In the vein of what we did last week with our conference tournament Podblasts, this week we’re supplementing our overall bracket Podcast with four region-specific podblasts utilizing each of our experts who will be reporting on different regions throughout the NCAA Tournament. Today we’ll be discussing the East Region with Brian Otskey and the South Region with Kevin Doyle, both of whom really know these brackets inside and out.
East Region Podblast
South Region Podblast
RTC is pleased to announce a contest for this year’s NCAA Tournament that will result in one lucky winner receiving a 32″ Toshiba HDTV with 1080p and 3D capabilities. The MSRP on this thing is just under a cool grand ($949.99), but for the person who nails this week’s contest (or comes closest), he or she will get it shipped directly to their door for free. Enough about that — how do you win? The contest specs are below.
There are four steps to this contest, but they’re really easy and will only take you one minute or less to complete.
DEADLINE: Noon ET, Thursday March 15. One entry per person. No exceptions.
That’s it. The The rest is up to how the ball bounces on Thursday and Friday — a BIG thank you to Toshiba for providing this prize, and GOOD LUCK!!!
For the last week or so, we’ve been writing up brief descriptions of what to consider on each of the 31 automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Tournament. While it’s true that there are 37 other NCAA teams in the field, we’re going to bank on the fact that you already know most of those. This series will help you break down many of the smaller conference teams that you may not have seen play all season (or at most, once). And keep in mind that we’ll be coming hard with analysis on each region Monday and game-by-game breakdowns as well throughout the week. The best time of the year is here, folks — let’s enjoy it!
For the entire series of posts, click here. Otherwise find the team(s) you’re interested in below.
Twenty more eliminations on Friday and 10 more on Saturday means that there are now only 82 teams still alive with hopes and dreams of the 2012 National Championship. Of course, the actual number is somewhat less than that, but we’re not going to get in the business of predicting the whims of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee here — that’s for the bracketologists and others to do. Tomorrow’s four championship games won’t help solve that problem, but a certain television show that broadcasts on CBS at 6:00 PM ET certainly will. We’ll see you again when we have the 68 locked in…
It certainly wasn’t the most compelling day of basketball we’ve ever seen on a Thursday of Championship Week, but sexy or not, 38 more teams were eliminated from national title contention yesterday. This now leaves us with 111 total teams remaining, and from here on through the weekend, we’re going to tend to be over-inclusive when it comes to bubble teams. You just never know what the Selection Committee will do (see: UAB, 2011), and for that reason alone we’re going to keep most any team in the bubble discussion on our Circle of March. Still, over the next 72 hours, we’d expect to drop another 25-30 schools to get to a healthy 80 or so going into the unveiling of the brackets Sunday night.
Due to technical difficulties Tuesday night, we weren’t able to get a new Circle of March up in time for Wednesday’s games, so this is a two-fer. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, another 43 teams were eliminated from national title contention, leaving us with a total of 149 teams now left. Thursday and Friday will be huge days, as 14 conference tournaments will be in action with many of them at the knockout-heavy first or quarterfinal round.
There’s only about 78 hours until we’ve narrowed this thing down to 68 teams vying for the ring. The names drop off quickly, don’t they?
Ain’t no party like a Twitter party, or so the kids say these days.
Later this afternoon, from 3-4 PM ET, Microsoft search engine Bing has invited RTC to take part in its March Madness Twitter party. We’ve never been a part of one of these events, but it seemed like an interesting way to spend an hour ‘chatting’ about college hoops heading into the best three weeks of the year, so we’re on board.
To participate, follow @Bing and @rushthecourt and tweet out your questions and commentary with the hashtag #BingIt. As an added bonus, Bing will be giving away a fifty dollar gift card to two lucky winners. We hope to enjoy some great conversation this afternoon — see you there!
The start of Championship Week didn’t fail to titillate, as four conference championship games all went down to the last few possessions before Davidson, St. Mary’s, Loyola (MD), and VCU each survived. All in all, including those conferences — the SoCon, WCC, MAAC, and CAA — plus the Summit League and Sun Belt, we knocked nine more schools off the Circle of March tonight. And as you see below, some serious swaths of emptiness are developing and appear to be concentrating in the northern hemisphere of the CoM now, with 192 teams still standing.
There are three more championship games tonight in the Horizon League, Summit League and Sun Belt Conference, while the Big East tips off from Madison Square Garden as well as the Atlantic 10 in Atlantic City and the MEAC in Winston-Salem. Onward…
Sunday was day seven of Championship Fortnight, and although there weren’t a lot of championship games — Monday is actually a better night for that — we still eliminated another 15 teams from national title contention. Yesterday also brought us to our first quandary of what to do with bubble teams from small conferences with Top 50 RPI ratings. We’d rather be more inclusive at this point rather than less, so for that reason we’re keeping MAAC regular season champion Iona (RPI: #38) and Sun Belt regular season champion Middle Tennessee State (RPI: #44) in the Circle of March. Their fates are in the Selection Committee’s hands now, but we’re not willing to eliminate them just yet.
That leaves us with 201 schools still alive heading into tonight’s action. Monday is a relatively light night beyond the four championship games in the CAA, MAAC, SoCon and WCC, but we’ll be back tomorrow as always with an updated CoM.
Saturday was a ridiculous elimination day with a total of 42 teams dropping off of our Circle of March. Granted, four of those schools were simply Great West teams finishing up their regular season, and another six were A-10 and SWAC schools who did not qualify for their respective conference tournaments. But 32 other teams were beaten in knockout games from 15 conferences in one of the busiest days of Championship Fortnight. We won’t list them all here, but the biggest name off our CoM is the two-time national runner-up, Butler, who was taken apart by Valparaiso in the Horizon League semifinals yesterday. We are now at 216 teams still alive for the 2012 national champoinship, which means that in just over six days, we’ve already eliminated over 100 schools from contention.
Sunday is a bit less busy than yesterday with eight tournaments in action and the MVC the only one among those to have a championship game. More importantly, we’re now only one week from the best hour in American sports — the revealing of the official bracket.