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VCU In, Saint Mary's and UTEP Out

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As far as the non-power conferences are concerned, perhaps the biggest turn of events on Selection Sunday resulted in the Colonial Athletic Association landing three teams in the NCAA Tournament, while the West Coast Conference had to settle for placing just conference champion Gonzaga in the field of 68.

After much speculation, calculating and discussion, VCU earned an at-large bid as one of the final teams in and will place on Wednesday. The 11th seeded Rams will be faced with an equally happy USC team which also managed to avoid having it's bubble burst. VCU finished the regular season with a 23-11 record and made a run to the conference title game after finishing fourth in the regular season CAA standings. Finishing with an RPI of 49 certainly made the Rams a tournament worthy team, but there were questions regarding a lack of significant non-conference wins (UCLA was the only major one), a strenght of schedule barely in the top 100 and a poor end to the regular season. At the end though, the committee felt that a run to the conference championship made up for this.

UTEP and Saint Mary's weren't so lucky. Both the Miners and Gaels played in their respective conference championship games and both lost (to Memphis and Gonzaga). Saint Mary's probably has more of an arguement than UTEP does as far as making the field over VCU, they had a better RPI and only a slightly worse strength of schedule. The Gaels looked better in the non-conference games, defeating St. John's and a Mississippi State team that finished second in the SEC West. The Miners had a worse RPI and strength of schedule than either of the aforementioned teams, so they were likely third in this race.

Look for plenty of more analysis and breakdowns in the upcoming 24 hours before March Madness begins.