February 20 Bracket: Big Ten benefitting from weak bubble
This year’s Big Ten is not last year’s Big Ten. Wisconsin is just as good, but quality throughout the league isn’t the same - even with solid contributions by newcomer Maryland. All of which would suggest that fewer Big Ten teams would be participating in this year’s NCAA tournament. Not necessarily so.
Given the current status of bubble teams - those hanging around the proverbial 68-team cutline - as many as eight Big Ten teams have realistic hopes of hearing their name called on Selection Sunday. Case in point: there are eight teams in today’s updated bracket projection - further buoyed by Purdue’s victory last night at Indiana. The Boilermakers had some issues in December, but they’ve been a different basketball team the past three weeks. We’ll see if they can finish the task at hand. We’ll also find out soon if Illinois and Iowa can stay the course. Will all eight teams make it? Probably not. But the door is open.
The only other notable change from Monday is Duke passing Gonzaga for the No. 3 spot on the Seed List. It only changes the Regions in this sense: As the No. 4 overall seed, Gonzaga is now opposite Kentucky (West vs. East) in Final Four pairings; Duke and Virginia (South vs. East) would be on the other side. Will the ‘Zags end up a No. 1 seed? If they win out - and finish with just one loss - I believe the Selection Committee will reward the Bulldogs with the top seed out west. If not, a spot could open up for those next in line: Villanova, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Arizona.
Enjoy a weekend of hoops. Selection Sunday is closing in. To view the complete Seed List for today’s bracket, visit Bracketville.
UPDATED: February 20, 2015
Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. In the event of a tie in the loss column, RPI is the first tiebreaker used. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).
Several new bracketing principles were introduced last year. 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)
- NC State vs. St. John’s | East Region
- Miami-FL vs. Oregon | East Region
- TEXAS SOUTHERN vs. ALBANY | Midwest Region
- ST. FRANCIS-BROOKLYN vs. BUCKNELL | East Region
BRACKET PROJECTION ...
|MIDWEST - Cleveland||EAST - Syracuse|
|1) KENTUCKY||1) VIRGINIA|
|16) ALBANY / TX-STHERN||16) SFBK / BUCKNELL|
|8) Michigan State||8) Mississippi|
|9) Xavier||9) Temple|
|5) WICHITA STATE||5) Northern Iowa|
|12) WOFFORD||12) Miami-FL / Oregon|
|4) North Carolina||4) Oklahoma|
|13) S.F. AUSTIN||13) HARVARD|
|6) VCU||6) West Virginia|
|11) LSU||11) St. John’s / NC State|
|3) Iowa State||3) Maryland|
|14) UC-DAVIS||14) TOLEDO|
|7) SMU||7) Ohio State|
|10) Texas||10) Cincinnati|
|2) WISCONSIN||2) VILLANOVA|
|15) NORTHEASTERN||15) HIGH POINT|
|WEST - Los Angeles||SOUTH - Houston|
|1) GONZAGA||1) Duke|
|16) NEW MEXICO ST||16) UL-MONROE|
|8) SAN DIEGO ST||8) Dayton|
|9) Illinois||9) Purdue|
|5) Baylor||5) Arkansas|
|12) VALPARAISO||12) MURRAY STATE|
|4) Louisville||4) Butler|
|13) IONA||13) LOUISIANA TECH|
|6) Providence||6) Georgetown|
|11) Georgia||11) Texas AM|
|3) Notre Dame||3) Utah|
|14) NC-CENTRAL||14) E. WASHINGTON|
|7) Oklahoma State||7) Indiana|
|10) Iowa||10) Colorado State|
|2) ARIZONA||2) KANSAS|
|15) SO DAKOTA ST||15) FLA GULF COAST|
NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Virginia, Duke, and Gonzaga. Next in line: Villanova, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Arizona.
Last Five teams in (at large): Georgia, NC State, St. John’s, Miami-FL, Oregon
First Five teams out (at large): UCLA, Stanford, Tulsa, Davidson, Boise State
Next five teams out (at large): Rhode Island, BYU, Massachusetts, Old Dominion, Saint Mary’s
Breakdown by Conference ...
Big 10 (8): Wisconsin, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa
ACC (7): Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State, Miami-FL
Big 12 (7): Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas
Big East (6): Villanova, Butler, Providence, Georgetown, Xavier, St. John’s
SEC (6): Kentucky, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas AM, LSU, Georgia
Pac 12 (3): Arizona, Utah, Oregon
American (3): SMU, Temple, Cincinnati
Mountain West (2): San Diego State, Colorado State
Atlantic 10 (2): VCU, Dayton
Missouri Valley (2): Wichita State, Northern Iowa
Conference USA (1): Louisiana Tech
West Coast (1): Gonzaga
ONE BID LEAGUES: UL-Monroe (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Eastern Washington (BSKY), Valparaiso (HZN), S.F. Austin (SLND), Wofford (STHN), UC-Davis (BWEST), Toledo (MAC), Iona (MAAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Murray State (OVC), Northeastern (CAA), High Point (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Albany (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), St. Francis - NY (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)