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Counting it down: Title field now below 200

3/7/2011

We’re under 200 contenders left for the national championship after an upsetting Sunday. The official number is now 196, after 20 more teams bit the dust.

It was a tough day for No. 1 seeds, who had no interest in ending up on this list instead of the list of invitees to the Big Dance.

The No. 1’s who got the ziggy:

Vermont in the America East. The 23-win Catamounts never led in a stunning rout at the hands of Stony Brook (15-16) in the semifinals.

Missouri State in the Missouri Valley. The Bears had won eight straight Valley games before being taken down by Indiana State in the Arch Madness final.

Fairfield in the Metro Atlantic. The Stags won the league by two games but were blown out at home by St. Peter’s in the MAAC semis, trailing by 25 at halftime. Quite a turnaround from when Fairfield beat St. Peter’s by 27 when they first met this season.

Florida Atlantic in the Sun Belt. The Owls won the East Division and had the best league record at 13-3, but after leading for the first 30 minutes they were bypassed by North Texas.

George Mason of the Colonial also was beaten, but the Patriots are probably an NCAA at-large selection. That means their hopes of winning the 2011 national championship remain alive, unlike the other top seeds who were beaten Sunday. They did not join list the of the dearly departed.

A full list of those who did:

America East: Vermont (beaten by Stony Brook); Hartford (beaten by Boston U.).

Colonial: Hofstra (beaten by Old Dominion).

Missouri Valley: Missouri State (beaten by Indiana State). No, we’re not giving the Bears the benefit of the bubble doubt.

Metro Atlantic: Rider (beaten by Iona); Fairfield (beaten by St. Peter’s).

Northeast: Central Connecticut State (beaten by Long Island); Quinnipiac (beaten by Robert Morris).

Patriot: American (shot down in the final second of double overtime by Lafayette in a tremendously exciting game); Lehigh (beaten by Bucknell with the help of a controversial no-call in the final seconds).

Southern: Western Carolina (beaten by Wofford); Furman (beaten by College of Charleston).

Summit: IPFW (beaten by South Dakota State in what certainly counts as a mascot upset -- Jackrabbit over Mastodon); UMKC (beaten by IUPUI).

Sun Belt: Louisiana-Lafayette (beaten by Western Kentucky, a bad time to end its 11-game win streak); Florida Atlantic (beaten by North Texas); Florida International (beaten by Middle Tennessee); Arkansas State (beaten by Arkansas-Little Rock).

West Coast: Santa Clara (beaten by Saint Mary’s); San Francisco (beaten by Gonzaga).