Circle of March: Vol. XIII

Posted by rtmsf on March 14th, 2015

What a Friday of college basketball. Bookended by Davidson’s buzzer-beater in the Atlantic 10 to Oregon’s in the Pac-12, it was a wild and wooly day across 18 conference tournaments that resulted in another 27 removals from the Circle of March. With approximately 36 hours until the NCAA Tournament’s field of 68 is announced, we still have 96 eligible teams still bubbling along. Admittedly, there are a few names on the CoM that probably don’t stand much of a chance at an at-large bid, but the Selection Committee has surprised us all before so we’re erring on the side of caution for the next couple of days. Enjoy Championship Saturday — 15 more teams will join the 12 who are already automatically qualified in a college hoops extravaganza of action.

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Eliminations (03.13.15)

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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)

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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.

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Eliminations (03.04.15)

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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.

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Eliminations (03.04.15)

  • Army
  • Jacksonville
  • Kennesaw State
  • Loyola (Maryland)
  • Stetson
  • Wright State
  • Youngstown State
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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!

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Eliminations (03.03.15)

  • Austin Peay
  • Central Connecticut
  • Fairleigh Dickinson
  • Jacksonville State
  • Tennessee State
  • Tennessee Tech
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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.

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Maybe next year for this group.

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Circle of March: Selection Sunday Edition

Posted by rtmsf on March 16th, 2014

What a fantastic Saturday of college basketball. So much fun. As we head into the final few games before the NCAA Tournament bracket comes out this evening, we’re left with a total of 80 teams still alive for this year’s national championship. Only one of those will fall off today as a result of a game — the loser of the Sun Belt Championship game between Georgia State and Louisiana-Lafayette. That will leave the Selection Committee with the dirty work of winnowing out the other 11 teams, none of which will find themselves standing in the field of 68 heading into the heart of March Madness. Here is your final pre-NCAA Tournament Circle of March.

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.15.14)

  • Stony Brook
  • Louisiana Tech
  • St. Bonaventure
  • Arkansas State
  • Georgia
  • Prairie View A&M
  • Western Kentucky
  • Morgan State
  • Toledo
  • North Dakota
  • Sam Houston State
  • Idaho
  • Cal State Northridge
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Circle of March, Vol. XIII

Posted by rtmsf on March 15th, 2014

Well, we’re about down to it at this point. By this time on Sunday, we’ll probably be in the range of about 80 teams still “alive” for the national title as we await the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee to show us the product of all its work. For the time being, Friday’s wall-to-wall action gave us 27 more eliminations from the Circle of March, leaving us with 93 teams holding out hope as we head into Championship Saturday. That’s right, no fewer than 14 conference championships will come down today, from leagues as divergent as the WAC and MEAC to the Big East and Pac-12. Let’s enjoy it all, shall we?

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.14.14)

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Circle of March: Vol. XII

Posted by rtmsf on March 14th, 2014

What a day. We knew it was coming, but sitting through the Championship Fortnight Thursday bloodbath is always a bit more difficult that it first seems. Keeping track of some 60 elimination games scattered throughout 19 different tournament sites is quite the challenge, but one that ultimately proves rewarding with all the great match-ups that were produced for today. As it turned out, there were no championships yesterday, but a total of 48 teams were eliminated from the Circle of March on Thursday. Note that bubble teams won’t drop off until they’re officially eliminated by the Selection Committee on Sunday evening. That leaves us with 120 teams still alive. Three more days to 68. Shall we?

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.13.14)

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Circle of March: Vol. XI

Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2014

With many of the power conference league tournaments starting yesterday, the Circle of March took a 30-team hit over the last 24 hours. Every team that lost on Wednesday was clinging to the unlikely notion of making a run to a conference title for entry into the NCAA Tournament, but it wasn’t to be. There was, however, one team that won its automatic bid — American University, from the Patriot League. Heading into what will be a ginormous Thursday of action, there are now 168 teams remaining, which means a couple of things. First, we’ve blown through the 50 percent mark, with 172 of the 340 previously-eligible teams now eliminated. Second, over the course of the next four days, a hundred more teams will drop off that list. With 60 tournament games scheduled today, nearly half of those could drop off over the next 16 hours. Enjoy today’s marathon of games!

circlemarch_3_12 Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.12.14)

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Circle of March: Vol. X

Posted by rtmsf on March 12th, 2014

The calm before the storm. With last night’s results, which included championship games from the Horizon, NEC, Summit and WCC Tournaments, we’re now down to a grand total of 199 eligible teams for the 2014 NCAA Championship. Oh, and hey, Mount St. Mary’s, Milwaukee, North Dakota State and Gonzaga. Nice to see you all dancing. As for today’s games, a boatload of leagues get under way as we push hard over the next five days to get this thing to 68. We’re not going to list them all here, but five power conferences and the A-10 and Mountain West all have games today, and the bloodbath will continue in these leagues at least through Friday. Expect the culling of the Circle to take its most direct hit over the next 48 hours.

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.11.14)

  • Jackson State
  • North Carolina A&T
  • Rice
  • Bethune-Cookman
  • Robert Morris
  • Wright State
  • Penn
  • Princeton
  • Florida Atlantic
  • Delaware State
  • IPFW
  • Texas-San Antonio
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Circle of March: Vol. IX

Posted by rtmsf on March 11th, 2014

With six days of hoops left until Selection Sunday, we still have a lot of work to do. Thirteen more teams were eliminated on Monday night, and that leaves a grand total of 211 “eligible” schools remaining on the Circle of March. Eight of those teams are now locked into next week’s field of 68, with Delaware, Wofford and Manhattan last night joining the previous five automatic entrants. Penn and Princeton finish their regular seasons this evening and four other championship games will be held in the Horizon, NEC, Summit and WCC Tournaments, but we won’t really start to see a lot of progress (also known as white space) in the Circle until the Thursday and subsequent editions.

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.10.14)

  • Maryland-Eastern Shore
  • Ball State
  • Kent State
  • William & Mary
  • Iona
  • Denver
  • Central Michigan
  • Bowling Green
  • South Carolina State
  • Saint Mary’s
  • Western Carolina
  • South Dakota State
  • San Francisco
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