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No doubting ‘Canes -- they’re a 1 seed in our new NCAA tourney projections

Kenny Kadji

Healthy and playing some sugar-sweet basketball, the Miami Hurricanes are the latest team to grab a No. 1 seed in our latest bracket. Miami sits atop the East Region. Despite a last-second loss at Illinois, Indiana remains the No. 1 overall seed thanks to an impressive road win at Ohio State on Sunday. Michigan and Duke are the other top seeds. Based on recent history, however, the race for the top line is far from over. Arizona, Florida, Gonzaga, and Michigan State are in the mix, too. And it’s not too late for Syracuse to move back up. Then there’s Kansas, which put together an impressive bounce-back against rival Kansas State on Monday.

Bracket rules what they are, there are a few quirks in this edition – such as potential third-round rematches between Illinois and Gonzaga and Kentucky and Duke. While the Selection Committee tries to avoid such rematches in the first two/three rounds, it’s not a hard-and-fast rule. In these cases, other conflicts created the rematch scenarios. In fact, Illinois is one a few teams that moved a seed line to avoid bracket conflicts. A true nine seed (s-curve No. 36), the Illini couldn’t be placed in the top half of any region because of other Big Ten opponents. Such moves are not uncommon.

As for the bottom of the bracket – or the bubble – Baylor, Temple, La Salle, Saint Mary’s, and St. John’s are the last five teams in today. One could make a case for a handful of others. Virginia is a particularly challenging case and is the first team out. The Cavaliers are 6-0 vs. Top 100 RPI teams – including a win at Wisconsin. But they also have several troubling losses – none more than Old Dominion at home. UVA also has a very weak non-conference strength of schedule. It’s hard to be confident in the Cavaliers’ profile given the above scenario.

We have a long way to go. Other teams knocking on the door? Villanova, Arizona State, Massachusetts, Boise State, and Stanford. And that might change by midweek. It’s been one of those seasons. Enjoy another great week of hoops.

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)


  • St. John’s vs. La Salle | East Region
  • Temple vs. St. Mary’s | Midwest Region
  • NORFOLK STATE vs. FLORIDA GULF COAST | Midwest Region
  • UNC-ASHEVILLE vs. SOUTHERN | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION ...

EAST - Washington, DCMIDWEST- Indianapolis
LexingtonDayton
1) MIAMI-FL1) INDIANA
16) UNC-ASHEVILLE / SOUTHERN 16) FLA GULF COAST / NORFOLK ST
8) CREIGHTON8) VCU
9) MEMPHIS9) Colorado State
AustinSan Jose
5) Ohio State5) Marquette
12) St. John’s / La Salle12) Temple / Saint Mary’s
4) BUTLER4) Kansas State
13) LEHIGH13) AKRON
PhiladelphiaDayton
6) Oregon6) San Diego State
11) North Carolina11) Colorado
3) SYRACUSE3) Louisville
14) DAVIDSON14) HARVARD
Auburn HillsLexington
7) UNLV7) NC State
10) Oklahoma10) Iowa State
2) Michigan State2) FLORIDA
15) VERMONT15) NORTHEASTERN
SOUTH - DallasWEST - Los Angeles
Auburn HillsPhiladelphia
1) Michigan1) Duke
16) BRYANT16) LONG BEACH
8) Missouri8) Kentucky
9) Saint Louis9) Wichita State
AustinKansas City
5) Oklahoma State5) Wisconsin
12) MID TENNESSEE ST12) BELMONT
4) Pittsburgh4) Georgetown
13) LOUISIANA TECH13) VALPARAISO
Salt LakeKansas City
6) Notre Dame6) Cincinnati
11) Baylor11) Indiana State
3) NEW MEXICO3) KANSAS
14) MONTANA14) S.F. AUSTIN
Salt LakeSan Jose
7) UCLA7) Minnesota
10) Illinois10) Mississippi
2) GONZAGA2) ARIZONA
15) NIAGARA15) WESTERN ILLINOIS


NOTES on the BRACKET: Indiana is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Miami-FL, Michigan, and Duke.

Last Five teams in (at large): Baylor, Temple, La Salle, Saint Mary’s, St. John’s

First Five teams out (at large): Virginia, Villanova, Arizona State, Massachusetts, Boise State

Next Five teams out (at large): Stanford, Charlotte, Bucknell, California, Florida State

Breakdown by Conference ...

Big East (8): Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Marquette, Pittsburgh, St. John’s

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

Big 12 (6): Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa State

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

ACC (4): Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Miami-FL

Pac 12 (4): Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, Oregon

SEC (4): Missouri, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi

Mountain West (4): San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico, Colorado State

Missouri Valley (3): Creighton, Wichita State, Indiana State

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

Conference USA (1): Memphis

Conference Automatic Qualifiers ... BELMONT (Ohio Valley), LEHIGH (Patriot), MIDDLE TENNESSE ST (Sunbelt), WESTERN ILLINOIS(Summit), VALPARAISO (Horizon), DAVIDSON (Southern), LOUISIANA TECH (WAC), NIAGARA (MAAC), STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (Southland), AKRON (MAC), FLORIDA GULF COAST (A-Sun), HARVARD (IVY), LONG BEACH (Big West), NORTHEASTERN (Colonial), VERMONT (American East), MONTANA (Big Sky), NORFOLK STATE (MEAC), UNC-ASHEVILLE (Big South), BRYANT (NEC), SOUTHERN (SWAC)