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VCU, South Florida, Colorado St. sneak into our latest NCAA bracket

spt-120301-shaka

Mike Miller

Welcome to March. Three new teams have joined the bracket: Colorado State, South Florida, and VCU. Sliding out: Northwestern, Dayton, and St. Joseph’s. It’s going to be an interesting nine days until Selection Sunday.

The race for No. 1 seeds continues with Goliath matchups this weekend. Michigan State hosts Ohio State and the Spartans can wrap up an outright Big Ten championship by beating the Buckeyes. There’s also Round 2 of the Duke and North Carolina rivalry. Results from those games will have a direct impact on the No. 1 seed line as we head into Championship Week. Kentucky and Syracuse continue to lead the field, and that’s unlikely to change. Kansas now has the inside track for the Midwest Regional in St. Louis, but it’s not locked in place. The No. 4 overall seed will be shipped West. In essence, there are five teams fighting for two spots on the top line. Ohio State could re-enter the discussion if the Buckeyes beat MSU this weekend and win the Big Ten conference tournament.

Here’s the latest bracket.

UPDATED: Friday, March 2 | 12:30 a.m. (ET)

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. 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)


  • Texas (19-11) vs. VCU (25-6) | East Region
  • South Florida (18-11) vs. Xavier (18-11) | Midwest Region
  • MISS VALLEY ST (18-12) vs. SAVANNAH ST (18-10) | South Region
  • STONY BROOK (18-8) vs. UNC-ASHEVILLE (20-9) | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION ...

EAST - Boston SOUTH - Atlanta
Pittsburgh Louisville
1) SYRACUSE (29-1) 1) KENTUCKY (29-1)
16) UNC-ASHEVILLE / STONY BROOK 16) MS VALLEY ST / SAVANNAH ST
8) Purdue (20-10) 8) ST. MARY’S (23-5)
9) Virginia (21-8) 9) St. Louis (22-6)
Portland Portland
5) Vanderbilt (20-9) 5) MURRAY STATE (25-1)
12) Texas / VCU 12) California (23-7)
4) TEMPLE (23-6) 4) Wisconsin (21-8)
13) IONA (24-6) 13) ORAL ROBERTS (26-5)
Albuquerque Nashville
6) Creighton (25-5) 6) New Mexico (22-6)
11) Connecticut (17-12) 11) Mississippi State (20-10)
3) Baylor (24-5) 3) Georgetown (21-6)
14) NEVADA (22-5) 14) DAVIDSON (21-7)
Greensboro Pittsburgh
7) Louisville (22-8) 7) Kansas State (20-9)
10) HARVARD (22-4) 10) Seton Hall (19-10)
2) North Carolina (26-4) 2) Ohio State (24-6)
15) BELMONT (23-7) 15) VALPARAISO (18-10)
MIDWEST - St. Louis WEST - Phoenix
Omaha Columbus
1) KANSAS (25-5) 1) MICHIGAN STATE (23-6)
16) UT-ARLINGTON (21-6) 16) LONG ISLAND (23-8)
8) Cincinnati (21-9) 8) Alabama (20-9)
9) Memphis (22-8) 9) Iowa State (21-9)
Nashville Albuquerque
5) Florida (22-9) 5) UNLV (22-7)
12) South Florida / Xavier 12) BYU (22-7)
4) Indiana (23-7) 4) WICHITA STATE (23-4)
13) DREXEL (25-5) 13) LONG BEACH (19-7)
Louisville Columbus
6) San Diego State (21-6) 6) Florida State (20-9)
11) WASHINGTON (21-8) 11) Colorado State (17-10)
3) Marquette (24-6) 3) Michigan (21-8)
14) AKRON (19-10) 14) MID TENNESSEE ST (22-5)
Greensboro Omaha
7) Gonzaga (24-5) 7) Notre Dame (20-10)
10) West Virginia (18-12) 10) Southern Mississippi (22-6)
2) DUKE (26-4) 2) Missouri (26-4)
15) BUCKNELL (22-8) 15) MONTANA (21-6)

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Syracuse, Kansas, and Michigan State. Next in line are Duke, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio State

Last Five teams in (at large): Colorado State, South Florida, Texas, VCU, Xavier

First Five teams out (at large): Northwestern, Dayton, St. Joseph’s, Miami (Fla), NC State

Bracket adjustments: Several one-line adjustments were made to accommodate bracket principles and procedures.

Here is the team breakdown by Conference ...

Big East (10): Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Marquette, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, South Florida

Big Ten (6): Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Purdue

Big 12 (6): Baylor, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas

SEC (5): Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Alabama

ACC (4): North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Florida State

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

Atlantic 10 (3): Xavier, St. Louis, Temple

West Coast (3): Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, BYU

Conference USA (2): Memphis, Southern Mississippi

Pac 12 (2): Washingon, California

Missouri Valley (2): Creighton, Wichita State

Conference leaders/champions ... Middle Tennessee State (Sun Belt), Valparaiso (Horizon), Akron (MAC), Drexel (CAA), Nevada (WAC), Murray State (OVC), Iona (MAAC), Weber State (Big Sky), Davidson (Southern), Oral Roberts (Summit), Long Beach State (Big West), Long Island (NEC), Belmont (Atlantic Sun), Harvard (Ivy), NC-Asheville (Big South), Savannah State (MEAC), Bucknell (Patriot), Stony Brook (America East), UT-Arlington(Southland), Mississippi Valley State (SWAC)