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Posted at 10:25 AM ET, 03/12/2011

NCAA tournament 2011: Alabama, Penn State contending for final berths

By Eric Prisbell

From start to finish, Friday was a fantastic day of college basketball. My day began with watching the Ohio State, North Carolina and Dayton, all in tight, exciting games, on 18 big screen televisions in the media hotel. Then I sat courtside to watch BYU's Jimmer Fredette put on the best performance by a college player that I have ever seen. He scored 52 points, outscoring some entire teams yesterday. My day ended very, very late with me talking to Jerry Tarkanian about how his former UNLV team let one slip away against San Diego State.

Yesterday I said there were nine open at-large slots still out there. While Illinois did not help themselves, I am going to keep them in the lock category for now. Then consider that Virginia Tech (by one-tenth of a second), Michigan, Michigan State and Clemson all appeared to cement berths with quality wins. So that leaves me with five open slots. These are the teams in the mix for those slots:

St. Mary's
Penn State
UTEP/Memphis loser
Boston College

Penn State, Alabama and Richmond all play big games today. Here is hoping a few win to make life a little easier. I will have a 68-team field up before the games start today. And I'll have a bracket in tomorrow's paper, along with I believe three stories of mine. But I will not post my final bracket until after 3 p.m. Sunday.

By Eric Prisbell  | March 12, 2011; 10:25 AM ET
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Next: NCAA tournament 2011: Texas-Kansas game has No. 1 seed implications

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