One day until Selection Sunday has 14-count’em, 14!-bids up for grabs today.  While some are mere formalities (Duke/Notre Dame in the ACC), Vermont needed to take the America East to make the Big Dance.  Who’s ready for even more hoops?

Planting Seeds-

Maryland (24-8) is a #6 according to USA Today and CBS, and a #7 in ESPN’s model. That model would send them to Greenville, NC to face Vanderbilt-with Duke waiting in the wings.  The Terps were once 20-2 and crashed in their conference quarterfinals Friday night against Northwestern when they had issues running their offense as well as defending in a 72-64 loss.  Two ugly stretches saw the Wildcats rip off 20-4 and 20-2 runs…something we’ve seen all too often.  Moving forward, they need refs who will call more contact and opponents that don’t have size.

Virginia (22-10) is a #5 in the ESPN and USA Today models and CBS has them a 7th seed…one that sends them to Indianapolis and a matchup with Oklahoma State (Kentucky looms in the other half of their pod).  At least it’s not Michigan State…

Virginia Tech (22-10) is a #10 in the USA today model, an 8 by ESPN and a #7 by CBS.  The 7th seed gives them 30-4 Wichita State in the first round.  Wow, thanks.


All Eyes on Pittsburgh-

The Atlantic 10 got pushed out the door by the ACC as that league wanted to play in Brooklyn the next two years…and well, they are the Atlantic Coast Conference and all.  But Friday in the A-10 there was pretty decent drama…starting with top seed Dayton going down to Davidson as Jack Gibbs (he’s finally a senior this year, we promise) torched the Flyers for 34 points.  Rhode Island held off an upset-minded St. Bonaventure in the other afternoon session as the Rams have now won six straight.  The evening session saw two decent duels: VCU puts George Mason away 71-60 despite 11 points and 17 rebounds by Marquise Moore and Richmond ends George Washington’s run with a 70-67 triumph (Tyler Cavanaugh tallies 23 points and 12 rebounds in defeat).

That means for the third time this winter the co-tenants of the Commonwealth’s capital will clash.  VCU won both of their regular season meetings with the Spiders (81-74 and 84-73)…but had trouble containing both TJ Cline (averaged 16 pts/8 reb/8 ast) and ShawnDre’ Jones (scored 30 and 20 against the Rams).  Justin Tillman was effective in the first game (18 points with 9 rebounds) but hampered by foul trouble in the second.  Have we mentioned that VCU has beaten Richmond twice in the A-10 Tournament since joining the league and has reached the finals every year the Rams have been a member? 3:30 tipoff.