We're in the final turn of college basketball's Championship Week. After a couple days of wall-to-wall basketball we're headed for the stretch-run weekend of championship games. Nineteen auto bids will be decided Saturday and Sunday.
Where do the Huskers still stand in all of this?
Andy Katz, writing for NCAA.com, offered an update late last night. Selection committee chair Bruce Rasmussen told Katz on Wednesday that the committee had voted 28 teams in as at-large bids. On paper that leaves eight spots available, but doesn't include any teams in that pool winning their conference's auto bid, so eight would be the minimum number available.
Katz listed nine teams that still have hope for an at-large bid, and Nebraska made the cut.
The Huskers joined Arizona State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Saint Mary's and Syracuse as teams in the "done playing, but still in contention" category. Florida State, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech were losers on Wednesday but safely in according to Katz.
Yesterday's results likely jumbled Katz's initial list of nine teams. Going by the Bracket Matrix listings (which has the Huskers among the next four out), seven bubble teams not included in Katz's initial write up stopped adding to their résumés on Thursday.
Louisville and Baylor – both in according to Bracket Matrix, but as 11 seeds – lost. Notre Dame (next four out), Marquette (first four out), Oklahoma State (first four out), Utah (next four out) and Boise State (next four out) were also eliminated from their conference tournaments yesterday.
Of the teams sort of in a similar orbit as the Huskers on Bracket Matrix, only Alabama (first four out) and Temple (a true long shot) won on Thursday. The Tide faces Auburn (Iron Ball!) this afternoon in the SEC Tournament, and the Owls take on Wichita State tonight on ESPNU.
The more I think about it the more I like Tim Miles' suggestion that we just cap team's résumés at the end of the regular season, and let the conference tournaments exist solely as a way to determine the one auto bid. Since that's not the world we live in, however, prepare for a lot of scoreboard watching over the next three days.
That's basically the Huskers' hope this week: Get similar teams to the same point Nebraska's at (i.e. done adding wins).
The Grab Bag
- Really good read on comparing Nebraska and Penn State's cases for the tournament.
- Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com includes the Huskers among his 25 spring storylines to watch.
- Alex Kirshner of SBNation asked Auburn, Alabama and UCF players at the combine about the Knights' national-title claim.
- ICYMI: Jacob Padilla recapped Day 1 action from the state tournament here.
Today's Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.