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Bracketology: Villanova leads Field of 68

Big East Basketball Tournament - Championship

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 11: Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats drives to the basket against the Creighton Bluejays during the Big East Basketball Tournament - Championship Game at Madison Square Garden on March 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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Selection Sunday is here. Tonight, the Selection Committee will reveal its 2017 NCAA tournament bracket. While there will be a healthy debate about whether Duke’s late-season run should vault them onto the No. 1 seed line, what we do know - or at least believe - is that reigning champ Villanova will be the No. 1 overall seed.

For now, North Carolina remains the top seed in the South Region. It may change this afternoon. Either way, your top line figures to end up with Villanova (East), Kansas (Midwest), North Carolina/Duke (South), Gonzaga (West).

With league favorites winning most of their conference tournaments, potential bid thieves have largely been eliminated. The biggest bubble debate figures to be centered around Syracuse. Will the Orange’s high quality wins outweigh its losses, record-high RPI, and poor record away from the Carrier Dome? That’s something we won’t know for sure until tonight.

UPDATED: March 12, 2017 | Morning Update

Note: Teams in ALL CAPS represent automatic bids as they are earned.

Regarding bracketing principles, 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)


  • Wake Forest vs. USC | South Region
  • Rhode Island vs. Kansas State | Midwest Region
  • UC DAVIS vs. Texas State | Midwest Region
  • NEW ORLEANS vs. NC CENTRAL | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION ...

EAST - New YorkMIDWEST - Kansas City
BuffaloTulsa
1) VILLANOVA1) Kansas
16) NC CENTRAL / N ORLEANS16) UC-DAVIS / Texas State
8) Miami8) South Carolina
9) Dayton9) Marquette
OrlandoMilwaukee
5) IOWA STATE5) Virginia
12) UNC-WILMINGTON12) Kansas State / Rhode Island
4) Florida4) Butler
13) EAST TENNESSEE ST13) Princeton
IndianapolisSacramento
6) Wisconsin6) Creighton
11) Xavier11) MID TENNESSEE ST
3) Louisville3) UCLA
14) IONA14) NEW MEXICO ST
SacramentoGreenville
7) Saint Mary’s7) Michigan
10) Michigan State10) Vanderbilt
2) Oregon2) DUKE
15) TEXAS-SOUTHERN15) JACKSONVILLE ST
WEST - San JoseSOUTH - Memphis
Salt Lake CityGreenville
1) GONZAGA1) North Carolina
16) SOUTH DAKOTA ST16) MOUNT ST. MARY’S
8) Northwestern8) Arkansas
9) Oklahoma State9) Seton Hall
MilwaukeeBuffalo
5) Cincinnati5) Purdue
12) NEVADA12) VERMONT
4) Notre Dame4) West Virginia
13) WINTHROP13) BUCKNELL
OrlandoTulsa
6) SMU6) Minnesota
11) Providence11) Wake Forest / USC
3) Florida State3) Baylor
14) KENT STATE14) FLA GULF COAST
Salt Lake CityIndianapolis
7) Maryland7) Virginia Tech
10) WICHITA STATE10) VCU
2) ARIZONA2) Kentucky
15) NORTH DAKOTA15) NORTHERN KENTUCKY

NOTES on the BRACKET: Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga.

Last Four Byes (at large): VCU, Michigan State, Xavier, Providence

Last Four IN (at large): Kansas State, Wake Forest, USC, Rhode Island

First Four OUT (at large): Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Iowa

Next four teams OUT (at large): Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, Alabama

Breakdown by Conference ...

ACC (9): DUKE, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Virginia, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Miami-FL, Wake Forest

Big 10 (7): Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maryland, Northwestern, Michigan State

Big East (7): VILLANOVA, Butler, Creighton, Seton Hall, Marquette, Xavier, Providence

Big 12 (6): IOWA STATE, Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Kansas State

SEC (5): Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, Vanderbilt

Pac 12 (4): ARIZONA, Oregon, UCLA, USC

Atlantic 10 (2): VCU, Dayton, Rhode Island

American (2): SMU, Cincinnati

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Missouri Valley (2): WICHITA STATE

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

ONE BID LEAGUES: IONA (MAAC), MIDDLE TENNESSE STATE (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), NORTH DAKOTA (BSKY), NORTHERN KENTUCKY (HORIZON), NEW OLEANS (SLND), EAST TENNESSEE STATE (STHN), UC-DAVIS (BWEST), KENT STATE (MAC), FLORIDA GULF COAST (ASUN), JACKSONVILLE STATE (OVC), UNC-WILMINGTON (CAA), WINTHROP (BSO), NC-CENTRAL (MEAC), SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (SUM), NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC), VERMONT(AEAST), BUCKNELL (PAT), MOUNT ST. MARY’S (NEC), TEXAS-SOUTHERN (SWAC)