Latest NCAA tourney projections: Duke’s a 1, but who else?
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, DC||MIDWEST- Indianapolis|
|1) Duke||1) INDIANA|
|16) MERCER||16) CHARLESTON-SO / NORTHEASTERN|
|8) Butler||8) NC State|
|9) MEMPHIS||9) Missouri|
|5) Ohio State||5) Arizona|
|12) Villanova / Tennessee||12) AKRON|
|4) Oklahoma State||4) Syracuse|
|13) BELMONT||13) DAVIDSON|
|Auburn Hills||Kansas City|
|6) OREGON||6) UNLV|
|11) Temple||11) Saint Mary’s|
|3) Michigan State||3) Kansas State|
|14) VALPARAISO||14) SF AUSTIN|
|7) Colorado State||7) Minnesota|
|10) Oklahoma||10) Wichita State|
|2) Louisville||2) GEORGETOWN|
|15) NIAGARA||15) PRINCETON|
|SOUTH - Dallas||WEST - Los Angeles|
|Kansas City||Salt Lake|
|1) KANSAS||1) GONZAGA|
|16) NORFOLK ST / SOUTHERN||16) LONG BEACH|
|8) San Diego State||8) North Carolina|
|9) Cincinnati||9) CREIGHTON|
|Salt Lake||San Jose|
|5) SAINT LOUIS||5) UCLA|
|12) MID TENNESSEE ST||12) Boise State|
|4) Wisconsin||4) Marquette|
|13) LOUISIANA TECH||13) BUCKNELL|
|6) Notre Dame||6) Pittsburgh|
|11) La Salle||11) Iowa State / Virginia|
|3) FLORIDA||3) Michigan|
|14) MONTANA||14) STONY BROOK|
|7) Illinois||7) VCU|
|10) Colorado||10) California|
|2) MIAMI-FL||2) NEW MEXICO|
|15) SOUTH DAKOTA ST||15) 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)