NCAA Tournament 2013: Conference Champion and Automatic Bid Tracker

Avi Wolfman-ArentCorrespondent IIMarch 9, 2013

NCAA Tournament 2013: Conference Champion and Automatic Bid Tracker

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    They come from every corner of these United States—small schools, big schools, blue-bloods and upstarts.

    All for a chance to dance.

    In the zero-sum game that is college basketball's conference championship week, nothing less will do. It's NCAA tournament or bust.

    In the slides ahead, you'll find real-time info on each of the 30 Division I conference tournaments, with winners listed, feted and dissected for all your Madness needs.

     

    Note: All tempo-free statistics courtesy of KenPom.com unless otherwise noted.

Conference Tournament Schedule and Results

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    Below you'll find the scheduled time of every conference championship game. When each contest is finalized , we'll update with the result.

    The slides ahead include info and analysis for each conference champion. The most recent qualifiers are listed first.

    All times are ET.

     

    Saturday, March 9

    Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast def. Mercer, 88-75

    Ohio Valley: Belmont def. Murray State, 70-68 OT 

     

    Sunday, March 10

    Big South: Liberty def. Charleston Southern, 87-76

    Missouri Valley: Creighton def. Wichita State, 68-65

     

    Monday, March 11

    Colonial: James Madison def. Northeastern, 70-57

    Southern: Davidson def. Charleston, 74-55

    MAAC: Iona def. Manhattan, 60-57

    Sun Belt: Western Kentucky def. Florida International, 65-63

    West Coast: Gonzaga def. St. Mary's, 65-51

     

    Tuesday, March 12

    Northeast: LIU Brooklyn def. Mount St. Mary's, 91-70

    Horizon: Valparaiso def. Wright State, 62-54

    Summit: South Dakota State def. North Dakota State, 73-67

     

    Wednesday, March 13

    Patriot: Bucknell def. Lafayette, 64-56

     

    Saturday, March 16

    America East: Albany def. Vermont, 53-49

    Conference USA: Memphis def. Southern Miss, 91-79 (double overtime)

    SWAC: Southern def. Prairie View A&M, 45-44

    MEAC: North Carolina A&T def. Morgan State, 57-54

    Mountain West: New Mexico def. UNLV, 63-56

    Big 12: Kansas def. Kansas State, 70-54

    MAC: Akron def. Ohio, 65-46

    Southland: Northwestern State def. Stephen F. Austin, 68-66

    Big East: Louisville def. Syracuse, 78-61

    Big Sky: Montana def. Weber State, 67-64

    Big West: Pacific def. UC Irvine, 64-55

    Pac-12: Oregon def. UCLA, 78-69

    WAC: New Mexico State def. Texas-Arlington, 64-55

     

    Sunday, March 17

    ACC: Miami def. North Carolina, 87-77

    Atlantic 10: St Louis def. VCU, 62-56

    SEC: Ole Miss def. Florida, 66-63

    Big 10: Ohio State def. Wisconsin 50-43

     

    Note: Ivy League awards automatic bid to regular-season champion.

Ohio State: 2013 Big Ten Conference Champion

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    Big Ten Title Game Recap

    In a game that could only be described as "Big Tennish," it was exciting from start to finish even though neither team scored 50 points until the final minute. Ohio State prevailed 50-43 behind a ho-hum 17 points and seven rebounds from Deshaun Thomas.

     

    Season in Review

    The Buckeyes finished in second-place in the best conference in the country, defeating every team in the conference at least once throughout the course of the season. They had just one nonconference win against the RPI Top 100, but you have to think they'll be adding to that number soon.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    They've won eight consecutive games and could conceivably win another six more en route to a national championship.

     

    March Madness Fact

    The Buckeyes have won at least two games in four of their last five trips to the NCAA tournament.

Saint Louis: 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference Champion

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    A-10 Title Game Recap

    Despite 17 turnovers against VCU's heralded "Havoc" defense, Kwamain Mitchell (19 points) and the Billikens kept the Rams in check by forcing them to play in a traditional half-court offense as much as possible. Unable to run like the wind, VCU was held way below its scoring average in a 62-56 win for Saint Louis.

     

    Season in Review

    They started out slow, dropping to 3-3 on the season after a November 29 loss to Washington. However, they were without Mitchell, who was recovering from off-season surgery. Since that loss, the Billikens are 24-3 with a 5-0 record against Butler and VCU.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    The sleeper effect has worn off a bit with their continued success on a national level, but this team is a legitimate threat to get to the Final Four.

