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An early projection of the 2012 NCAA tournament bracket


We just finished another great NCAA Tournament. Ready for more? Sure. So why not take an early look at March Madness - 2012. Yes, there’s a lot we don’t know. Several players will decided whether to make a leap to the NBA or return to college. It may be especially challenging this year with the threat of an NBA lockout. That in mind, here’s a not-too-serious, but fun look ahead at what we might see on Selection Sunday next March. It’s a good thing these things are actually decided on the court.

Based on what we know and/or anticipate ... our No. 1 seeds are Kentucky, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Ohio State. Connecticut, the defending champs, open as a 2 seed.

NOTE: In the 68-team format you will notice two pairing games that represent the First Four pairings. In this bracket the First Four games would be ... South Carolina vs. Dayton | Virginia vs. BYU | UT-San Antonio vs. NC-Ashville | Hampton vs. Tx-Southern. The final four at-large teams are paired along with the teams seeded 65-68 on the S-curve. The matchups are indicated in the bracket below.


EAST - Boston SOUTHEAST - Atlanta
Greensborgo Louisville
1) North Carolina 1) Kentucky
16) Hampton / Tx-Southern 16) NC-Asheville / UT-San Antonio
8 Colorado 8 USC
9) Georgia 9) Georgetown
Portland Nashville
5) Marquette 5) Texas A-M
12) Harvard 12) Maryland
4) Wisconsin 4) Memphis
13) Creighton 13) Kent State
Louisville Columbus
6) Butler 6) Missouri
11) Illinois 11) Washington State
3) Vanderbilt 3) Michigan
14) Wofford 14) Bucknell
Pittsburgh Nashville
7) George Mason 7) Xavier
10) Kansas State 10) New Mexico
2) Connecticut 2) Louisville
15) Florida-Atlantic 15) Murray State
SOUTHWEST - St. Louis WEST - Phoenix
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh
1) Syracuse 1) Ohio State
16) Montana 16) UC-Santa Barbara
8 Michigan State 8 West Virginia
9) Temple 9) Washington
Portland Columbus
5) Alabama 5) Gonzaga
12) Virginia / BYU 12) South Carolina / Dayton
4) UCLA 4) Cincinnati
13) Utah State 13) Belmont
Omaha Albuquerque
6) Florida 6) Pittsburgh
11) California 11) VCU
3) Kansas 3) Arizona
14) Iona 14) Long Island
Greensboro Albuquerque
7) Villanova 7) Florida State
10) Purdue 10) Wichita State
2) Duke 2) Texas
15) Vermont 15) Oral Roberts

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by North Carolina, Syracuse, and Ohio State.

Last Five teams in (at large): Maryland, BYU, South Carolina, Virginia, Dayton

First Five teams out (at large): Notre Dame, Old Dominion, Clemson, St. John’s, Duquesne

Also considered (at large): Virginia Tech, Penn State, Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Indiana, Marshall, Tulsa, St. Mary’s, San Francisco, Hofstra, Indiana State, UW-Milwaukee, Detroit, Western Michigan, Akron, Mississippi State, Colorado State, San Diego State, Richmond, UAB, UTEP, Oakland