Let it begin: March Madness, Day 1

Let it begin: March Madness, Day 1

Posted by Lindsey on Mon, 03/01/2010 - 02:11
Let’s put 14 days on the big calendar. Let’s put 331 teams on the big board. Assuming we're starting our countdown at 12 a.m. Monday, we’ll going to need almost all of the next 329 hours to eliminate 266 teams and showcase 65 schools on Selection Sunday. Conference postseason tournaments don’t start until Tuesday -- the Horizon League kicks things off with four opening-round contests that include road games for Loyola and UIC -- but already we can cross several teams off our March Madness list. --The Ivy League doesn’t hold a postseason tournament. Since Cornell has reduced its magic number to 1 – the Big Red can clinch the first bid in the 2010 NCAA Tournament with a win Friday at Brown – we can eliminate Brown, Yale, Penn, Columbia and Dartmouth from NCAA consideration. --The Big Sky only allows six of its nine teams to make the postseason tournament. Portland State claimed the sixth and final spot on Sunday, so we have to bid adieu to Eastern Washington, Idaho State and Sacramento State. --In the Big South, Gardner-Webb lost the tiebreaker for the eighth and final seed in that postseason tournament. Thus the Runnin' Bulldogs' 2009-10 season ended on Saturday. --The Northeast only allows 8 of its eligible 11 teams through the postseason pass gate, so we need to excuse St. Francis (NY), Sacred Heart and Wagner from the March Madness proceedings. --The Ohio Valley only allows 8 of its 10 eligible teams into the postseason, so SEMO and Tennessee-Martin wind up on the outside. But, hey, Eastern Illinois earned a No. 4 seed and a quarterfinal home game on Tuesday! --The locally operated Summit League (hello to the Elmhurst headquarters) only invites eight teams to its Sioux Falls, S.D. shindig, so Southern Utah won’t be around. --The Atlantic 10 tells two of its 14 teams to stay home, so winless Fordham and a team to be determined this week won’t have a last-gasp chance to play for an NCAA bid. --The SWAC doesn’t allow two of its 10 teams to be part of the “SWAC Nation” party in Shreveport, La., -- where Steve Harvey and Katt Williams are among the solid Tournament Week entertainment -- so that excuses Alcorn State for sure and Southern more than likely. --So, I guess we’re already down to 314 possible teams for the 2010 Tournament. If you want to keep track of the countdown at home, keep scrolling. Way down at the end of this blog, I have the conference tournament dates and championship times so you can set your DVRs. IN THE FIELD OF 65: None OUT (17 so far): Alcorn State Brown Columbia Dartmouth Eastern Washington Fordham Gardner-Webb Idaho State Penn St. Francis (NY) Sacramento State Sacred Heart Southeast Mo. State Southern Utah Tennessee-Martin Wagner Yale INELIGIBLE: Centenary Savannah State Southern California For those of you who want to play along as if you’re on the NCAA Tournament committee, here are the 334 Div. I schools exactly as listed on the initial ballot the committee members will file when they arrive at Indianapolis next week. We’ve included Centenary, Savannah State and Southern California --- the three ineligible teams – on the ballot because the NCAA does the same: A&M-Corpus Christi Air Force Akron Alabama Alabama A&M Alabama St. Albany (N.Y.) Alcorn St. American Appalachian St. Arizona Arizona St. Ark.-Little Rock Ark.-Pine Bluff Arkansas Arkansas St. Army Auburn Austin Peay BYU Ball St. Baylor Belmont Bethune-Cookman Binghamton Boise St. Boston College Boston U. Bowling Green Bradley Brown Bucknell Buffalo Butler Cal Poly Cal St. Fullerton Cal St. Northridge California Campbell Canisius Centenary (La.) Central Conn. St. Central Mich. Charleston So. Charlotte Chattanooga Chicago St. Cincinnati Citadel Clemson Cleveland St. Coastal Caro. Col. of Charleston Colgate Colorado Colorado St. Columbia Connecticut Coppin St. Cornell Creighton Dartmouth Davidson Dayton DePaul Delaware Delaware St. Denver Detroit Drake Drexel Duke Duquesne East Caro. East Tenn. St. Eastern Ill. Eastern Ky. Eastern Mich. Eastern Wash. Elon Evansville FIU Fairfield Fairleigh Dickinson Fla. Atlantic Florida Florida A&M Florida St. Fordham Fresno St. Furman Ga. Southern Gardner-Webb George Mason George Washington Georgetown Georgia Georgia St. Georgia Tech Gonzaga Grambling Green Bay Hampton Hartford Harvard Hawaii High Point Hofstra Holy Cross Houston Howard IPFW IUPUI Idaho Idaho St. Ill.