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.

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Eliminations (03.05.15)

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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: Connecticut Edition (Animated)

Posted by rtmsf on April 8th, 2014

From 340 teams down to a solitary C, and it turns out that the blue glow behind Connecticut‘s logo held some sort of supernatural meaning after all. And with that, the 2014 Circle of March has completed. We started on this journey some five weeks ago yesterday, and once again the beauty was in the process. Click the image to see the entire procession all the way down to one team standing. See ya next year.

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (04.07.14)

  • Kentucky
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Circle of March: Championship Monday Edition

Posted by rtmsf on April 7th, 2014

From 340 teams a month ago to just two remaining. Kentucky and Connecticut will tip it off tonight in the unlikeliest of championship games, but the beauty of March Madness is that the unpredictable is often the only predictable thing. It’s been five weeks since we debuted this year’s Circle of March, and 338 teams have dropped off in the interim. There’s definitely some magic surrounding this year’s NCAA Tourney, and we’re really starting to wonder if the position of the “C” somewhat randomly in the eye of the Circle has some supernatural meaning. We’ll find out soon; the rest of Monday  can’t pass quickly enough — let’s get this thing started!

circlemarch_4_6Eliminated From National Title Contention (04.07.14)

  • Florida
  • Wisconsin
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Circle of March: Final Four Edition

Posted by rtmsf on April 1st, 2014

Over the weekend four more teams were eliminated as we’ve steadily traveled down the month-long path from 340 eligible Division I teams to just a final, fantastic foursome. With Florida, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Kentucky advancing to North Texas on Saturday, the Circle of March looks barren other than that remaining quartet of logos. It’s pure coincidence that the Huskies’ “C” ended up on the glowing part of the watermarked NCAA Final Four logo, but maybe it’s some kind of omen from the ghost of Kemba Walker? We’ll find out soon enough. Enjoy prepping throughout the week.

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (04.01.14)

  • Dayton
  • Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • Arizona
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Circle of March: Sweet Sixteen Edition

Posted by rtmsf on March 24th, 2014

From 340 eligible D-I teams to the wide swaths of empty space we now have on the Circle of March, 16 hopefuls remain standing. And this group might be more notable for the teams that are already gone than those remaining — Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Villanova, Kansas, Ohio State — all looking ahead to next year. Of the 16 teams remaining, 14 are from basketball power conferences, while two — San Diego State and Dayton — come from the high-mid hoops leagues, the Mountain West and Atlantic 10, respectively. There are three double-digit seeds remaining — Stanford, Dayton and Tennesssee — although KenPom gives the Volunteers the fifth-best odds to cut down the nets in Arlington two weeks from today. And despite a fair number of upsets over the weekend, 10 of the 16 slots in this week’s bracket held to seed, with the East and West regions (three each) going most chalky. Enjoy the break for a few days. Games will be back soon enough.

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Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.24.14)

  • Stephen F. Austin
  • Kansas
  • Creighton
  • North Carolina
  • Gonzaga
  • Memphis
  • Wichita State
  • Mercer
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Circle of March: Vol. XX

Posted by rtmsf on March 23rd, 2014

Three days of the NCAA Tournament are in the books and we’re already down to 24 teams remaining with eight more coming off the Circle of March today. Let’s get to it…

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.22.14)

  • Pittsburgh
  • Saint Louis
  • Texas
  • North Dakota State
  • Syracuse
  • Villanova
  • Oregon 
  • Harvard
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Circle of March: Vol. XVII

Posted by rtmsf on March 20th, 2014

It’s time to get down to business. Sixty-four teams, headed to 48 by the end of today’s action. Thirty-two, 24, then 16 by Sunday night. Two more schools fell off today’s Circle of March after losses in the First Four last night — we congratulate and thank #16 Texas Southern and #11 Iowa for their participation this year. But enough about that, let’s knock another 16 off the CoM. Happy holidays, everyone!

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.19.14)

  • Texas Southern
  • Iowa
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Circle of March: Vol. XVI

Posted by rtmsf on March 19th, 2014

The NCAA Tournament has officially started, believe it or not, and that means that two schools fell off the Circle of March last night. With defeats to #16 Albany and #12 NC State, respectively, #16 Mount St. Mary’s and #12 Xavier have now joined the 274 other poor souls that are no longer in contention for the National Championship. A couple more will drop off tonight — among Tennessee, Iowa, Cal Poly, or Texas Southern — before the bloodbath starts all over again Thursday afternoon.

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Teams Eliminated From National Title Contention (03.18.14)

  • Mount St. Mary’s
  • Xavier
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