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Argument starter: A 2012-13 NCAA tournament projection


Mike Miller

As Big Blue Nation continues to celebrate its eighth NCAA championship, it’s certainly possible that UK will be a No. 1 seed again next March - depending on how many current Wildcats return. Even with some expected departures, coach John Calipari is bringing another Top 5 recruiting class to Lexington. So let’s go ahead and write in UK as a No. 1 seed in our very early look at the 2013 bracket.

A lot will change over the next week or so as players decide whether to enter the NBA Draft. In the months ahead we’ll also see how the final recruiting pieces fit together.

As of today, Indiana, Louisville, and Kansas join Kentucky as projected No. 1 seeds. Ohio State, Baylor, Michigan, and Florida are next in line.


Mike Miller

This far in advance the bracket is guess work - based on returning players, some realistic expectations, and a few potential surprises. We also have several teams changing conference affiliation in 2012-13. Notable teams include Missouri and Texas AM moving from the Big 12 to the SEC. Oral Roberts moves to the Southland and Belmont to the Ohio Valley. We’ll take a look at these and other changes in greater depth at a later date.

Expect Butler to return to March Madness next spring. Maryland makes the early bracket, too, as does Pittsburgh. And John Groce has the pieces to give the Illini a chance. Even Bruce Weber should return - with Kansas State. All in all, a lot of fun. November isn’t too far away.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS - Dayton (First Round)

  • Tulsa vs. Saint Mary’s | West Region
  • Oklahoma State vs. Northern Iowa | East Region
  • Ms Valley State vs. Savannah State | Midwest Region
  • Charleston Southern vs. Mercer | South


MIDWEST - Indianapolis SOUTH - Dallas
Dayton Dayton
1) Kentucky 1) Indiana
16) Savannah St / Ms Valley St 16) Charleston S’thern / Mercer
8) Minnesota 8) UCLA
9) Notre Dame 9) Florida State
Salt Lake City San Jose
5) Creighton 5) Cincinnati
12) Drexel 12) Nevada
4) Texas 4) San Diego State
13) Ohio 13) Loyola-MD
Philadelphia Kansas City
6) Butler 6) Tennessee
11) Massachusetts 11) VCU
3) North Carolina 3) NC State
14) Princeton 14) South Dakota State
Auburn Hills Austin
7) Marquette 7) Wisconsin
10) Stanford 10) Villanova
2) Michigan 2) Baylor
15) Middle Tennessee St 15) UC-Santa Barbara
WEST - Los Angeles EAST - TBA (not decided)
Kansas City Lexington
1) Kansas 1) Louisville
16) Vermont 16) LIU-Brooklyn
8) Georgetown 8) Kansas State
9) Missouri 9) Alabama
San Jose Salt Lake City
5) UNLV 5) Memphis
12) Purdue 12) Illinois
4) Arizona 4) Duke
13) Tulsa / St. Mary’s 13) Oklahoma St / No. Iowa
Austin Auburn Hills
6) Gonzaga 6) Xavier
11) Colorado 11) New Mexico
3) Syracuse 3) Michigan State
14) Oral Roberts 14) Davidson
Lexington Philadelphia
7) St. Louis 7) Pittsburgh
10) Murray State 10) Maryland
2) Ohio State 2) Florida
15) Montana 15) Lehigh

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Indiana, Louisville, and Kansas. Next in line are Ohio State, Baylor, Michigan, and Florida.

Last Five teams in (at large): Illinois, Saint Mary’s, Oklahoma State, Northern Iowa, Tulsa

First Five teams out (at large): Mississippi, West Virginia, Virginia, LSU, Iowa

Also considered: St. John’s, Vanderbilt, Iowa State, Temple, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Loyola-Marymount, Texas AM, La Salle, Arkansas, Valparaiso, Detroit, California, Wake Forest, Long Beach, Houston, Northwestern, George Mason, Iona, Fairfield, Miami-FL, Georgia Tech, BYU, Colorado State, Wyoming, New Mexico State, Kent State, Akron, Milwaukee, Duquesne, South Carolina, Marshall, Southern Mississippi.

Here is the team breakdown by Conference ...

Big East (8): Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Villanova

Big Ten (8): Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois

SEC (5): Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Missouri

ACC (5): North Carolina, NC State, Duke, Florida State, Maryland

Big 12 (5): Kansas, Baylor, Texas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State

Pac 12 (4): Arizona, UCLA, Stanford, Colorado

Mountain West (3): San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico

Atlantic 10 (3): Xavier, St. Louis, Massachusetts

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

Conference USA (2): Memphis, Tulsa

Missouri Valley (2): Creighton, Northern Iowa

Colonial (2): Drexel, VCU

Conference champions ... Butler (Horizon), Murray State (OVC), Nevada (WAC), Loyola-MD (MAAC), Ohio (MAC), Davidson (Southern), Oral Roberts (Southland), South Dakota State (Summit), Princeton (Ivy), Middle Tennessee State (Sun Belt), Montana (Big Sky), Lehigh (Patriot), UC-Santa Barbara (Big West), LIU-Brooklyn (NEC), Charleston Southern (Big South), Vermont (America East), Mercer (Atlantic Sun), Mississippi Valley State (SWAC), Savannah State (MEAC)