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1 seeds still up for grabs in new NCAA tourney projections

Kendall Williams

New Mexico’s Kendall Williams reacts after making a 3-point basket in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Boise State on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at the Pit in Albuquerque, N.M. (AP Photo/Jake Schoellkopf)

AP

We should be in for an exciting week. It’s not often that so many potential at-large spots and seeding questions remain this close to Selection Sunday. Which means several teams - many from the SEC in particular - will be paying close attention to conference tournament results. A surprise winner or two could jolt the at-large pool.

For now, Duke reclaims the overall top seed. Ryan Kelly has returned and is playing at a high level. That brings the Blue Devils’ full profile back into play, and it’s pretty good. But the race isn’t over. Gonzaga, Kansas, Indiana, Louisville, Georgetown, New Mexico, and a second Big Ten team are all contenders for a No. 1 seed. Conference tournaments could play a decisive role.

The bubble remains what it is. So despite some losses this week, not a lot has changed. Thankfully, a week remains to help sort things out. Given the turmoil, several teams could still make a late push. We have a long way to go and a short time to get there. Buckle up.

Quick note: As we’ve entered conference tournament play, teams in ALL-CAPS no longer appear in the bracket. We’ll begin using the CAPS as a indication of a team’s automatic bid. The first of which will be handed out on Saturday.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS - Dayton (First Round)


  • Virginia vs. Tennessee | East Region
  • Iowa State vs. La Salle | South Region
  • Norfolk State vs. Charleston-Southern | South Region
  • Southern vs. Northeastern | Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION ...

EAST - Washington, DCMIDWEST- Indianapolis
PhiladelphiaDayton
1) Duke1) INDIANA
16) Mercer 16) Southern / Northeastern
8) Illinois8) Missouri
9) Memphis9) Cincinnati
San JoseSalt Lake
5) Arizona5) Saint Louis
12) Belmont12) Middle Tennesse State
4) Marquette4) UNLV
13) Bucknell13) Louisiana Tech
Kansas CityAustin
6) Pittsburgh6) VCU
11) Tennessee / Virginia11) Boise State
3) Kansas State3) Miami-FL
14) S.F. Austin14) Montana
Auburn HillsLexington
7) Butler7) Oregon
10) California10) Wichita State
2) Michigan State2) Louisville
15) Niagara15) South Dakota State
SOUTH - DallasWEST - Los Angeles
Kansas CitySalt Lake
1) Kansas1) Gonzaga
16) Norfolk St / Charleston-So16) Long Beach State
8) Colorado State8) San Diego State
9) Creighton9) Colorado
San JoseDayton
5) Wisconsin5) Oklahoma State
12) Saint Mary’s12) Villanova
4) Syracuse4) Ohio State
13) Davidson13) Akron
LexingtonAuburn Hills
6) Notre Dame6) UCLA
11) Iowa State / La Salle11) Temple
3) Florida3) Michigan
14) Stony Brook14) Valparaiso
AustinPhiladelphia
7) North Carolina7) NC State
10) Minnesota10) Oklahoma
2) New Mexico2) Georgetown
15) Robert Morris15) Princeton

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

Last Five teams in (at large): Saint Mary’s, La Salle, Iowa State, Tennessee, Virginia

First Five teams out (at large): Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Iowa, Massachusetts

Next Five teams out (at large): Arkansas, Maryland, Baylor, Xavier, Providence

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)