     

    March Madness Fact

    The best seed the Billikens have ever received in the NCAA tournament is a No. 7 seed. Safe to say they'll do better than that on Sunday night.

Ole Miss: 2013 Southeastern Conference Champion

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    SEC Title Game Recap

    Marshall Henderson and Murphy Holloway lead the way for the Rebels, each scoring more than 20 points against the Florida Gators. When Kenny Boynton's desperation three clanked off the rim, Ole Miss was finally, mercifully removed from the bubble with a 66-63 win.

     

    Season in Review

    This wasn't quite a case of a sub-.500 team winning the SEC tournament like Georgia did in 2008, but it was certainly a surprise. Ole Miss started the season 17-2, but mostly by virtue of an incredibly weak schedule. The Rebels won just one regular-season game against the RPI Top 50, but picked up two more when they mattered most.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    You'll have to talk to Marshall Henderson about that one. They're pretty tough to beat when he's hitting some of the 11 three-pointers he attempts per game. Getting to the Sweet 16 wouldn't be a complete shock.

     

    March Madness Fact

    This is the first trip to the tournament for the Rebels in 11 years, in which they lost to UCLA by 22 points. There's a chance they could meet again in the first round this year.

Miami: 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Champion

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    ACC Title Game Recap

    North Carolina hit 12 of its first 21 three-point attempts, but Miami responded by doing the same. Behind Shane Larkin's 28 points and a double-double from Julian Gamble, the Hurricanes stormed back to a convincing 87-77 victory.

     

    Season in Review

    The Hurricanes started the year with a discouraging loss to Florida Gulf Coast, but in that game were without last year's leading scorer—Durand Scott. They went 6-1 against the power schools from North Carolina that everyone was expecting to finish in the top three.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    With their stellar guard play and big man Kenny Kadji, the Hurricanes could win it all.

     

    March Madness Fact

    The Hurricanes have won just one NCAA tournament game in the past 13 years. No one on this roster has been to the tournament before.

New Mexico State: 2013 Western Athletic Conference Champion

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    WAC Title Game Recap

    New Mexico State beat UT-Arlington, 64-55, to win the WAC tournament title. Sim Bhullar, a 7’5” freshman, scored 16 points and grabbed 15 boards to lead New Mexico State. The Aggies outrebounded the Mavericks 41-25.

     

    Season in Review

    New Mexico State started off the conference season 0-2 but has won 18 of its last 20 games. The Aggies are playing well, but their best wins have all come at home. They have not beaten a team in the RPI top 150 outside of Las Cruces, according to CBSSports.com.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    New Mexico State is playing well and could maybe pull an upset with a favorable matchup. The Aggies are not a serious threat to win more than one game.

     

    March Madness Fact

    New Mexico State is in the NCAA tournament for the third time in the last four years. The Aggies lost to No. 5-seed Michigan State, 70-67, in 2010 and to No. 4-seed Indiana, 79-66, last year.

Oregon: 2013 Pac-12 Champion

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    Pac-12 Title Game Recap

    Oregon got off to a slow start, scoring just four points in the first seven minutes, but recovered to beat UCLA, 78-69, in the Pac-12 title game. Carlos Emory had 20 points to lead the Ducks, which won their first conference title since 2007. UCLA, playing for the first time without injured freshman Jordan Adams, had all five starters score in double figures.

     

    Season in Review

    Oregon began the season 17-2 before point guard Dominic Artis went down with a foot injury. Artis missed nine games, and the Ducks went 5-4 in that stretch. Since his return, Oregon is 4-2 with ugly losses at Colorado and Utah.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    With Artis still not in early-season form, it’s tough to see Oregon making too much noise in the NCAA tournament. The Ducks might win a game, but they would need some good fortune to make the second weekend.

     

    March Madness Fact

    Oregon is going back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008. It will be Dana Altman’s ninth trip to the Big Dance and his first with Oregon. He has a career record of 2-8 in the NCAA tournament and has never made it to the second weekend.

Pacific: 2013 Big West Champion

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    Big West Title Game Recap

    Pacific jumped out to a 31-20 halftime lead and never trailed in the second half to beat UC Irvine, 64-55, in the Big West title game. Tony Gill had 19 points for the Tigers, and Pacific held the Anteaters to 35.8 percent shooting.

