Kentucky will be the No. 1 overall seed. The only question – for weeks now, really – is whether the Wildcats will be in the South or Midwest. Geographically, St. Louis (Midwest) is a few miles closer, but it’s a small enough margin not to matter much. The South is UK’s more natural region. This is where North Carolina comes into play. Winning the outright ACC title and reaching the ACC tournament final means the Tar Heels should be the third No. 1 seed. UNC is an obvious fit for the South Region.
Here are the other considerations: If the committee has decided that the Michigan State – Ohio State winner today (Big Ten championship) will be a No. 1 seed, this affects the bracket. Either MSU or OSU will be No. 4 on the s-curve and be fourth in the Region pecking order – meaning a trip West. If, however, the committee has decided that Kansas/Missouri will be the fourth No. 1 seed regardless of the Big Ten outcome, then MSU or OSU will be two seeds. In this case, one of Missouri/Kansas will be West and one will be in the St. Louis location. The committee can balance the regions with the three or four seeds.
How will it shake out?
Missouri’s weak non-conference strength-of-schedule (No. 294 at collegerpi.com) will probably keep the Tigers as a two-seed. Kansas, the Big 12 regular season champ, lost to Baylor in the Big 12 semifinals. Normally, not a big deal. But both Michigan State and Ohio State have been projected as top seeds this season – and the Big Ten is a deeper league overall.
Will the starting time of the Big Ten title game be a factor? We may not know until 5:30 (or after) today whether Michigan State or Ohio State wins. From a bracketing standpoint, this isn’t a huge deal as both are from the same conference. It becomes an either-or scenario, and the winner is just plugged into the appropriate slot.
Here’s our take in order: Kentucky (Midwest), Syracuse (East), North Carolina (South), Michigan State/Ohio State (West). The two line: Kansas (West), Missouri (Midwest), Michigan State/Ohio State (South), Duke (East).
Enjoy Selection Sunday. Our final bracket projection will be posted later this afternoon. Then the debate ends and the Madness begins.
Kentucky has locked in the overall No. 1 seed with Syracuse losing to Cincinnati. The other top seeds remain the same, but North Carolina moves ahead of Kansas on the s-curve. The Jayhawks are now slotted West, with UK moving to the Midwest – a slightly closer location. Carolina goes South. That’s the fun news.
March 10 Bracket Projection – Bracketology
UPDATED EDITOR NOTE: With all the rapid-fire changes into the early morning hours, the original update posted at 3:30 a.m. (ET ) mentioned but did not account for (in the bracket) the automatic bid from the Pac-12. I have corrected this now (9:40 a.m. ET). Sorry for that miscue. Here’s how it plays out. NC State moves to the first team out and Texas plays Drexel in the First Four. For now, Arizona grabs the Pac-12’s auto bid slot as the highest remaining seed in the tournament.
The bubble remains a strange and ever-moving target. We’ll be reviewing everything thoroughly again, so things could change. We also have some potential bid stealers alive in the Atlantic 10, Conference USA, and Pac-12. Just another crazy night. Marshall and Texas join the First Four. Colorado and Arizona play for the Pac-12 title. In the SEC, Ole Miss remains alive thanks to a win over Tennessee. That drops the Volunteers among those just out.
What will Saturday hold? Who knows. But if it’s like Thursday and Friday, we’re in for another bumpy ride.
After losing to Louisville on Wednesday, Seton Hall joins Drexel, Iona, Oral Roberts, and Middle Tennessee State as nervous at-large hopefuls. West Virginia is in that group, too, but is a little more secure heading into action on Thursday and Friday. Connecticut helped its case by beating the Mountaineers. With 10 Top 100 RPI wins, it’s looking more and more likely that the Huskies will be able to defend their NCAA title. South Florida kept its at-large hopes alive by beating Villanova. USF matches up with Notre Dame tonight (Thursday).
March 8 Bracket Projection – Bracketology
Not a lot has changed since Monday’s bracket. Seton Hall remains in the field as a First Four participant in Dayton. They are matched against Xavier. St. Joseph’s and Drexel are the other First Four at-large teams. With this grouping, regular-season rematches were unavoidable. The First Four could look much different come Saturday morning. The next two days will be critical for teams like Northwestern, Texas, South Florida, Dayton, St. Joseph’s, Miami-Fla, NC State, and Oregon.
Enjoy two full days of great March hoops!
Our current NCAA tournament bubble isn’t necessarily any weaker, but it certainly isn’t shrinking. Games this weekend should help clear up a few spots – although it hasn’t happened yet. Right now, there are 25 teams listed as projected locks, with another seven teams in strong position to claim a bid (Should Be In). When you add in the 31 automatic qualifers (minus projected locks), that leaves us with about 16 spots. Some of the bubble teams are in stronger position than others.
March 3 Bubble Banter update.
A few quick thoughts about the weekend …
- Connecticut and Mississippi State are the two BCS teams currently in our bracket that most need victories this weekend. Connecticut hosts Pittsburgh and Mississippi State hosts Arkansas.
- Cincinnati should punch its ticket by winning at Villanova. A loss would make the Bearcats’ Big East tournament opener more important.
- Northwestern needs to win its game at Iowa, but that won’t be easy. The Hawkeyes have been a tough out at home.
- Washington can wrap up a Pac-12 title by winning at UCLA. That won’t guarantee the Huskies a spot, but it would certainly help.
- Virginia travels to Maryland with a two-game losing streak. A loss would drop the Cavaliers to 8-8 in the ACC and make UVA’s opening round ACC tournament game much more intense.
Enjoy a weekend of college hoops. Several teams will punch NCAA dance tickets.
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.
Fresh off a week of great games, here’s your lates update:
March 2 Bracket Projection – Bracketology
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.