There’s a new Big Ten team in our bracketology update – but it’s not Michigan.
The Wolverines are in the foursome just outside the bracket after dropping games against Illinois and Indiana and would need to stack multiple wins in the Big Ten tournament to reach the field, beginning with Rutgers in the second round before a meeting with Purdue in the quarterfinals.
Instead, the Big Ten newcomer is Penn State, which has climbed to 19-12 overall and 10-10 in conference play following wins against Northwestern and Maryland. The Nittany Lions can take a huge step toward locking down an NCAA bid with a win Thursday against Illinois in the second round of the conference tournament. They’ve already beaten the Illini twice this season.
The bracket now includes seven teams that have clinched automatic bids: Kennesaw State (Atlantic Sun), North Carolina Asheville (Big South), Drake (Missouri Valley), Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast) and Southeast Missouri State (Ohio Valley) were joined by, Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt) and Furman (Southern), which won their berths Monday.
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Teams in bold have clinched tournament berth.
Last four in
Mississippi State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Nevada.
First four out
Utah State, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Michigan.
Next four out
North Carolina, Clemson, Texas Tech, Oregon.
Multi-bid leagues: Big Ten (10), SEC (8), Big 12 (7), ACC (5), Big East (5), Pac-12 (3), Mountain West (3), American Athletic (2), West Coast (2).