Erased by the pandemic a year ago, conference tournament week did not disappoint, bringing the men’s college basketball world to the most important date on the calendar: Selection Sunday.
The 68-team field – all bound for the Indianapolis area – will be released at 6 p.m. ET on CBS.
Automatic bids have been gobbled by teams on the outside of the top 68, such as Oregon State (Pac-12) and Georgetown (Big East), shrinking the bubble and leaving programs without conference tournament titles sweating.
Entering Sunday, according to USA TODAY Sports’ bracketology, the first four out included Wichita State, Colorado State, Boise State and Saint Louis, with Memphis, Ole Miss, Seton Hall and St. John’s also on the outside looking in. Meanwhile, VCU, Syracuse, Drake and Utah State are slotted as the “last four in.” Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois – which plays Ohio State in the Big Ten championship Sunday afternoon – and Michigan currently command the four No. 1 seeds.
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Stay with USA TODAY Sports throughout Selection Sunday for the latest bracket updates, analysis and as the final conference tournament games wrap up.
Junior guard Quentin Grimes went 5-for-9 from deep to lead all scorers with 21 points, while sophomore guard Marcus Sasser added 16 in the 91-54 blowuot. Defensively, Houston held Cincinnati to shooting 27.7 percent from the field.
The Cougars entered the day as a No. 2 seed and their first American Athletic Conference tournament championship will keep them on that line later Sunday (bracketology had them in Illinois’ region, with Texas and Purdue as the No. 3 and 4 seeds, respectively).
The Tigers hung with the Crimson Tide all game and had multiple, point-blank chances for a last-second victory but simply could not put the ball in the basket.
Alabama defended its regular-season title with its first conference tournament victory in 30 years.
Saint Bonaventure defends Atlantic 10 title at tournament
For all of the upsets during championship week, No. 1 St. Bonaventure did not relinquish its stranglehold on the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies dispatched the VCU rams in the title game behind Kyle Lofton’s 23 points. Saint Bonaventure entered Sunday as a 10-seed.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.