Few pre-season tournaments have much of a lasting effect on the season, with some exceptions like the preseason NIT. Which is why it was surprising to me to see how the Duel in the Desert, a four team tournament put on by Basketball Travelers Inc., turned out.
The tournament pitted Houston (C-USA), Marist (MAAC), Nebraska (Big 12) and Louisville (Big East) against each other, with Nebraska being the only tournament participant to be nationally ranked (#21). Turns out, Nebraska tanked. They lost three games in a row.
Little Marist got three wins in a row to win the tournament, with Houston getting two wins over Nebraska and Louisville.
Before the Duel in the Desert tournament, the College Women's Hoops S-Factor had both Nebraska and Louisville in the NCAA tournament. Now they are both out, while Houston and Marist are in with automatic bids and may be in good position for at-large bids as the season progresses.
Now in: Duquesne (Atlantic 10)
Now out: Kansas State (Big 12)
Conferences with multiple bids:
Big East: 9
Big 12: 7
Big Ten: 6
Atlantic 10: 2