CBT Bracketology: Villanova leads the field of 68
As we prepare to usher in 2017, the Villanova Wildcats reside in familiar territory - atop our current bracket projection. Simply put, the reigning national champions find ways to win. Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA join Villanova as early No. 1 seeds. Baylor has the best collection of wins; in fact, one could make the case for the Bears to be the No. 1 overall seed. UCLA looks the part, too. A last-second road loss at Oregon doesn’t change that scenario. Today, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Gonzaga fall on the two-line.
A couple of housekeeping notes:
- Conference play is just getting started; league road games tend to separate contenders from pretenders.
- Conference leaders are projected, based on the Seed List and/or RPI and overall record. Once we have a few league games in tact, bracket positions will begin to take shape - especially for one-bid leagues.
- We have some very odd resumes out there, with huge variations in the RPI, KenPom, etc. Those will even out in January.
- You can find the Seed List at Bracketville.
Enjoy your New Year’s weekend. Regular updates to the bracket return in January.
UPDATED: December 30, 2016 | 9:00 a.m. (ET)
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)
- Marquette vs. Michigan State | Midwest Region
- TCU vs. Texas AM | South Region
- UC-IRVINE vs. TX-SOUTHERN | Midwest Region
- LOYOLA-MD vs. LIU-BROOKLYN | East Region
BRACKET PROJECTION ...
|EAST - New York||MIDWEST - Kansas City|
|1) VILLANOVA||1) KANSAS|
|16) LOYOLA-MD/LIU BROOKLYN||16) UC-IRVINE/TX-SOUTHERN|
|8) Michigan||8) Northwestern|
|9) Pittsburgh||9) SMU|
|5) Oregon||5) Arizona|
|12) NC-WILMINGTON||12) VALPARAISO|
|4) West Virginia||4) Xavier|
|13) NEVADA||13) MONMOUTH|
|Salt Lake City||Indianapolis|
|6) Notre Dame||6) USC|
|11) VCU||11) Marquette/Michigan St|
|3) Creighton||3) Louisville|
|14) NEW MEXICO ST||14) AKRON|
|Greenville||Salt Lake City|
|7) Maryland||7) Virginia Tech|
|10) Iowa State||10) WICHITA STATE|
|2) North Carolina||2) GONZAGA|
|15) YALE||15) NORTH DAKOTA ST|
|WEST - San Jose||SOUTH - Memphis|
|1) UCLA||1) Baylor|
|16) E. WASHINGTON||16) NC-CENTRAL|
|8) Clemson||8) South Carolina|
|9) Seton Hall||9) Minnesota|
|5) Florida||5) Wisconsin|
|12) UT-ARLINGTON||12) MID TENNESSEE ST|
|4) Butler||4) Florida State|
|13) TENNESSEE STATE||13) CHATTANOOGA|
|6) Saint Mary’s||6) Indiana|
|11) Miami-FL||11) TCU/Texas AM|
|3) PURDUE||3) Virginia|
|14) FLA GULF COAST||14) WINTHROP|
|7) Oklahoma State||7) CINCINNATI|
|10) Arkansas||10) Dayton|
|2) DUKE||2) KENTUCKY|
|15) VERMONT||15) SAM HOUSTON ST|
NOTES on the BRACKET: Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA
Last Four Byes (at large): Arkansas, Iowa State, Dayton, Miami-FL
Last Four IN (at large): TCU, Texas AM, Michigan State, Marquette
First Four OUT (at large): Ohio State, Providence, Illinois, Temple
Next four teams OUT (at large): NC State, Rhode Island, Wake Forest, Ole Miss
Breakdown by Conference ...
ACC (10): DUKE, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisville, Florida State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Miami-FL
Big 10 (8): PURDUE, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan State
Big 12 (6): KANSAS, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, TCU
Big East (6): VILLANOVA, Creighton, Xavier, Butler, Seton Hall, Marquette
SEC (5): KENTUCKY, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas AM
Pac 12 (4): UCLA, Arizona, Oregon, USC
American (2): CINCINNATI, SMU
West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s
Atlantic 10 (2): VCU, Dayton
Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE
Mountain West (1): NEVADA
ONE BID LEAGUES: Monmouth (MAAC), Middle Tennessee State (C-USA), UT-Arlington(SBELT), Yale (IVY), Eastern Washington (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Sam Houston St (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Tennessee State (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Winthrop (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Loyola-MD (PAT), LIU-Brooklyn (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)