On Sunday, two teams that had each been on top on their conference standings lost crucial games.
Iona, the regular-season champion in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference fell in the semifinal round of the conference tournament. The Gaels’ 85-75 loss to fourth-seeded Fairfield means they now will have to wait until Selection Sunday to find out if they receive an NCAA Tournament bid.
In the Pac-12, California lost its regular-season finale at rival Stanford, 75-70. The loss knocked the Bears out of a first-place tie with Washington and into a tie for second with Oregon. With the Pac-12 being a much lower-rated conference than usual, a regular-season league title may have been a key to locking up an at-large bid if Cal fails to win the league tournament.
How do the NCAA Tourney prospects for Cal and Iona look after their tough losses over the weekend? Here is a look at the case for each.
Updated RPI/SOS Rankings from realtimerpi.com.
Iona: 25-7, 16-4* MAAC; RPI: 48; SOS: 143.
California: 23-8, 13-5 Pac-12; RPI: 37; SOS: 94
Notable common opponents: Denver (both beat)
*Includes two games played in MAAC Tournament
Recent NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdowns