Here’s a full rundown of the teams that clinched automatic bids in the NCAA tournament.
American Athletic champions
The Bearcats got 33 points and eight rebounds from conference player of the year Jarron Cumberland in a win over Houston on Sunday. The Bearcats have been an NCAA tournament mainstay under Coach Mick Cronin and are making their ninth straight appearance. But Cincinnati has made it past the tournament’s first weekend in just one of the previous eight.
Atlantic 10 champions
The Billikens finished sixth in their conference during the regular season, but they won four games in four days to claim the Atlantic 10 tournament title and their first NCAA berth since 2013.
Big Ten champions
The Spartans rallied past Michigan on Sunday, beating their rivals for the third time this season, 65-60. Junior guard Cassius Winston, the Big Ten player of the year, is the only player in the country averaging at least 18 points and seven assists per game while also connecting on at least 40 percent of his three-point attempts this season. He’s also one of only 18 Division I players since 1992-93 to reach the 18-7 mark.
Big West champions
The Anteaters routed Cal State Fullerton, 92-64, to clinch their second NCAA tournament bid in program history. UC Irvine became the first conference school with at least 30 wins since UNLV’s 1991 Final Four team, according to the Associated Press.
Bruce Pearl has the Tigers back into the tournament for the second straight season after a 14-year absence, and defense has been a big part of that: Auburn forced a turnover on 25.2 percent of its opponents’ possessions during the regular season, the top mark in the nation. This counterbalances the Tigers’ troubles rebounding its opponents’ missed shots (33.2 percent).
Ivy League champion
The Bulldogs avenged two regular season losses to Harvard in Sunday’s 97-85 win in the Ivy League tournament championship game. It’s the first NCAA tournament bid for Yale since 2016, when the Bulldogs shocked Baylor in the opening round.
Sun Belt champion
Georgia State beat Texas-Arlington in a rematch of last year’s title game. The Panthers, who also won the regular season title, are in their fifth NCAA tournament.
By the grace of the Pac-12′s off year, the Ducks are going dancing. They knocked off regular season champion Washington, 68-48, Saturday night in Las Vegas to claim the conference tournament title. The result means the Huskies won’t be breathing easy on Selection Sunday and neither will Arizona State, the conference’s only other bubble team. In a sloppy affair, not a single Washington player scored in double figures. Oregon junior guard Payton Pritchard scored 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting to lead the Ducks. Freshman guard Louis King leads the team in scoring at 12.6. Oregon will enter the NCAA tournament riding an eight-game winning streak all without star freshman center Bol Bol, who only played in nine games before a season-ending injury.
NEW MEXICO STATE
The Aggies rolled through Grand Canyon, 89-57, on Saturday night to capture the WAC tournament title. New Mexico State has rattled off 19 consecutive wins entering its seventh NCAA tournament appearance in eight seasons.
The Wildcats have overcome the midseason loss of junior center Jalone Friday because of a disciplinary matter to reach the first NCAA tournament in program history.
Toward the end of the season, there was Duke with Zion Williamson and Duke without their freshman sensation. Without him, the Blue Devils went 3-3 in their last six regular season games, falling once to Virginia Tech and twice to North Carolina. With Williamson back on the court for the conference tournament, the Devils swept through Syracuse, North Carolina and, Saturday, Florida State, 73-63. Williamson in those three games combined for 81 points, shooting 76.7 percent from the field, and 30 rebounds. Freshman guard R.J. Barrett added 17 points and 9 rebounds in the championship game.
Conference USA champion
Watch out for the Monarchs, who shocked Syracuse at the Carrier Dome in December. They knocked off Western Kentucky, 62-56, in the Conference USA championship game to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011.
Big Sky champion
The Grizzlies have gone without senior guard Jamar Akoh, a key scorer, since early February but maintained balance through the stretch run to win both the Big Sky regular season title and tournament titles.
Buffalo stormed through Bowling Green, 87-73, to win the MAC championship on Saturday, moving to a blistering 31-3. The Bulls will enter the NCAA tournament winners of 12 straight. Senior guard CJ Massinburg is averaging 18.3 points and scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Bowling Green. Classmate Jeremy Harris scored a game-high 31 points and is averaging 20 points over his last five games.
Big East champion
Defending national champion Villanova withstood Seton Hall’s ferocious comeback late to become the first team to win three consecutive Big East tournaments with a 74-72 victory at Madison Square Garden. The Wildcats are not nearly as deep this season as they were last year during their national title run, but four players scored in double figures Saturday, including senior forward Eric Paschall (17), senior guard Phil Booth (16) and freshman swingman Saddiq Bey (16), a Sidwell Friends grad.
Big 12 champion
The Cyclones’ balance and the way they navigated the rough-and-tumble Big 12 could make Iowa State a dark horse national championship pick. Four players, including Virginia transfer Marial Shayok, average double-digit points, and Coach Steve Prohm will routinely go six deep into his bench. The Cyclones knocked off Kansas, 78-66, in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday to claim their fourth conference tournament title since 2014. Sophomore Lindell Wigginton led the way with a team-high 17 points off the bench. Shayok added 15 points.