-Chicago Illinois Illinois St. Indiana Indiana St. Iona Iowa Iowa St. Jackson St. Jacksonville Jacksonville St. James Madison Kansas Kansas St. Kennesaw St. Kent St. Kentucky LSU La Salle La.-Lafayette La.-Monroe Lafayette Lamar Lehigh Liberty Lipscomb Long Beach St. Long Island Longwood Louisiana Tech Louisville Loyola (Ill.) Loyola (MD) Loyola Marymount Maine Manhattan Marist Marquette Marshall Maryland Massachusetts McNeese St. Md.-East. Shore Memphis Mercer Miami (Fla.) Miami (Ohio) Michigan Michigan St. Middle Tenn. Milwaukee Minnesota Mississippi Mississippi St. Mississippi Val. Missouri Missouri St. Monmouth Montana Montana St. Morehead St. Morgan St. Mt. St. Mary's Murray St. N.C. A&T NJIT Navy Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Mexico New Mexico St. New Orleans Niagara Nicholls St. Norfolk St. North Carolina North Carolina St. North Dakota St. North Fla. North Texas Northeastern Northern Ariz. Northern Colo. Northern Ill. Northwestern Northwestern St. Notre Dame Oakland Ohio Ohio St. Oklahoma Oklahoma St. Old Dominion Oral Roberts Oregon Oregon St. Pacific Penn Penn St. Pepperdine Pittsburgh Portland Portland St. Prairie View Princeton Providence Purdue Quinnipiac Radford Rhode Island Rice Richmond Rider Robert Morris Rutgers SMU Sacramento St. Sacred Heart Sam Houston St. Samford San Diego San Diego St. San Francisco San Jose St. Santa Clara Savannah St. Seton Hall Siena South Ala. South Carolina South Carolina St. South Dakota St. South Fla. Southeast Mo. St. Southeastern La. Southern California Southern Ill. Southern Miss. Southern U. Southern Utah St. Bonaventure St. Francis (N.Y.) St. Francis (Pa.) St. John's (N.Y.) St. Joseph's St. Louis St. Mary's (Cal.) St. Peter's Stanford Stephen F. Austin Stetson Stony Brook Syracuse TCU Temple Tenn.-Martin Tennessee Tennessee St. Tennessee Tech Tex.-Pan American Texas Texas A&M Texas Southern Texas St. Texas Tech Texas-Arlington Toledo Towson Troy Tulane Tulsa UAB UC Davis UC Irvine UC Riverside UC Santa Barb. UCF UCLA UMBC UMKC UNC Asheville UNC Greensboro UNC Wilmington UNI UNLV UTEP UTSA Utah Utah St. Utah Valley VCU VMI Valparaiso Vanderbilt Vermont Villanova Virginia Virginia Tech Wagner Wake Forest Washington Washington St. Weber St. West Virginia Western Caro. Western Ill. Western Ky. Western Mich. Wichita St. William & Mary Winthrop Wisconsin Wofford Wright St. Wyoming Xavier Yale Youngstown St. TOURNAMENTS: ACC: March 11-14 America East: March 4-7; 13 Atlantic Sun: March 3-6 Atlantic 10: March 9, 12-14 (cuts from 14 to 12; Fordham already out) Big East: March 9-13 Big Sky: March 7-10 Big South: March 2-6 Big Ten: March 11-14 Big 12: March 10-13 Big West: March 10-13 Colonial: March 5-8 Conference USA: March 10-13 Horizon: March 2, 5-6, 9 MAAC: March 5-8 MAC: March 10-13 MEAC: March 9-13 MVC: March 4-7 Mountain West: March 10-13 Northeast: March 4, 7, 10 Ohio Valley: March 2, 5-6 Pac-10: March 10-13 Patriot: March 3, 7, 12 SEC: March 11-14 Southern: March 5-8 Southland: March 10-11, 13 (cuts 3 of its 11 teams, but none decided yet) Summit: March 6-9 Sun Belt: March 6-9 SWAC: March 10-13 (cuts 2 of its 10 teams; one yet to be decided) WAC: March 11-13 (cuts 1 of its 9 teams, but not decided yet) West Coast: March 5-8 CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES: Saturday, March 6: Big South: 3 p.m. (ESPN2) Atlantic Sun: 5 p.m. (ESPN2) Ohio Valley: 7 p.m. (ESPN2) Sunday, March 7: Missouri Valley: 1 p.m. (CBS) Monday, March 8: Colonial: 6 p.m. (ESPN) Metro Atlantic: 6 p.m. (ESPN2) West Coast: 8 p.m. (ESPN) Southern: 8 p.m. (ESPN2) Tuesday, March 9: Sun Belt: 6 p.m. (ESPN2) Horizon: 8 p.m. (ESPN) Summit: 8 p.m. (ESPN2) Wednesday, March 10: Northeast: 6 p.m. (ESPN2) Big Sky: 8 p.m. (ESPN2) Friday, March 12: Patriot: 3:45 p.m. (ESPN2) Saturday, March 13: Conference USA, 10:30 a.m. (CBS) America East: 11 a.m. (ESPN2) MEAC: 1 p.m. (ESPN2) Southland: 3 p.m. (ESPN2) MAC: 5 p.m. (ESPN2) Big 12: 5 p.m. (ESPN) Pac-10: 5 p.m. (CBS) Mountain West: 6 p.m. (Versus) Big West: 7 p.m. (ESPN2) SWAC: 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU) Big East: 8 p.m. (ESPN) WAC: 9 p.m. (ESPN2) Sunday, March 14: ACC: 12 p.m. (ESPN) Colonial: 12 p.m. (CBS) SEC: 12 p.m. (ABC) Big Ten: 2:30 p.m. (CBS) LW
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