SPORTS

March Madness 2012 Bracket Update: Texas, Northwestern, Miami Remain On Bubble

03/08/2012 11:54 am ET

By Zach Hayes, Rush The Court

Last Update: Thursday, March 8, 9:09 AM ET.

Changes:

South Florida jumps one spot on the at-large S-Curve (Washington is currently an auto qualifier) by virtue of their 13th Big East win of the season on Wednesday night. The fact every team is judged as an independent doesn’t give that number as much significance, but committee members are also human beings and a #41 RPI, #28 SOS plus 13 wins in a revered conference — with a victory at Louisville and home triumphs over Cincinnati and Seton Hall — is difficult to ignore. A win tonight against Notre Dame would make this a moot point. Miami (FL) jumps into the last four in.

Seton Hall failed to capitalize on the same opportunity presented to the Bulls last week: a contest with RPI top-25 Louisville. The Pirates couldn’t muster up enough scoring and now it’ll be a nerve-wracking Selection Sunday for Kevin Willard. I could see them re-entering the fray if Northwestern, Xavier, Washington, Cal or maybe Mississippi State suffer a really poor loss today. The home wins over Connecticut and West Virginia have lost a bit of their luster and the November loss to Northwestern has turned out to be extremely vital. Their RPI (#62)has also plummeted and the non-conference SOS (#126) is not impressive.

Last Four In: Northwestern, Xavier, Texas, Miami (FL).
First Four Out: Drexel, Seton Hall, Tennessee, Oregon.
Next Four Out: Dayton, NC State, Oral Roberts, St. Joseph’s.

3/8 S-Curve

1 Seeds: Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas, North Carolina

2 Seeds: Duke, Michigan State, Missouri, Ohio State

3 Seeds: Marquette, Michigan, Baylor, Georgetown

4 Seeds: Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida State, Temple

5 Seeds: Wichita State, Murray State, UNLV, Louisville

6 Seeds: Vanderbilt, Florida, Notre Dame, Creighton

7 Seeds: Saint Mary’s, Iowa State, San Diego State, Gonzaga

8 Seeds: New Mexico, Kansas State, Purdue, Memphis

9 Seeds: Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Alabama, Connecticut

10 Seeds: Southern Miss, Virginia, Harvard, West Virginia

11 Seeds: Colorado State, Mississippi State, California, BYU

12 Seeds: VCU, South Florida, Washington, Miami (FL), Long Beach State

13 Seeds: Texas, Xavier, Northwestern, Nevada, Davidson

14 Seeds: South Dakota State, Akron, Belmont, Montana

15 Seeds: Loyola (MD), Detroit, Lehigh, UT-Arlington

16 Seeds: LIU-Brooklyn, UNC-Asheville, Norfolk State, Stony Brook, Mississippi Valley State, Western Kentucky

Automatic bids: Stony Brook, Temple, North Carolina, Belmont, Kansas, Syracuse, Montana, UNC-Asheville, Michigan State, Long Beach State, VCU, Memphis, Detroit, Harvard, Loyola (MD), Akron, Norfolk State, Creighton, San Diego State, LIU Brooklyn, Murray State, Washington, Lehigh, Kentucky, Davidson, UT-Arlington, Mississippi Valley State, Western Kentucky, South Dakota State, Saint Mary’s, Nevada.

Bids per conference: Big East (9), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (6), SEC (5), ACC (5), Mountain West (4), Atlantic 10 (3), WCC (3), Conference USA (2), Missouri Valley (2), Pac-12 (2).

To clinch a bid:

Southern Miss- Reach the Conference USA Tournament semifinals by beating East Carolina/Rice in the quarterfinals then Tulsa/Marshall/SMU in the semifinals

Virginia- Beat NC State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals (quarterfinal win vs. BC would not clinch bid)

Colorado State- Beat TCU in the Mountain West tournament quarterfinals then San Diego State in the semifinals

Mississippi State- Beat Georgia in the SEC Tournament first round then Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals

California- Beat Stanford/Arizona State in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals then Oregon in the semifinals (semifinal game vs. Colorado/Utah would not clinch bid)

Miami- Beat Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament first round then Florida State in the quarterfinal and Duke in the semifinal (semifinal win vs. Clemson/Virginia Tech would not clinch bid)

Washington- Win the Pac-12 Tournament

South Florida- Beat Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals

Texas- Beat Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal (may need to beat Missouri in the semifinal depending on bubble picture)

Long Beach State- Reach the Big West Tournament final

Xavier- Beat Dayton in the Atlantic 10 Tournament final then Saint Louis in the semifinal (semifinal game vs. La Salle/Richmond would not clinch bid)

Northwestern- Beat Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament first round then Michigan in the quarterfinal (may need to beat Ohio State in semifinal depending on bubble picture)

Tennessee- Beat Ole Miss/Auburn in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals then Vanderbilt/Mississippi State in the semifinals (semifinal game vs. Georgia would not clinch bid)

Oregon- Win the Pac-12 Tournament

Dayton- Reach the Atlantic 10 Tournament final by beating Xavier and Saint Louis

NC State- Reach the ACC Tournament finals by beating Boston College, Virginia and then Florida State/Miami/Georgia Tech

Zach Hayes is RTC’s official bracketologist. Folllow @rushthecourt on Twitter.

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