Bracketology: Florida in driver’s seat for overall No. 1 seed
With its victory over Kentucky - and Arizona’s loss at Oregon - the Florida Gators are in the driver’s seat for the overall No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Regardless, the Gators will be the top seed in the South Region with opening round games in nearby Orlando. The remaining No. 1 seeds as we begin Championship Week: Arizona (West), Wichita State (Midwest) and Villanova (East).
At this point, the first three No. 1 seeds appear to be locked-in. Which leaves us one spot for three or four teams. At least that’s how it appears today. The contenders include Villanova (as noted above), Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Virginia is still in the hunt, but its journey became much tougher after Sunday’s loss at Maryland. Achieving a No. 1 seed with eight losses would be something new, but few teams in history have played Kansas’ schedule. If Michigan wins the Big Ten tournament, the Wolverines would have a legitimate argument. They possess a higher number of NCAA-level wins than Villanova - due to the strength of the Big Ten as compared to the Big East. Wisconsin’s non-conference performance - with victories over Florida and Virginia - would help the Badgers’ case if they find the winner’s circle in Indianapolis next Sunday.
MORE: Florida, Wichita State are still sitting atop NBCSports.com’s Top 25
We’ll be updating the bracket every day this week as automatic qualifiers arrive and conference tournaments continue. Teams that have clinched automatic berths are listed in ALL CAPS - with the exception of teams like BYU and UCLA.
The bubble remains a work in progress. Nebraska grabbed a spot after beating Wisconsin on Sunday. Xavier, Tennessee, and BYU join the Huskers at the First Four in Dayton. It’s a big week for those teams and several others who are just above the last four at-larges. We’ll have to see how it plays out.
Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid based on current standings with RPI as a tiebreaker for teams with the same number of losses. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).
Several new bracketing principles were introduced after last year’s tournament. You can read them for yourself at www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.
FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS - Dayton (First Round)
- Nebraska vs. Tennessee | Midwest Region
- Xavier vs. BYU | South Region
- Alabama State vs. Wofford | East Region
- Weber State vs. COASTAL CAROLINA | Midwest Region
BRACKET PROJECTION ...
|SOUTH - Memphis||WEST - Anaheim|
|1) Florida||1) Arizona|
|16) Robert Morris||16) Utah Valley|
|8) Kansas State||8) George Washington|
|9) Arizona State||9) Gonzaga|
|5) Ohio State||5) Oklahoma|
|12) BYU / Xavier||12) Toledo|
|4) Louisville||4) Michigan State|
|13) S.F. Austin||13) North Dakota State|
|6) New Mexico||6) Baylor|
|11) Dayton||11) Stanford|
|3) Syracuse||3) Creighton|
|14) Boston University||14) MERCER|
|7) VCU||7) Memphis|
|10) SMU||10) Saint Joseph’s|
|2) Wisconsin||2) Virginia|
|15) UC-Irvine||15) Stony Brook|
|EAST - New York||MIDWEST - Indianapolis|
|1) Villanova||1) WICHITA STATE|
|16) Wofford / Alabama State||16) Weber State / CO CAROLINA|
|8) Oklahoma State||8) Kentucky|
|9) Iowa||9) Oregon|
|5) North Carolina||5) Texas|
|12) Louisiana Tech||12) HARVARD|
|4) San Diego State||4) Duke|
|13) Delaware||13) Iona|
|6) Massachusetts||6) Saint Louis|
|11) Arkansas||11) Tennessee / Nebraska|
|3) Iowa State||3) Cincinnati|
|14) EASTERN KENTUCKY||14) Georgia State|
|7) Connecticut||7) UCLA|
|10) Colorado||10) Pittsburgh|
|2) Michigan||2) Kansas|
|15) Wright State||15) NC-Central|
NOTES on the BRACKET: Florida remains the overall No. 1 seed followed by Arizona, Wichita State, and Villanova.
Last Five teams in (at large): Stanford, Nebraska, Xavier, Tennessee, BYU
First Five teams out (at large): California, Georgetown, Minnesota, Missouri, St. John’s
Next five teams out (at large): Providence, Southern Miss, Green Bay, Florida State, Illinois
Breakdown by Conference ...
Big 12 (7): Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State
Pac 12 (6): Arizona, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon, Colorado
Atlantic 10 (6): Massachusetts, VCU, Saint Louis, George Washington, Saint Joseph’s, Dayton
Big Ten (6): Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska
ACC (5): Duke, Virginia, Syracuse, North Carolina, Pittsburgh
American (5): Louisville, Memphis, Connecticut, Cincinnati, SMU
SEC (4): Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee
Big East (3): Creighton, Villanova, Xavier
Mountain West (2): New Mexico, San Diego State
West Coast (2): Gonzaga, BYU
Missouri Valley (1): Wichita State
Conference Automatic Qualifiers ... Louisiana Tech (C-USA), EASTERN KENTUCKY (Ohio Valley), Georgia State (Sun Belt), Boston University (Patriot), North Dakota State (Summit), Wright State (Horizon), Wofford (Southern), Utah Valley (WAC), Iona (MAAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Toledo (MAC), MERCER (A-Sun), HARVARD (IVY), UC-Irvine (Big West), Delaware (Colonial), Stony Brook (American East), Weber State (Big Sky), NC-Central (MEAC), COASTAL CAROLINA (Big South), Robert Morris (NEC), Alabama State (SWAC)