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Latest NCAA tourney projections: Duke’s a 1, but who else?

Miami v Duke

DURHAM, NC - MARCH 02: Ryan Kelly #34 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after making a basket during their game against the Miami Hurricanes at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 2, 2013 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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After another wild weekend of college hoops, one thing is certain. We can expect the unexpected. Which should make for an incredible month of March.

Take the top seed line. Indiana remains in control of its current No. 1 seed position. The other three spots still have some wiggle room - although based on Ryan Kelly’s return performance Saturday against Miami-FL, the Duke Blue Devils appear headed for yet another top seed on Selection Sunday. In this update, Gonzaga and Kansas grab the other two No. 1 slots. Miami, Georgetown, Louisville, New Mexico, Michigan State, and Michigan are close behind. Remember, there are only four spots on each seed line. Someone has to be number nine or ten on the seed list (s-curve). And the order could easily change. Throughout the bracket, these final two weeks will help decide the starting position for several teams.

The bottom of the bracket is no less uncertain. This past Saturday, six teams sitting directly on the bubble lost. So in some ways, not a lot changed. The newest addition to the bracket is Boise State. After beating Colorado State, the Broncos resume is tournament worthy with two games to play. As a side note, Boise is a true 11 seed in the bracket but had to be placed on the 12 line because of various conflicts and bracketing principles. It’s not uncommon for this to happen. Many of the teams in the middle of the bracket are tightly bunched and while one or two seed lines may appear to be a big difference, that’s not necessarily true.

The final couple of at-large spots in the Field of 68 could be argued for hours. That’s why this week’s games and those in conference tournament play may prove more important than ever. For now, the final at-large spots belong to Iowa State, Villanova, Virginia, and Tennessee. Those four are paired in the First Four - with winners headed to matchups in the East and West Regions. Kentucky, Baylor, Alabama, Massachusetts, and Arkansas are among the first teams outside the bracket.

Note: The bracket update does not include the Baylor-Texas game on Monday evening. That game will be factored into our next update. Enjoy the ride to Selection Sunday.

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid based on current standings. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UTEP, BYU, etc). Records are for games against Division I teams only.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS - Dayton (First Round)


  • Villanova vs. Tennessee | East Region
  • Iowa State vs. Virginia | West Region
  • NORFOLK STATE vs. SOUTHERN | South Region
  • CHARLESTON SO vs. NORTHEASTERN | Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION ...

EAST - Washington, DCMIDWEST- Indianapolis
PhiladelphiaDayton
1) Duke1) INDIANA
16) MERCER 16) CHARLESTON-SO / NORTHEASTERN
8) Butler8) NC State
9) MEMPHIS9) Missouri
DaytonSan Jose
5) Ohio State5) Arizona
12) Villanova / Tennessee12) AKRON
4) Oklahoma State4) Syracuse
13) BELMONT13) DAVIDSON
Auburn HillsKansas City
6) OREGON6) UNLV
11) Temple11) Saint Mary’s
3) Michigan State3) Kansas State
14) VALPARAISO14) SF AUSTIN
LexingtonPhiladelphia
7) Colorado State7) Minnesota
10) Oklahoma 10) Wichita State
2) Louisville2) GEORGETOWN
15) NIAGARA15) PRINCETON
SOUTH - DallasWEST - Los Angeles
Kansas CitySalt Lake
1) KANSAS1) GONZAGA
16) NORFOLK ST / SOUTHERN16) LONG BEACH
8) San Diego State8) North Carolina
9) Cincinnati9) CREIGHTON
Salt LakeSan Jose
5) SAINT LOUIS5) UCLA
12) MID TENNESSEE ST12) Boise State
4) Wisconsin4) Marquette
13) LOUISIANA TECH13) BUCKNELL
AustinAuburn Hills
6) Notre Dame6) Pittsburgh
11) La Salle11) Iowa State / Virginia
3) FLORIDA3) Michigan
14) MONTANA14) STONY BROOK
LexingtonAustin
7) Illinois7) VCU
10) Colorado10) California
2) MIAMI-FL 2) NEW MEXICO
15) SOUTH DAKOTA ST15) ROBERT MORRIS


NOTES on the BRACKET: Indiana is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Duke, Gonzaga, and Kansas. Next in line are Miami-FL, New Mexico, Georgetown, Louisville.

Last Five teams in (at large): Boise State, Iowa State, Villanova, Virginia, Tennessee

First Five teams out (at large): Kentucky, Baylor, Alabama, Massachusetts, Arkansas

Next Five teams out (at large): Maryland, Mississippi, Iowa, Southern Miss, Arizona State

Breakdown by Conference ...

Big East (8): Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Villanova

Big Ten (7): Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois

Mountain West (5): San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico, Colorado State, Boise State

Pac 12 (5): Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, Oregon, California

Big 12 (5): Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Iowa State

Atlantic 10 (5): Butler, VCU, Temple, La Salle, Saint Louis

ACC (5): Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Miami-FL, Virginia

SEC (3): Missouri, Florida, Tennessee

Missouri Valley (2): Creighton, Wichita State

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

Conference USA (1): Memphis

Conference Automatic Qualifiers ... BELMONT (Ohio Valley), BUCKNELL (Patriot), MIDDLE TENNESSE ST (Sunbelt), SOUTH DAKOTA STATE(Summit), VALPARAISO (Horizon), DAVIDSON (Southern), LOUISIANA TECH (WAC), NIAGARA (MAAC), STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (Southland), AKRON (MAC), MERCER (A-Sun), PRINCETON (IVY), LONG BEACH (Big West), NORTHEASTERN (Colonial), STONY BROOK (American East), MONTANA (Big Sky), NORFOLK STATE (MEAC), CHARLESTON-SOUTHERN (Big South), ROBERT MORRIS (NEC), SOUTHERN (SWAC)