These are the conference tournament winners that grabbed an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The best postseason in American sports is officially upon us. Conference tournaments around the country are underway, as teams from all 32 Division-I conferences are looking to grab an automatic bid to the Big Dance.
We’ll know the entire NCAA tournament field on Selection Sunday come March 11. Until then, we’ll be tracking every team that has officially punched its ticket to the Big Dance.
Keep it locked to our daily Bracketology posts for the most up-to-date projection of the tournament field.
These teams are officially in the NCAA tournament
- Murray State: The Racers won the Ohio Valley in the regular season and won the conference tournament, too, defeating Belmont 68-51 in the title game.
- Radford: The Highlanders are going dancing after winning the Big South tournament on a buzzer-beater to defeat Liberty.
- Loyola-Chicago: One of the best mid-majors all season, Loyola won the MVC by four games in the regular season and locked in the automatic bid by knocking off Illinois State in the title game.
- Lispcomb: The Bisons almost blew a 32-point lead against Florida Gulf Coast in the Atlantic Sun final, but hung on to win the game and earn their first ever bid to the NCAA tournament.
- Michigan: The Wolverines are Big Ten tournament champs for the second straight season. They took out top-10 teams in Michigan State and Purdue in consecutive days to claim the title.
- Iona: The Gaels are going back to the NCAA Tournament, after defeating Fairfield in the MAAC tourney championship game, 83-71. The MAAC tourney was wide open thanks to all the top-three seeds getting bounced in the quarterfinals.
- UNC-Greensboro: The Spartans are SoCon tournament champs after defeating East Tennessee State in a rematch of last year’s title game. Unlike last year, where they played in the NIT against Syracuse, the Spartans will be waiting for their NCAA tourney matchup on Selection Sunday.
- Wright State: The Raiders will be representing the Horizon League in the NCAA tournament, after taking down upset-minded Cleveland State, 74-57, in the championship game.
- LIU-Brooklyn: The Blackbirds will be making their return to the big dance, after defeating No. 1 seed Wagner, 71-61, in the NEC championship game. With a record of 17-16, the Blackbirds could be one of the teams playing in Dayton, OH in the first four games.
- College of Charleston: The No. 1 seed Cougars came back from a 13-point halftime deficit against No. 2 seed Northeastern to win the CAA tournament in overtime, 83-76, and will go to the NCAA tourney for the first time in 19 years.
- Gonzaga: The gold standard of the WCC had no problems on Tuesday night, taking down BYU, 74-54, in the championship game. Gonzaga now waits to see if they will be a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA tourney.
- South Dakota State: The proverbial favorites in the Summit League are going back to the NCAA tourney, after defeating their in-state rival, South Dakota, 97-87, in the conference title game.
- Bucknell: The Bison are going dancing once again as they dominated Colgate 83-54 in the Patriot League championship game. Bucknell won the regular season title and swept the season series from the Raiders.
- UMBC: The Retrievers wiped away a 10-point deficit in the America East championship game to upset favorites Vermont, 65-62, after Jairus Lyles dropped in a last-second three pointer to punch his club through to the dance for the first time since 2008. UMBC further exorcised a 10-year old demon, by finally picking off the Catamounts for the first time in 23 contests dating back to March, 9 2008.
- North Carolina Central: the Eagles punched their ticket for the second straight year, toppling Hampton in the MEAC tournament title game. Hampton was favored to win the conference tilt this year, dropping just three games in all of league play. Now, however, the Pirates will have to watch NCCU represent the MEAC in the tourney.
- Texas Southern: The Tigers beat Arkansas Pine Bluff in a Southwestern Athletic Conference final that featured two under-.500 teams. At 15-19, Texas Southern is destined for a First Four matchup in Dayton.
- Kansas: The Jayhawks beat West Virginia in the Big 12 tournament final for the second time in three years to stake its claim for No. 1 seed when the NCAA Tournament brackets are revealed on Sunday.
- San Diego State: The Aztecs played giant killers in the Mountain West, knocking off top-seeded Nevada in the conference semifinals then took out No. 3 New Mexico in the final. SDSU was a No. 5 seed in the conference tournament and beat three lower-seeded teams en route to the title.
- Buffalo: The Bison were the top seed in the Mid-American Conference and it showed during the tournament, including a 76-66 win over Toledo in the title game to clinch Buffalo’s third NCAA Tournament berth in four years.
- Villanova: Providence put up a valiant fight and took the Wildcats to overtime in the Big East Tournament final, but Villanova prevailed behind 31 points from Jalen Brunson.
- Marshall: Jon Elmore scored 27 for the Thundering Herd against Western Kentucky in the Conference USA Tournament final. Marshall won the conference tournament as the No. 4 seed.
- Virginia: The No. 1 team in the country was the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament, and the Cavaliers continued their conference dominance by beating North Carolina in the conference championship game on Saturday night in Brooklyn.
- New Mexico State: The top seed prevailed in the WAC Tournament, beating Grand Canyon in Saturday’s conference tourney final.
- Arizona: The Wildcats are back-to-back Pac-12 champs thanks to a win in the tournament final on Saturday against USC, with freshman sensation Deandre Ayton delivering a superhuman performance against the Trojans.
- Cal State Fullerton: The Titans were the No. 4 seed in the Big West Tournament but beat top-seed UC Davis in the semifinals then dispatched UC Irvine on Saturday night for Fullerton’s second trip to the big dance in the last 40 years, and its first since 2008.
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