defeated Penders' team by ten in Houston and by 13 points in Memphis. If you want to see former Longhorn Dion Dowell, tune into CBS. Memphis is currently riding a nation's best 21 game winning streak. Good luck Tom.

Teams playing their way in: Illinois, Purdue, and possibly Kansas State.
Teams playing their way out: West Virginia and Stanford.

AW's Bubble Picture (at this point)
In: Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Kansas State.
Bubble: Stanford, West Virginia, Florida State, Missouri State, Old Dominion, Drexel, Oklahoma State.
Definitely Out: Providence, Iowa, Alabama, Bradley, Georgia, Michigan, UMass, Clemson.

--AW--