     

    Season in Review

    Pacific is peaking at the right time, winning its last seven games heading into the NCAA tournament. The Tigers are 22-12 and have neutral court wins over Saint Mary’s and Xavier.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    Pacific is a team to keep an eye on. While it isn’t likely the Tigers will pull an upset, they are shooting 38.6 percent from three. If they get hot from deep, they could bring about an early scare for a heavy favorite in the round of 64.

     

    March Madness Fact

    This is the first time Pacific has been to the NCAA tournament since three straight trips to the Big Dance from 2004-06. The Tigers beat Providence in 2004 and Pittsburgh in 2005.

Montana: 2013 Big Sky Champion

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    Big Sky Title Game Recap

    Montana beat Weber State, 67-64, to win its third Big Sky title in the last four years. Will Cherry had 18 points, including five in the final minute, to lead the Grizzlies. It was Weber State’s first loss in 14 games since Jan. 26, its last trip to Montana.

     

    Season in Review

    Montana rolled through the Big Sky, losing just once in 22 games but didn’t accomplish much in the nonconference portion of is schedule. The Grizzlies have won six in a row with their last loss coming at Davidson, 93-87, in overtime on Feb. 23.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    The Grizzlies only have four wins over teams ranked in the RPI top 200, according to CBSSports.com. They should not pose a serious threat to pull an upset in the round of 64.

     

    March Madness Fact

    Montana has reached the NCAA tournament eight times since 1991. The lone win the Grizzlies picked up came in 2006 when they upset No. 5-seed Nevada, 87-79.

Louisville: 2013 Big East Champion

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    Big East Title Game Recap

    Louisville overcame a 16-point second half deficit to beat Syracuse, 78-61, in the Big East title game. Louisville outscored Syracuse 49-16 over the final 15:34, giving the Orange a stunning defeat in their last Big East tournament game before moving to the ACC. Freshman Montrezl Harrell led the Cardinals with 20 points off the bench.

     

    Season in Review

    Since losing three in a row in January, Louisville has won 13 of its last 14 games with the lone defeat coming in the five-overtime thriller at Notre Dame. The Cardinals have fulfilled their preseason expectations and are playing their best basketball at the right time.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    Louisville heads into the NCAA tournament as one of the favorites to cut down the nets in Atlanta. Anything less than a Final Four run would be a major disappointment for Rick Pitino’s team.

     

    March Madness Fact

    The last three Big East tournament winners have made the Final Four, including Louisville last year. However, the last time that a team not named Connecticut won a national title after winning the Big East tournament was Georgetown in 1984.

Northwestern State: 2013 Southland Conference Champion

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    Southland Title Game Recap

    Northwestern State held off Stephen F. Austin, 68-66, to win the Southland Conference title. The Demons led for the final 18:56 but needed a steal with under five seconds left to seal the victory. Shamir Davis had 19 points to lead Northwestern State.

     

    Season in Review

    Northwestern State is 23-8 this season with its best win coming over Louisiana Tech, 89-83, on Dec. 4. The Demons have played some power-conference teams tough, losing at Oklahoma by four and at LSU by seven. Northwestern State leads the nation with 81.5 points per game.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    Don’t overlook the possibility of Northwestern State pulling a March Madness shocker in the round of 64. The Demons have a coach in Mike McConathy who has experienced some success in the NCAA tournament, going 2-2 in his two trips to the Big Dance with the Demons.

     

    March Madness Fact

    Northwestern State has won a game in both of its previous NCAA tournament appearances. The Demons were the winners of the very first Opening Round game back in 2001 when the field expanded to 65 teams, beating Winthrop, 71-67. Northwestern State upset No. 3-seed Iowa in 2006, 64-63. 

Akron: 2013 Mid-American Conference Champion

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    MAC Title Game Recap

    Akron met Ohio in the MAC title game for the third time in four years Saturday. The Zips trailed the Bobcats by three at halftime, but Akron outscored Ohio 39-17 in the second half to pull away for a 65-46 win.

    Akron held MAC Player of the Year D.J. Cooper to three points on 0-of-9 shooting and forced him into five turnovers. Demetrius Treadwell had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Zips.

     

    Season in Review

    The Zips were rolling, heading into March with a 19-game winning streak. Then, news came that point guard Alex Abreu was arrested on drug charges on March 7. He was suspended indefinitely and has missed Akron’s final three games.

