Circle of March: Vol. XII

Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2015

Thursday was a huge day for the Circle of March, as 47 more teams were shaved from its facade. Over the next three days we’ll cut another 56 from the remaining group of 124, but the bloodbath of the last two days is now behind us. There were no champions crowned yesterday nor will there be any today — for that, we await Saturday’s nonstop festival of 14 title bouts.

2015_CircleofMarch_V12Eliminations (03.12.15)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. XI

Posted by rtmsf on March 12th, 2015

The bloodbath has begun. We entered yesterday with 203 teams still eligible for the 2015 National Championship; we ended the night with 170. A single-day total of 33 teams fell off the Circle of March and we’re all better people for it. Today could be even worse with over 60 games involving a whole bunch of bad and mediocre teams playing in 18 different tournaments. We have to get to 68 over the next 80 hours somehow. On the automatic qualifier front, there was only one champion crowned last night — congratulations to the Patriot League’s Lafayette — but today and tomorrow are all about eliminations. Here’s today’s CoM.

2015_CircleofMarch_V11 Eliminations (03.11.15)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. X

Posted by rtmsf on March 11th, 2015

Last night was the relative calm before the storm. We crowned four more league champions but only seven names fell off of the Circle of March. Today, on the other hand, there will be only one champion (Patriot League) but we will remove as many as 33 more names from the CoM in a bloodbath of win-or-go-home basketball. Those four automatic qualifiers — Gonzaga (WCC); North Dakota State (Summit); Robert Morris (NEC); Valparaiso (Horizon) — mean that over a third (11) of the auto-bids to the NCAA Tournament have already been logged. After tonight we won’t get another one until Super Saturday, when a whopping 14 champs will be crowned, followed by five more on Sunday. There are now 203 eligible teams remaining on the Circle of March.

2015_CircleofMarch_V10

Eliminations (03.10.15)

  • Bethune-Cookman
  • Georgia Tech
  • Grambling State
  • North Carolina A&T
  • Saint Francis (NY)
  • South Dakota State
  • Wake Forest
Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. IX

Posted by rtmsf on March 10th, 2015

Three more leagues crowned their champions last night, as Manhattan (MAAC), Northeastern (CAA) and Wofford (Big South) punched their respective tickets to the Big Dance. The Circle of March dropped 12 more teams from its ranks last night, leaving us with 210 eligibles still alive and a whole slew to come over the next six days. There will be three more championships completed this evening, as the NEC, Summit League and WCC finish off their tournaments before most of the big boys really get going on Wednesday.

2015_CircleofMarch_V9

Eliminations (03.09.15)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. VIII

Posted by rtmsf on March 9th, 2015

With seven days left until the Field of 68 is announced, the Circle of March continues to shed contenders. Three more automatic qualifiers were anointed on Sunday — Coastal Carolina, North Florida and Northern Iowa are going Dancing — but 15 other schools will have to wait until next year. The next couple of days will be light in terms of eliminations, but we’ll be going from today’s 222 eligible teams to a third of that in really short order. Tonight the CAA, MAAC and SoCon will decide their champions. Enjoy the ride!

2015_CircleofMarch_V8

Eliminations (03.08.15)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. VII

Posted by rtmsf on March 8th, 2015

What a phenomenal Saturday of college basketball. The focus of the world was on the dramatics of games in Chapel Hill, Louisville, Norman and Bloomington, among others, but the Circle of March was instead tuned into the eight conference tournaments that were under way and the number of other leagues that eliminated schools from our eligibility list by virtue of the season ending. As a result, a whopping 39 schools dropped off of the CoM in the last 24 hours, leaving us with a total of 237 eligibles heading into the heart of Championship Fortnight. By this point next week, we’ll be down to around 80 or so. Congratulations are due to Belmont, the first automatic qualifier of the year as the OVC champion; the second qualifier from the Missouri Valley will solve for its representative later today at Arch Madness.

2015_CircleofMarch_V7 Eliminations (03.07.15)

  • Arkansas State
  • Brown
  • Bryant
  • Cal State Fullerton
  • Canisius
  • Chattanooga
  • Cleveland State
  • College of Charleston
  • Columbia
  • Cornell
  • Dartmouth
  • Delaware
  • Denver
  • East Tennessee State
  • Elon
  • Florida Atlantic
  • Gardner-Webb
  • Idaho State
  • Illinois-Chicago
  • James Madison
  • Longwood
  • Loyola (Chicago)
  • Marist
  • Montana State
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Princeton
  • Rider
  • Saint Mary’s
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Santa Clara
  • Siena
  • Southern Utah
  • Sain Francis (PA)
  • Troy
  • UNC-Greensboro
  • VMI
  • Western Illinois
Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. VI

Posted by rtmsf on March 7th, 2015

We’re already through the first “week” of Championship Fortnight, and some 58 eligible teams have been eliminated from contention from the Circle of March (and National Championship contention). Friday night was particularly busy, with 18 more schools removed after losses in their conference tournaments. Saturday will be a very busy day, as the Summit League tips off its tournament and seven others are in action. The focus of today will be in the OVC, as Murray State will battle Belmont for the the league championship (and accompanying automatic bid), and the Ivy League, where Yale will attempt to wrap up its first conference championship in over 50 years (1962) with a road game at Dartmouth. Note that it’s our standard that we do not remove teams until their seasons are over — therefore many Ivy League squads and several other teams that will not qualify for next week’s conference tournaments will remain with us for a little longer.

2015_CircleofMarch_V6 Eliminations (03.06.15)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. V

Posted by rtmsf on March 6th, 2015

As we head into the first weekend of Championship Fortnight, the holes in the Circle of March are already becoming apparent. Starting with 333 eligible teams, we’re now down 293. Nine conference tournaments have already tipped off, and three more — the Colonial, Southern and WCC Tournaments — get things started today. Another 13 teams fell off our CoM last night and we’re really going to start divesting ourselves of the bottom of Division I basketball in the next three days. Note that it’s our standard that we do not remove teams until their seasons are over — therefore many Ivy League squads and several other teams that will not qualify for next week’s conference tournaments will remain with us through the weekend.

2015_CircleofMarch_V5

Eliminations (03.05.15)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. IV

Posted by rtmsf on March 5th, 2015

Four more conference tournaments got under way yesterday, resulting in 14 more eliminations (listed below) from the 2015 Circle of March. That leaves us with 306 eligible teams on the CoM, noting that it’s our standard that we do not remove teams until their seasons are over — therefore many Ivy League squads and several other teams that will not qualify for next week’s conference tournaments will remain with us through the weekend. Two more tournaments get started today — the Missouri Valley‘s Arch Madness in St. Louis and the MAAC in Albany — while the Patriot League, Atlantic Sun and OVC pick back up with their second days of tournament action.

2015_CircleofMarch_v4

Eliminations (03.04.15)

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. III

Posted by rtmsf on March 4th, 2015

Championship Fortnight got under way last night as the Atlantic Sun, Horizon League and Patriot League tipped off their postseason tournaments. Seven more teams were eliminated from contention for the 2015 National Championship, with Army, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Loyola (Maryland), Stetson, Wright State and Youngstown State riding off into the basketball sunset. Those three conferences will take a break tonight, but the starts of the America East, Big South, Northeast and Ohio Valley Tournaments will keep us engaged as another group of eliminations are scheduled. As of this morning, there are still 320 schools eligible for the ring. Note that it’s a CoM standard that we do not remove teams from the Circle of March until their seasons are over — therefore many Ivy League squads and several other teams that will not qualify for next week’s conference tournaments will remain with us through the weekend.

2015_CircleofMarch_v3

Eliminations (03.04.15)

  • Army
  • Jacksonville
  • Kennesaw State
  • Loyola (Maryland)
  • Stetson
  • Wright State
  • Youngstown State
Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. II

Posted by rtmsf on March 3rd, 2015

Here’s hoping everyone who gave yesterday’s Circle of March crossword game a whirl yesterday found it exhilarating and it got you into the right mood for the next 35 days of Madness. Monday was all fun and games with the CoM, but today we get serious. Of the 333 teams that are eligible to win the 2015 National Championship, it’s time to start removing names from the list. There are 13 conference tournaments that begin action this week (see full online schedule here) — beginning with the Atlantic Sun, Horizon League and Patriot League tonight — and six teams residing in those 13 leagues were not invited to join the proceedings. They have been removed from today’s edition, leaving us with 327 remaining teams.

Note that it’s a CoM standard that we do not remove teams from the Circle of March until their seasons are over — therefore many Ivy League squads and several other teams that will not qualify for next week’s conference tournaments will remain with us through the weekend. But enough about that. It’s Championship Fortnight — let the Madness begin!

2015_CircleofMarch_V2

Eliminations (03.03.15)

  • Austin Peay
  • Central Connecticut
  • Fairleigh Dickinson
  • Jacksonville State
  • Tennessee State
  • Tennessee Tech
Share this story

Circle of March: Vol. I

Posted by rtmsf on March 2nd, 2015

Welcome to the fourth annual Circle of March.

If you’ve been around with us for a while, you already know the premise behind this series; and if you’re not familiar with it, thanks for checking in! What we try to do with this series is to celebrate that March is now here and it’s time for postseason basketball to envelop our bodies and souls for the next five weeks until the sport crowns a new champion. As of today — the first Monday of Championship Fortnight — 333 of the nation’s 351 Division I men’s programs are eligible to win the 2015 National Championship. Those schools can be found somewhere on the below circle. Eighteen other schools are ineligible for the NCAA Tournament because they have low APR scores, are on a self-imposed probation, or are still transitioning into Division I. We have already removed those names and wish each of them the best of luck in making it onto the CoM in future seasons. Because we want every eligible team to get at least one day of run on the Circle, though, we have chosen not to formally remove any of the other already-eliminated schools until Tuesday’s Vol. II edition ahead of the start of conference tournament games. Bubble teams also won’t be removed until they’re officially disregarded by the NCAA Selection Committee in two weeks. It just seems nicer this way.

In previous years you might recall we added a game component to Volume I of the CoM (scroll through the last three Circles of March here). This year’s version is no different and so we’ve once again added a crossword puzzle element to it. See if you can locate the 10 names of coaches and players hidden within the Circle likely to make some noise in March (note: make sure to click on the image for a larger and clearer view). The first 15 people who tweet at us (@rushthecourt) or e-mail us (rushthecourt@yahoo.com) with the 10 correct hidden words will receive a free RTC t-shirt. For a bonus challenge, there are also four groupings of schools surreptitiously clustered in areas of the CoM that refer to the following: 1) the unbeaten national champions; 2) the schools currently riding a streak of two or more consecutive automatic bids; 3) the national champions with 10 or more losses; 4) the __________ (see if you can figure out the fourth cluster — it relates to NCAA Tournament appearances and Final Fours). Have fun!

Here is the 2015 Circle of March. Welcome to March Madness.

2015_CircleofMarch_1

Maybe next year for this group.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story