Arkansas 81, #17 Vanderbilt 75
Another good win by Arkansas over Vanderbilt, a team that has really struggled away from home all season. When you are looking for teams to pick to get upset in the NCAA Tournament, you look for two types of teams - those with a poor Sagarin PREDICTOR relative to their ELO_CHESS (a team not as good as its record), and those with poor road/neutral records (since you tend to have the crowd against you when you're a favorite in the Tournament). Vanderbilt fits both of these definitions, and I'm ready to pick them for an early exit in the bracket. As for Arkansas... if they weren't in the Tournament this morning, they're in it now. The RPI and Sagarin numbers are in the 30s, and they now feature wins over Mississippi State, Florida, VCU and Baylor to go with a pair of wins over Vandy. Throw in the 8-5 record against the RPI Top 100, and Arkansas has got to be in the Tournament now.
Saint Joseph's 61, Xavier 53
A big win for a suddenly-scorching St. Joe's team. Xavier ends the season with two losses to St. Joe's in their final four games, which is a bit of a dud. But they're still in the #4-5 seed range, so they should still be well positioned to make a Sweet Sixteen run. As for as bubble implications, however, St. Joe's has clearly made a statement here in the A-10 Tournament. They will probably be favored in tomorrow's championship game, but they're actually in decent position for an at-large bid regardless. The schedule hasn't been great, but 21-11 is a good enough record. They have the two wins over Xavier, as well as a season sweep of UMass, and that demolition of Villanova. They do have losses to Holy Cross, St. Louis and LaSalle, but they've done enough to get the RPI up to 41st. This win will also move the Sagarin rating inside the Top 50, which is where you need it to be to have a good shot at an at-large. They are now 5-4 against the RPI Top 50, and 13-6 in road/neutral games. Those "bad" losses are pretty bad, but St. Joe's has managed to tip-toe past the carcasses of teams like Maryland and Syracuse into a very good place in the bubble rankings. At this point they are a likely Tournament team, although I'm sure Phil Martelli would like to make it academic with a win tomorrow.