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Sunday shaping up to be good start to real Madness

Davidson will have a lot of new fans when it takes the floor against Richmond on Sunday morning.

The Wildcats are likely to get a bid to the NCAA Tournament whether they get the automatic qualifier by winning the Atlantic 10 championship or lose the game and have to settle for an at-large berth.

That means the bubble teams will be watching the tournament from home pulling for Davidson to avoid an upset loss to a senior-laden Richmond team in the 10 a.m. game on CBS, an outcome that would deprive one of the bubble teams of a tourney bid.

So don’t be surprised if fans of teams like Michigan, Wyoming, Xavier and Rutgers may dust off their old Steph Curry throwback college jerseys and spend two hours as vocal supporters of a school a half-hour north of Charlotte on I-77.

SMU supporters are in a similar position hoping for help after missing out on a chance to control its own destiny with a loss in the AAC semifinals to Memphis on Saturday.

The early game on Sunday is the only one that is a true elimination game. Yale and Princeton, the top teams in the Ivy League all season long, will meet on the Harvard campus for the conference’s lone bid in the field of 68.

Sunday’s two other championship games may not end up having much relevance outside of seeding.

Texas A&M has almost certainly secured its bid with a run through the SEC bracket, though a victory over Tennessee in the championship game will secure the spot. There is a debate to be had about the Aggies’ inclusion, so bubble teams could root against them just to be safe.

Iowa and Purdue face off for the Big Ten title with certain berths already locked up.

Once the games are in the books, the main event is on tap as teams around the country wait to learn their fate live on CBS at 3 p.m.

Should Rutgers and Michigan receive the news they hope for, the Big Ten could lead the way with nine teams in the NCAA Tournament.

That would match the number of teams they had last season, though the league would hope for better results. Only the Wolverines made it as far as the Sweet 16 last season, with eight teams getting sent home the opening weekend.

Wyoming getting in would likely mean four Mountain West teams are in the field. That would mark the most since five teams made it in 2013.

Boise State and San Diego State, who played down to the wire at Thomas & Mack on Saturday with the Broncos winning their first Mountain West title when the Aztecs missed a shot at the buzzer, are almost certainly in the field. Colorado State has a very strong case as well.

If anything is debated nearly as much as the bubble teams each year, it’s which teams deserve top seeds and where they are placed.

There shouldn’t be much controversy this year, though.

Kentucky may have helped the committee in that regard by losing to Tennessee on Saturday to take away any chance of the Wildcats stealing a No. 1 seed.

Gonzaga, which won the West Coast Conference title yet again in Las Vegas this week, should take the top spot out west. Kansas should headline the Midwest region after winning the Big 12 on Saturday.

Arizona, regardless how it fared against UCLA in Saturday night’s Pac-12 title game, and Baylor are expected to take the two other top seeds.

The last four teams to make the field will be shipped to Dayton for opening round games on Tuesday and Wednesday, so the tournament will be underway before most people finish up even their first bracket.

And for those whose dreams are crushed on Sunday afternoon by not seeing their team’s name in the field, make sure to tune into the NIT selection show at 6 p.m.

Let the madness begin.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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