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NCAA Tournament: Automatic Bids

31 of 68 invites to the "Big Dance" go to conference champions


21. Ohio Valley - Murray State (30-1)

Are the Racers this year's Butler? The Racers enter March Madness with just one loss, and with quality wins over two top-25 teams, Memphis and St. Mary's, and finished the regular season ranked 11th in the AP poll, 10th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

22. Pac-12 - Colorado (23-11)

The Buffaloes topped Arizona to win their first Pac-12 title - in their first year as a member. Colorado returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.

23. Patriot - Lehigh (26-7)

The Mountain Hawks won their second league title in three seasons with an 82-77 win over Bucknell in the Patriot championship game.

24. SEC - Vanderbilt (24-10)

The Commodores shocked heavily-favorite Kentucky to win the SEC Title - Vanderbilt's first since 1951.

25. Southland - Lamar (22-11)

The Lamar Cardinals return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000 - and Lamar's Pat Knight - Bob Knight's son - gets his first March Madness invite as a head coach.

26. Southwestern - Mississippi Valley State (21-12)

The Delta Devils are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008 after knocking off Texas Southern in the SWAC Tournament Final.

27. Southern - Davidson (25-7)

The Wildcats return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Stephen Curry's heyday, thanks to a double-overtime win over Western Carolina in the SoCon Tournament championship game.

The last time Davidson reached the Big Dance, Curry's hot shooting led the Wildcats to upset wins over Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin before they lost to eventual champion Kansas in the regional final.

28. Western - New Mexico State (26-9)

Wendell McKines (27 points, 14 rebounds) powered the Aggies to an 82-57 romp over Louisiana Tech and WAC championship.

29. Summit - South Dakota State (27-7)

The Jackrabbits of South Dakota State won their first Summit League title and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, just four years after joining Division I.

30. Sun Belt - Western Kentucky (15-18)

One of Championship Week's early surprises, the seventh-seeded Hilltoppers got hot at the right time and won the Sun Belt's automatic bid.

31. West Coast - St. Mary's (27-6)

The Gaels won their second conference title in three years with a dramatic victory over March Madness regular Gonzaga in the WCC championship game. The Gaels finished the regular season ranked 18 in the coaches' poll and beat the Zags twice, but lost to Baylor and Murray State in their only other games against ranked opponents.
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