In NCAA tournament, lack of quality at-large teams keeps them all on the bubble

“In most years you’ll see teams really come forward and grab hold of spots,” Shaver said. “We have seen a number of teams miss opportunities this year.”

Shaver’s assistants text him hour-by-hour updates on other crucial games nationwide. Bad news came Friday because of wins by San Diego State and Minnesota. Worse news arrived Saturday, when Shaver called a reporter who told him Houston had just upset Texas-El Paso in the Conference USA tournament final, an outcome that could put two Conference USA teams in the field.

“Did they really?” he said. “That’s a son of a gun, huh?”

There is a notion that some “seriously think William & Mary should get in with three sub-200 RPI losses,” Palm said. “That thought alone tells you how desperate people are to find teams to put in.”