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Bracketology: Will we have a bid thief?

Tyler Thornton, Rasheed Sulaimon, Landry Nnoko

AP Photo


Tyler Thornton, Rasheed Sulaimon, Landry Nnoko

AP Photo


It’s the Saturday before Selection Sunday and teams hovering at the cutline will be watching to see what happens in the Atlantic 10, Atlantic Coast (ACC), and Southeastern (SEC) conference tournaments. The reasons: St. Bonaventure, North Carolina State, and Georgia. Should any of the three win two more games, a potential at-large berth disappears.

In other words, a team currently headed to Dayton for the First Four, could be headed to the NIT, instead.
RELATED: How did the teams on the bubble do on Friday?

As additional resumes complete, the Selection Committee in Indianapolis will also be dissecting and comparing resumes from teams such as Green Bay, Southern Mississippi, and perhaps Toledo or Louisiana Tech – if either of those loses in their conference tournament final. We have one day to go, but all is not settled.

Teams most concerned about what happens today and Sunday: BYU, SMU, Nebraska, and Xavier. They are among the Last 5 IN and all four have completed their profiles. Providence (slotted in the First Four) and Tennessee (just above it) are still playing.
MORE: Are we overlooking Arizona right now?

Here’s what we do know … Florida, Arizona, and Wichita State should be locked-in as No. 1 seeds. With Villanova idle, Michigan and Wisconsin are the next challengers for the final No. 1 slot. Virginia is also in the mix, but probably has to win the ACC tournament and have Michigan and/or Wisconsin lose. That seems about it – unless the Committee has a collective viewpoint that Louisville, ranked highly in both polls and routing teams left and right, is the fourth best team. Assuming the Cardinals capture the American Conference tourney, we’ll see how it plays out.

UPDATED: March 15, 2014

Teams in CAPS represent the AUTOMATIC bid based on tournament results. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).
MORE: At what point does Kansas’ defense become a major red flag?

Several new bracketing principles were introduced after last year’s tournament. You can read them for yourself at 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. Providence | South Region
  • SMU vs. BYU | West Region
  • Texas Southern vs. CS Northridge | Midwest Region


SOUTH - MemphisWEST - Anaheim
OrlandoSan Diego
1) Florida1) Arizona
16) WOFFORD16) Weber State
8) Kansas State8) George Washington
9) Colorado9) Pittsburgh
San DiegoSpokane
5) New Mexico5) Oklahoma
12) Louisiana Tech12) BYU / SMU
4) Michigan State4) San Diego State
13) S.F. Austin13) NORTH DAKOTA ST
San AntonioSan Antonio
6) UCLA6) Connecticut
11) Nebraska / Providence11) Xavier
3) Creighton3) Iowa State
14) NC-Central14) MERCER
St. LouisRaleigh
7) VCU7) Kentucky
10) Iowa10) Saint Joseph’s
2) Kansas2) Virginia
15) MILWAUKEE15) New Mexico State
EAST - New YorkMIDWEST - Indianapolis
BuffaloSt. Louis
1) Villanova1) WICHITA STATE
16) CO CAROLINA / MT ST MARY’S16) Texas Southern / CS Northridge
8) Oklahoma State8) Memphis
9) GONZAGA9) Oregon
5) Ohio State5) Baylor
12) HARVARD12) Toledo
4) Cincinnati4) Duke
6) North Carolina6) Texas
11) Tennessee11) Dayton
3) Syracuse3) Louisville
14) Georgia State14) EASTERN KENTUCKY
7) Saint Louis7) Massachusetts
10) Stanford10) Arizona State
2) Michigan2) Wisconsin
15) Stony Brook15) AMERICAN

NOTES on the BRACKET: Florida remains the overall No. 1 seed followed by Arizona, Wichita State, and Villanova.

Last Five teams in (at large): Xavier, Nebraska, SMU, BYU, Providence

First Five teams out (at large): Florida State, Minnesota, Arkansas, California, Missouri

Next five teams out (at large): NC State, Green Bay, Georgia, Southern Miss, 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

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

SEC (3): Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee

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), AMERICAN (Patriot), NORTH DAKOTA STATE (Summit), MILWAUKEE (Horizon), WOFFORD (Southern), New Mexico State (WAC), MANHATTAN (MAAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Toledo (MAC), MERCER (A-Sun), HARVARD (IVY), Cal-Northridge (Big West), DELAWARE (Colonial), Stony Brook (American East), Weber State (Big Sky), NC-Central (MEAC), COASTAL CAROLINA (Big South), MOUNT ST. MARY’S (NEC), Texas Southern (SWAC)