VCU stirring up Cinderella vibes in February

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Shelby Mast, Special for USA TODAY Sports

VCU seems to be a bit charmed. Two games in a row the Rams were losing with 0.4 seconds remaining and two games in a row they pulled one out of thin air, the latest in squeaking past George Washington on Tuesday night after previously clipping St. Bonaventure in heartbreaking fashion the game prior.
Luck is a nice thing to have on your side heading into the NCAA tournament, but it’s also very easy to run out of the good juju before March. Right now, VCU is a No. 8 seed and one of three representatives from the Atlantic 10 heading into the field of 68. But that’s not a league where you can stub your toe often.
Virginia Commonwealth Rams head coach Will Wade celebrates with guard Doug Brooks (5) after the game against the George Washington Colonials during the second half at Charles E. Smith Center.




Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports, USA TODAY Sports

On the bubble: Iowa State still presents a bracket conundrum. Oklahoma State could have alleviated that by winning over Baylor, but couldn’t pull it out against the projected No. 1 seed. But Seton Hall has now taken Michigan State’s place as a faux No. 9 seed. It’s looking like this thing won’t clear itself up until the weekend.

► No. 1 seeds: Villanova, Gonzaga, Kansas, Baylor

► Last four in: Indiana, Kansas State, Marquette, Rhode Island

► First four out: Michigan, Clemson, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt
► Others considered for at-large bids (in no particular order): Illinois, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Providence, Nebraska, Stanford, Wichita State, Texas A&M, Houston, Memphis, Ohio State, Iowa, Ole Miss, Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas Tech, Miami, Charleston, Temple, Georgia, Utah, North Carolina State, Georgetown




► No longer considered: UConn, Texas, Texas-Arlington, Charleston, New Mexico, Boise State, LaSalle, Davidson, Chattanooga, Saint Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, BYU, Oklahoma

► Multi-bid conferences: ACC (9), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (7), Big East (6), Pac-12 (5), SEC (4), A-10 (3), AAC (2), WCC (2).

Conference Leaders

► Or highest RPI from projected one-bid conferences – (23 total): Vermont (America East), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), Weber State (Big Sky), Winthrop (Big South), UC Davis (Big West), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Middle Tennessee State (Conference USA), Valparaiso (Horizon), Yale (Ivy League), Monmouth (MAAC), Akron (MAC), N.C. Central (MEAC), Illinois State (Missouri Valley), Nevada (Mountain West), Mount Saint Mary’s (Northeast), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Bucknell (Patriot), Furman (Southern), Sam Houston (Southland), Texas Southern (SWAC), North Dakota State (Summit), Arkansas State (Sun Belt), New Mexico State (WAC).

Banned from participating: Hawaii, Southern Mississippi, Alcorn State, Savannah State, Northern Colorado

Transition Schools, ineligible for the tourney: Abilene Christian (Southland), Grand Canyon (WAC), Incarnate Word (Southland), Massachusetts-Lowell (American East)    
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Note: All RPI and statistical data is used from WarrenNolan.com.

About our bracketologist: Shelby Mast has been projecting the field since 2005 and has finished as one of the top 5 national bracketologists for his website, Bracket W.A.G. He’s predicted for The Indianapolis Star, collegeinsider.com and is an inaugural member of the Super 10 Selection Committee. Follow him on Twitter @BracketWag.

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