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Selection Sunday Critical Games: The Final Five

[lead align=”default”]There are precisely five critical games this Selection Sunday, as five conferences crown their champions.[/lead]

Of the 32 conferences handing out automatic bids to the 2017 NCAA Tournament, 27 already selected their teams. The Ivy League, Atlantic 10, SEC, Big Ten, and American punch the final tickets before the at-large teams are announced tonight.

Selection Sunday Critical Games

[alert heading=”Ivy League (12pm ET): Yale vs. Princeton” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Last year’s Ivy League champ will try to be the first conference tournament. Princeton, as yet undefeated in the Ivy League, will have something to say about it. Both teams have to win to get in, but for Princeton, it must be a special kind of stress. You won all your league games so far but it still isn’t enough to get into the tournament.[/alert]

[alert heading=”Atlantic 10 (12:30pm ET): Rhode Island vs. VCU” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Rhode Island is right on the borderline of the tournament (The Bracket Yard has them in, barely). VCU will make it no matter what. Rhody can nail it down if they win, and they did beat VCU in their only other meeting.[/alert]

[alert heading=”SEC (1pm ET): Arkansas vs. Kentucky” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Both of these teams will be in the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky has a very high seed at stake, while Arkansas might be doomed to the 8-9 game unless they win. Kentucky made bacon out of the Hogs back in January in a 97-71 rout.[/alert]

[alert heading=”Big Ten (3pm ET): Michigan vs. Wisconsin” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The Wolverines are rapidly improving their seed. Wisconsin is trying to preserve it, while winning a conference title at the same time. This third game between Michigan and Wisconsin is the rubber game; both teams won on their home court.[/alert]

[alert heading=”American (3:15pm ET): Cincinnati vs. SMU” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]The bubble is no doubt collectively relieved at UConn’s dismissal yesterday. Both of these teams will be in the dance with strong seeds. These were the two best in the AAC all the way through, and it makes sense that they meet today. It’s also logical that these mostly even teams split their season series.[/alert]

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