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SEC Bracketology and Bubble Watch for Championship Week

The situation is similar to last week, but one bid thief has already struck.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It's Monday of Championship Week, so let's go over the situation for the SEC's NCAA Tournament chances again.

The Kentucky Wildcats and Texas A&M Aggies are locks. The latest Bracket Matrix has UK a 4-seed and A&M a 5-seed. They're totally safe.

The South Carolina Gamecocks likely ensured their Big Dance ticket by beating—or, more accurately, not losing to—Arkansas over the weekend. They're sitting on the 9-seed line at present. The Vanderbilt Commodores could've done the same by beating TAMU, but they lost in College Station. They're a bubble team, but they're on the right side of it with a 10-seed.

The only other SEC team really in the hunt at this point is the Florida Gators. They would've been gone with a loss at Mizzou on Saturday, but they prevailed and stayed alive. They're the last of the first four teams out right now, which is still striking distance. If UF wins two games in the SEC Tournament, which would be victories over Arkansas and Texas A&M, that might be enough to get them in thanks to how good a win A&M would be.

I'm going to repeat my table from last week's bracketology update with a look at the relevant conference tournaments around the country.

Conference Acceptable Champions Bubble Teams
A10 Dayton, St. Joe's VCU, St. Bonaventure
AAC UConn, Cincy, Tulsa, Temple UConn, Cincy, Tulsa, Temple
ACC UVA, Miami, UNC, Duke, ND, Pitt Syracuse
Big 12 Baylor, KU, ISU, OU, Texas, TTU, WVU None
Big East Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall Butler, Providence
Big Ten MSU, UMD, Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, UW Michigan, Ohio State
Horizon Valparaiso Valparaiso
MAAC Monmouth Monmouth
Mountain West San Diego State San Diego State
MVC Wichita State Wichita State
Pac-12 Oregon, Utah, Cal, Arizona, Colorado USC, Oregon State
Sun Belt Arkansas-Little Rock Arkansas-Little Rock
WCC St. Mary's, Gonzaga St. Mary's, Gonzaga

We've already had one bid thief thanks to Wichita State failing even to make the MVC final, much less win the tourney. Northern Iowa beat the Shockers in the semifinals before knocking off Evansville in the title game to steal an at-large bid.

Most of the other tournaments of note don't even begin until Wednesday or Thursday and don't wrap up until the weekend. One exception is the Horizon League, where Valpo plays its first game of the tourney tonight in the semifinals. Another is the MAAC, where Monmouth is up today against Iona in the final. Finally, the West Coast Conference is in the semifinals tonight where St. Mary's will battle Pepperdine and Gonzaga has BYU.