March Madness Starts Tuesday: 325 Teams Contending For National Title

March Madness Starts Tuesday: 325 Teams Contending For National Title

The Ivy League title and a bid to the NCAA tournament has come down to Princeton (9-2 in Ivy League) and Harvard (9-3), making them two of 325 teams who can win the NCAA National Championship if they just win the rest of their games. This is “low-major” week as conference tournaments start Tuesday, giving almost every team a chance at the National Title. Here are Tuesday’s elimination games, the 22 teams that already have been eliminated, and the table of dates each conference champion will be named.

  1. In essence, the national tournament starts Tuesday when the Big South is the first conference to tip off their tournament with four elimination games:
  • NC Asheville vs Longwood
  • Coastal Carolina vs Liberty
  • Winthrop vs Radford
  • Presbyterian vs Campbell

     2. The four losers of those games will be eliminated along with the following 22 teams who have already been eliminated:

  • Academically ineligible (10). Due to new regulations on players’ academic records, ten teams are not allowed to play in this year’s tournament including the 2011 champion:  Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Cal State Bakersfield, California-Riverside, Connecticut, Jacksonville State, Mississippi Valley State, North Carolina-Wilmington, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Toledo, Towson.
  • Ivy League teams eliminated (6). At the other end of the spectrum, six of the smartest teams were already eliminated due to the Ivy League being the only conference that bases their automatic bid on the regular season. Harvard and Princeton are battling it out for the bid while Yale, Brown, Pennsylvania, Cornell, Columbia and Dartmouth have been eliminated with six losses or more.
  • Independent Schools (1). The two remaining independent schools include Cal St. Bakersfield, already on the academically ineligible list, and New Orleans, which has no conference tournament and thus cannot win a bid.
  • Great West Conference (5).  Because there are only five teams in the Great West Conference, they cannot have a tournament and their five members are already eliminated; NJ Inst of Technology, Texas Pan American, Houston Baptist, Utah Valley, Chicago St.

3. Below is the table of when every Conference Tournament starts and ends, and as soon as the championship is over that team receives an automatic bid to the tournament:

Conference Championship Game in: Tourney Starts March Champion named March:
Big South Conway, S.C. 5 9
Atlantic Sun Macon, Ga. 6 9
Ohio Valley Nashville, Tenn. 6 9
Missouri Valley St. Louis 7 10
West Coast Las Vegas 6 11
Colonial Richmond, Va. 9 11
MAAC Springfield, Mass. 8 11
Southern Asheville, N.C. 8 11
Sun Belt Hot Springs, Ark. 8 11
Northeast Campus sites (higher seeds) 6 12
Horizon Campus sites (higher seeds) 5 12
Summit Sioux Falls, S.D. 9 12
Ivy League (Regular Season ends, no tourney)   12
Patriot Campus sites (higher seeds) 6 13
America East Albany (high seed hosts final) 8 16
MAC Cleveland 11 16
WAC Las Vegas 12 16
Big East New York 12 16
Big Sky Regular Season Champ 14 16
Big 12 Kansas City, Mo. 13 16
Big West Anaheim, Calif. 14 16
Conference USA Tulsa, Okla. 13 16
MEAC Norfolk, Va. 11 16
Mountain West Las Vegas 13 16
Pac-12 Las Vegas 13 16
Southland Katy, Texas 13 16
SWAC Garland, Texas 12 16
ACC Greensboro, NC 14 17
Atlantic 10 Brooklyn 14 17
Big Ten Chicago 14 17
SEC Nashville 13 17