Blogging The Bracket's latest mock bracket is up, and four local teams are either in the tournament or are close. Pitt is the No. 1 seed in the West region, joining Ohio State, Kansas and Texas as No. 1 seeds.
West Virginia is the No. 5 seed in the East region. The Mountaineers can't phone in the rest of their season and expect to make it in, but they're in good shape. Their upcoming schedule is very tough, with five of their seven remaining games against ranked teams, but their next game against Big East doormat DePaul on Saturday should be a welcome respite.
Penn State and Duquesne are out, but both are in the "also considered" section. The Nittany Lions have been competitive in Big Ten play, but they're coming off losses to Illinois and Michigan, and their spotty non-conference showing will hurt them. With a strong finish to their season and with games remaining against Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota, they could easily make it into the tournament, but it's hard to disagree with Blogging The Bracket's assessment that they're on the outside looking in right now.
Blogging The Bracket has Xavier claiming the automatic bid from the Atlantic 10 conference, which Duquesne certainly has a shot at winning. But a recent loss to St. Bonaventure hurts the Dukes. Their game at home against Xavier this Sunday will be a big one.