Well, March came in like a lion here in the greater DC area. Thankfully, I didn't fall and crack my head open while walking home this evening on the well-cared for sidewalks in my neighborhood, so I'm able to post today's bracket (seed list, trends). Tonight's summary will be shorter than normal for one reason, and one reason only: Today's bracket is the first time, in four seasons of pursuing this hopeless exercise, there were no substantive changes in the top four lines of the bracket. It wasn't a great weekend for the teams on the 4 line, but the teams on the 5 line didn't do much better. The biggest change among the top 16 is that Oklahoma moves up to the #2 overall seed, switching places with Pittsburgh.
At the bottom of the bracket, Michigan falls out, at least temporarily, after dropping the first of their two season-ending road games in Madison yesterday. The Badgers pulled away at the end of what was the best game of the 2 p.m. window yesterday. The Wolverines really need a big road win at this point of the season. Another team in that boat is Florida, who has one chance left, Wednesday night in Starkville. The Gators are also out, thanks to their uninspiring performance at home against Tennessee yesterday. The Vols did what they usually do against UF, namely shooting from 3 at a higher percentage than normal. But they also played smart defense against Nick Calathes. Realizing that he's not so good at driving to the hoop, they simply didn't foul him when he did. That kept him from getting easy points on the line and allowed Tennessee to hold their margin at the end. Providence also falls out, despite two wins during the week. Their lack of non-conference wins really hurts them when compared to the two at-large newcomers today, St. Mary's and Texas A&M. Patty Mills will be back for the Gaels in the West Coast tournament on Sunday, making my decision to return them a little easier.
The third at-large spot goes to a team who was in Saturday's bracket as an automatic qualifier, Creighton. Northern Iowa currently holds the Valley's auto bid, thanks to the league's insane tiebreaker. I kept the Blue Jays not so much because of their good, but not spectacular non-league wins (New Mexico, Dayton, George Mason - only one of whom is probably going to be in) - but because of the fact they're 11-1 in their last 12 games.
Next update will be Saturday morning before I head down to Richmond for the CAA quarterfinals.