Other possibilities for a spot among the protected seeds at this late stage include Notre Dame

The Louisville Cardinals, who fell to Duke in a thriller at the Barclays Center, and Baylor Bears, stunned by the Kansas State Wildcats in the nightcap in Kansas City, join Florida State and Arizona as threes. The Florida Gators, Butler Bulldogs, Purdue Boilermakers, and West Virginia Mountaineers comprise the four line, with only the Bulldogs sitting Friday from that quartet.

9, the Cincinnati Bearcats, and SMU Mustangs out of the American, the Big Ten’s Minnesota Golden Gophers and an Iowa State Cyclones squad that suddenly has a great shot to win the Big 12 tourney.

Bids by Conference: ACC (10); Big East and Big Ten (7); Big 12 (6); SEC (5); Pac-12 (4); American, Atlantic 10 and West Coast (2); 23 single-bid conferences

Thanks to Thursday wins, the Michigan State Spartans, Northwestern Wildcats, Seton Hall Pirates, and Xavier Musketeers can breathe a whole lot easier heading into the weekend. On the other hand, the Marquette Golden Eagles, Providence Friars, and USC Trojans have a long weekend’s wait ahead of them after tasting conference quarterfinal defeat.

Kansas State and the Vanderbilt Commodores cannot feel safe yet, particularly a Wildcat team that’s handing the Selection Committee a poor nonconference schedule (227th compared to Vanderbilt’s No. 1). While the Commodores should be in even with a loss to the Florida Gators in tonight’s SEC Tournament quarterfinals, a win over the West Virginia Mountaineers tonight in Kansas City might not be enough to lock up a bid for the K-State.

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