Barnes Bracketology: March 11

Sports
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We are now less than a week until Selection Sunday and there is plenty of doubt for more than a dozen teams on if they have done enough this season to be selected for the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Four teams (Liberty, Murray State, Gardner-Webb and Bradley) clinched their spots this weekend by winning their respective conference tournaments. Others know they are safely in because of their outstanding play during the regular season. So where does it all stand right now? Read below!

PROJECTED FIELD OF 68

LOCKS (in order): Virginia, Gonzaga, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Tennessee, Michigan State, Texas Tech, Michigan, Purdue, Houston, LSU, Kansas, Kansas State, Wisconsin, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Marquette, Nevada, Auburn, Mississippi State, Buffalo, Villanova, Wofford, Cincinnati, Louisville, Iowa State, Washington, VCU, Iowa, Baylor, UCF, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Syracuse

AUTO (teams who have clinched their conference tournament are in bold): Vermont (America East), Liberty (Atlantic Sun), Montana (Big Sky), Gardner-Webb (Big South), UC-Irvine (Big West), Hofstra (Colonial), Old Dominion (Conference USA), Northern Kentucky (Horizon), Yale (Ivy), Iona (MAAC), Norfolk State (MEAC), Bradley (Missouri Valley), St. Francis (PA) (Northeast), Murray State (Ohio Valley), Colgate (Patriot), Sam Houston State (Southland), Prairie View A&M (SWAC), Omaha (Summit), Georgia State (Sun Belt), New Mexico State (WAC)

BUBBLE (in order): Utah State, Seton Hall, NC State, Clemson, Florida, St. John’s, Minnesota, Belmont, TCU, Temple, Creighton, Arizona State

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN (in order): Texas, Lipscomb, Indiana, Ohio State, Furman, Saint Mary’s, Xavier, Georgetown

THE CASE FOR OHIO STATE: Simply put, the Buckeyes are in trouble. Not only have they lost 3 in a row to finish the season, but they had a lot of the teams also on the bubble with them get big wins over the weekend. They still have a chance to make an impression on the committee though. They begin the Big Ten tournament against Indiana in what is likely a bubble bursting game for the loser. And then after that, a prime opportunity for a huge win against Michigan State. But maybe most importantly, if the Buckeyes can get Kaleb Wesson back and beat Indiana impressively and then just be competitive against MSU, that may be enough to sway the committee. At 18-13, I understand some saying they don’t deserve to be in but when you start looking at the other contenders, you’ll see they have a better case than you might think.

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