     

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    Akron could have been a popular pick to make some noise during March Madness, but that changed with Abreu’s suspension. The Zips could pull an upset with a favorable matchup in the round of 64, but they probably don’t pose a serious threat to make the second weekend.

     

    March Madness Fact

    Akron is making just its fourth trip to the NCAA tournament and will be looking for its first ever NCAA tournament victory. The Zips last made the Big Dance in 2011 as a No. 15 seed, losing 69-56 to Notre Dame.

New Mexico: 2013 Mountain West Conference Champion

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    MWC Title Game Recap

    New Mexico hit 9-of-19 shot attempts from beyond the three-point arc, producing enough offense to outlast UNLV, 63-56. Lobos guard Tony Snell led all scorers with 21 points.

    Season in Review

    New Mexico continues a strong season, highlighted by a 4-0 record against nationally ranked opponents. The Lobos haven't lost consecutive games during the 2012-13 campaign.

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    The Lobos don't lack for experience. A veteran-laden lineup continues to cruise against quality opponents, and the team's consistency puts New Mexico in position for an excellent seed in the NCAA tourney. This squad is capable of pulling off an upset or two and crashing the Elite Eight party.

    March Madness Fact

    After qualifying for just one NCAA tournament between 2000-2009 (2005), the Lobos are headed to the tourney for the third time since 2010. 

Kansas: 2013 Big 12 Champion

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    Big 12 Title Game Recap

    Kansas outclassed longtime rival Kansas State, 70-54. The Jayhawks limited Kansas State to 16 first-half points and led comfortably throughout the second half, claiming the sixth Big 12 title of Bill Self's 10-season tenure.

    Season in Review

    Kansas stumbled in early February, falling to three straight conference opponents. The Jayhawks responded by winning 10 of 11 games en route to another Big 12 title. 

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    In Self's nine previous NCAA tourney appearances, Kansas reached at least the Elite Eight on six occasions. The Jayhawks have depth that rivals any team in the country and should be considered a favorite to advance all the way to Atlanta, home of the 2013 Final Four.

    March Madness Fact

    James Naismith invented the sport and took over as the team's first head coach. The program proceeded to become one of America's most successful postseason squads. Kansas currently owns the land's longest NCAA tournament streak, and Sunday's selection will make it 24 straight appearances.

North Carolina State A&T: 2013 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champion

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    MEAC Title Game Recap

    The second half opened with a tie on the scoreboard, and things stayed close until the final horn. The Aggies edged Morgan State, 57-54, in the program's first conference finals appearance since 1997.

    Season in Review

    North Carolina A&T struggled mightily in the season's early stages. The Aggies sat at 5-9 on New Year's Day and began March under .500. Two weeks later, six wins in seven games have the squad headed to the Big Dance.

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    The Aggies faced just one nationally ranked opponent all season and boy was it ugly. Cincinnati steamrolled North Carolina A&T 93-39 in November. If that's any indication of this team's ability to match up with the major programs, a first-round victory is out of the question.

    March Madness Fact

    The Aggies haven't made an NCAA tourney appearance since 1995, when many of its current players were still wearing diapers.

Southern: 2013 Southwestern Athletic Conference Champion

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    SWAC Title Game Recap

    The Jaguars edged Prairie View A&M, 45-44, in the championship. Neither team was able to gain much separation throughout the low-scoring contest. Senior Derick Beltran was the only Southern player to tally more than eight points (13 total).

    Season in Review

    Southern is 9-2 since February rolled around. Prior to the title game, the Jaguars were pummeling SWAC teams, collecting four straight double-digit wins. Southern overcame a 1-5 start to the season.

    NCAA Tournament Projection

    Beltran and junior guard Malcolm Miller produce at a quality level, each averaging about 16 points per game. Southern's lack of depth beyond those two doesn't bode well for tourney title dreams. Consider the Jags an extreme dark horse.

    March Madness Fact

    This is just the Jaguars' second NCAA tournament since 1993, when Southern registered its only tourney victory in program history.

Memphis: 2013 Conference USA Champion

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    Conference USA Title Game Recap

    Memphis completed a perfect conference season with a  91-79  win that required a pair of extra sessions against Southern Miss. The Tigers attacked from all angles offensively, as five players tallied double-digit scoring outputs. Memphis surr