The conferances to which Georgetown and American University belong have lost their automatic bids to the NCAA basketball tournament, an NCAA spokesman confirmed yestereday.
Under the new tournament format for 1979, only the top 16 conferences based on NCAA tournament won-lost records the past five years will retain their automatic bids to this years's tournament.
The new setup is especially damaging to eastern basketball. Conferences which will not receive automatic bids next year are ECAC Upstate New York - Southern, of which the Hoyas are a member, East Coast, which includes American University; Ivy League; ECAL Metro-New Jersey, and the Ohio Valley.
Members of thses conferences, will be treated as independents and will be eligible for at-large to the 32-team tournment.
There is a three-way tie for the final two automatic bids next year among the ECAC New England, the Missouri Valley and the Big Sky conferences.
There have been two proposals to break the tie: give all three conferences automatic bids, thus leaving only 15 at-large spots; break the tie by using the six-year record of the conference, a proposal under which the Big Sky would lose out.
Six conferences among this years's 21 could lose their automatic bids because the Sun Belt Conference, which includes 1977 final-four competitor UNC-Charlotte, is now eligible and has qualified for an automatic bid.
The updated tournment records for the past five seasons, going into this week's NCAA semifinals at St. Louis, reflect new conference alignments for 1978-79, since individual schools take NCAA records to the new conference:
Atlantic Coast 17-7, Big Ten 17-8, Pacific Ten 19-10, Sun Belts 3-2, Southeastern 10-8, Eastern Eight 7-, Big Eight 7-8, Southwest 4-5, Mid-American 4-5, West Coast 3-4, Metro Seven 7-10, Southern 4-6, Pacific Coast 2-3, Western Athletic 4-7, ECAC New England 4-8, Missouri Valley 3-6, Big Sky 3-6, ECAC Upstate New York - Southern 4-9, Ivy 1-5, Ohio Valley 1-5, ECAC Metro-New Jersey 0-3, East Coast 0-5.