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Bracketology: Florida moves to top line

Florida v Auburn

AUBURN, AL - JANUARY 18: Scottie Wilbekin #5 of the Florida Gators attempts to maneuver by Tahj Shamsid-Deen #13 of the Auburn Tigers during the second half of play at Auburn Arena on January 18, 2014 in Auburn, Alabama. Florida defeated Auburn 68-61. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Michael Chang

With the Super Bowl behind us, it’s time to start focusing on March Madness. Given the action we’ve witness the past couple of weeks, the upcoming NCAA Tournament should be full of surprises.

If you need any other evidence, check out the teams listed around the bubble in today’s bracket. They’re moving around faster than the Seahawks’ defense at MetLife Stadium. We have some very interesting resumes. Like recent weather forecasts, they change quickly, and often.

After 12 straight wins - and a loss by an injured Michigan State squad - the Florida Gators move to the line. Wichita State is another team pushing for region supremacy. The aforementioned Spartans, along with Villanova and San Diego State round out the two-seed line today. Following its thrilling overtime victory over Duke on Saturday, and Arizona’s loss at California, the Orange now sit atop the bracket as the No. 1 overall seed. Arizona and Kansas remain as the other projected No. 1 seeds based on games played through Sunday, February 2. Yes, the Jayhawks lost at Texas, but their resume is filled with 12 Top 100 wins, a No. 1 strength of schedule, and the top spot in the RPI. Kansas also leads arguably one of the best two conferences (Big 12) in the nation.

Memphis absorbed the biggest seeding drop. It’s not so much the loss at SMU as much as the behind-the-scenes resume numbers. The Tigers are a concerning 2-5 against the RPI Top 50 and they have just three Top 100 RPI victories. Fortunately, opportunities for seed-building wins remain: Gonzaga, Connecticut, Louisville, Cincinnati, and SMU are still on the schedule.

If you’re returning to hoops with a football hangover, 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. You will see several examples of that in today’s bracket.

Enjoy a fun week of hoops. We’re on the final push toward Selection Sunday.

UPDATED: February 3, 2014

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).

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS - Dayton (First Round)


  • Florida State vs. Arizona State | West Region
  • Oregon vs. Baylor | Midwest Region
  • SOUTHERN vs. COASTAL CAROLINA | Midwest Region
  • ROBERT MORRIS vs. CHATTANOOGA | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION ...

EAST - New YorkWEST - Anaheim
BuffaloSan Diego
1) SYRACUSE1) ARIZONA
16) ROB MORRIS / CHATTANOOGA16) UTAH VALLEY
8) VCU8) Memphis
9) California9) Kansas State
OrlandoSpokane
5) Oklahoma State5) Kentucky
12) HARVARD12) Florida State / Arizona State
4) Iowa4) Iowa State
13) CANISIUS13) S.F. AUSTIN
RaleighSan Antonio
6) Wisconsin6) GONZAGA
11) SOUTHERN MISS11) Colorado
3) CINCINNATI3) CREIGHTON
14) OHIO14) UC-IRVINE
BuffaloSan Antonio
7) Massachusetts7) Ohio State
10) Minnesota10) Tennessee
2) Villanova2) SAN DIEGO STATE
15) STONY BROOK15) NC-CENTRAL
SOUTH - MemphisMIDWEST - Indianapolis
OrlandoSt. Louis
1) FLORIDA1) KANSAS
16) WEBER STATE16) CO. CAROLINA / SOUTHERN
8) North Carolina8) UCLA
9) George Washington9) Xavier
SpokaneSan Diego
5) SAINT LOUIS5) Texas
12) GREEN BAY12) Oregon / Baylor
4) Oklahoma4) Virginia
13) MERCER13) DELAWARE
RaleighMilwaukee
6) Connecticut6) Louisville
11) LSU11) Stanford
3) Duke3) MICHIGAN
14) GEORGIA STATE14) MURRAY STATE
MilwaukeeSt. Louis
7) New Mexico7) Pittsburgh
10) Missouri10) Providence
2) Michigan State2) WICHITA STATE
15) AMERICAN15) IPFW

NOTES on the BRACKET: Syracuse is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Arizona, Kansas, and Florida.

Last Five teams in (at large): LSU, Florida State, Arizona State, Oregon, Baylor

First Five teams out (at large): Georgetown, Ole Miss, SMU, Indiana, BYU

Next five teams out (at large): Clemson, St. Joseph’s, Dayton, Maryland, Richmond

Breakdown by Conference ...

Big 12 (7): Kansas, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas

Pac 12 (7): Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, UCLA, California, Stanford, Arizona State

Big Ten (6): Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota

ACC (6): Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Florida State, Pittsburgh, Virginia

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

American (4): Louisville, Memphis, Connecticut, Cincinnati

Atlantic 10 (4): Massachusetts, VCU, Saint Louis, Geo Washington

Big East (4): Creighton, Villanova, Xavier, Providence

Mountain West (2): New Mexico, San Diego State

West Coast (1): Gonzaga

Missouri Valley (1): Wichita State

Conference Automatic Qualifiers ... Southern Miss (C-USA), Murray State (Ohio Valley), Georgia State (Sun Belt), American (Patriot), IPFW (Summit), Green Bay (Horizon), Chattanooga (Southern), Utah Valley (WAC), Canisius (MAAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Ohio (MAC), Mercer (A-Sun), Harvard (IVY), UC-Irvine (Big West), Delaware (Colonial), Stony Brook (American East), Weber State (Big Sky), NC-Central (MEAC), UNC-Asheville (Big South), Robert Morris (NEC), Southern (SWAC)

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