Mountain West champion
The Aggies busted someone’s bubble after a 64-57 win over San Diego State on Saturday. The Mountain West was likely to draw a single bid if Nevada could win the conference tournament, but the Aztecs knocked them off in the semifinal. Utah State seized the opening. Junior guard Sam Merrill scored a team-high 24 points and went 11-of-12 from the free throw line.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M
After a season-opening win, the Panthers lost 11 straight games, then won 21 of their next 22. The only team to beat them in that span was SWAC tournament title game opponent Texas Southern, but the Panthers took care of the Tigers on Saturday, 92-86, to reach their first NCAA tournament since 1998. Senior guard Jalyn Patterson had 24 points and five assists. Senior forward Jeremy Combs added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
North Carolina Central has been to the NCAA tournament three times since becoming a Division I school in 2011 but has never won a tournament game. It will play in a play-in game for the third straight season. The Eagles trailed by 10 at the half, but limited top seed Norfolk State to 15 points in the second half of the title game — including holding the Spartans scoreless is the final 4:02 of the game — for a 50-47 victory. Senior forward Zacarry Douglas of Landover led a balanced scoring attack for the Durham school with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
America East champion
Vermont is making its seventh trip to the NCAA tournament and looking for its third win. Junior forward Anthony Lamb, the America East player of the year, is averaging 21.4 points and 7.8 rebounds.
The Raiders are back in the NCAA tournament for just the third time ever and the first time since 1996. They enter on an 11-game winning streak, the last three double-digit victories in the Patriot League tournament. Led by Northwestern transfer Rapolas Ivanauskas (16.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 43.4 percent from three-point range), Colgate is among the national leaders in three-point field goal percentage (38.8 percent)
Missouri Valley champion
The Braves overcame an 18-point second-half deficit against Northern Iowa — the largest comeback in Missouri Valley title-game history — to secure their first NCAA tournament berth since a Sweet 16 run in 2006. Coach Brian Wardle has taken to wearing bright red loafers this season, a gift from his wife, and Bradley has yet to lose a game when he has worn his Big Dance-appropriate footwear.
It’s been quite a year for Knights Coach Greg Herenda. While attending last year’s Final Four, he fell ill and spent 15 days in a San Antonio hospital fighting two blood clots. It took him three months to walk again. Now FDU — one of the nation’s top three-point-shooting teams at 42 percent — is back in the NCAA tournament for the second time in his six-year tenure.
Big South champion
The Runnin’ Bulldogs are making their first NCAA tournament appearance, and it’s almost entirely the work of senior forward DJ Laster, who scored 32 points on 14-for-17 shooting in Gardner-Webb’s upset of Radford in the Big South title game. The 6-foot-6 Laster is the tallest starter for the Bulldogs, one of the shortest teams in the nation (ranking 345th out of 353 Division I teams, according to Ken Pomeroy).
Metro Atlantic champion
The Gaels were 7-15 in early February but rebounded to win their fourth straight MAAC title, becoming the first men’s team in conference history to do that. Iona has allowed its opponents to shoot nearly 37 percent from three-point range, one of the worst marks in the tournament, but held Monmouth to 5-for-24 shooting from long distance in the conference title game.
Atlantic Sun champion
Back in the tournament for the fourth time in program history, the Flames avoided a No. 16 seed for the first time after posting a school-record victory total. Liberty ranked among the nation’s best teams in both free throw percentage (77.1) and two-point field goal percentage (58.5). Leading scorer Scottie James paced that effort by making 71.3 percent of his two-point shots.
Ohio Valley champion
The NCAA tournament gives us at least one more chance to see scintillating Racers guard Ja Morant in action before he likely departs for the NBA. (Some draft experts peg him as the No. 2 prospect in the nation behind Duke’s Zion Williamson.) Averaging 24.6 points and a national-best 10 assists per game, Morant’s highlight-reel dunks have become the stuff of legend.
NORTH DAKOTA STATE
The Bison started 2-7, with a loss to a team called Incarnate Word that would finish with six wins on the season, and ended the regular season on a 1-3 skid. But they took full advantage of favorite South Dakota State’s stunning early exit from the Summit tournament to earn their first March Madness berth in four years.
Last year, the Huskies built a 17-point lead in the CAA final, only to lose to College of Charleston. This year, they built an 18-point lead on Hofstra in the CAA final, only to watch the Pride tie the score in the second half. But this time, Northeastern held on to earn just its second NCAA tournament berth in 28 years, thanks in part to Vasa Pusica’s seven three-pointers.
The Norse have been a Division I program for all of seven seasons but will be making their second NCAA tournament appearance. Senior forward Drew McDonald nearly averaged a double-double this season and is one of five active Division I players with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
West Coast champion
Employing one of the nation’s slowest offenses, the Gaels held top-ranked Gonzaga to 43 points below its season scoring average and snapped the Bulldogs’ 31-game conference winning streak in a stunning WCC final upset. Saint Mary’s excels at both shooting three-pointers (37.8 percent) and defending them (31.8 percent).
The Terriers are not your run-of-the-mill Southern Conference champion: They haven’t lost since Dec. 19, spent the last few weeks of the regular season in the AP top 25 for the first time in program history and have four players who shoot at least 41.4 percent from three-point range.
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