Hoosiers, Big Ten make splash in our preseason bracket
Make way for the Big Ten. Led by No. 1 overall seed Indiana, four teams – including Michigan State, Ohio State, and Michigan – grab top three seeds in our 2013 NCAA Tournament preseason bracket projection. Will that be true come March? Nobody knows. Crystal balls are always a little cloudy this time of year.
Preseason bracket projection | Note: Problems with the editing software caused the bracket to lose its usual color. I’ll be working to resolve this issue.
Here’s what we do anticipate:
The Big Ten should be very strong at the top. Wisconsin and Minnesota also appear to be tournament teams. If a seventh team emerges, it could be Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, or Purdue. The Hawkeyes made a late push last season and make our initial bracket as a First Four participant.
Duke, NC State, and North Carolina will wage a war in the ACC. Any of the three could win it. Florida State could also be a Top 25 team.
With the additions of VCU and Butler, the Atlantic 10 will be a deep, competitive league. Best guess: four to six teams will be in good position for at-large consideration by season’s end. Seeding will be interesting. In our opening bracket, five A-10 teams make the field but all are seeded between lines 7-10.
Arizona and UCLA will lift the Pac-12. Both are capable of long runs in the NCAA Tournament. Another three or four teams will likey be in the at-large picture: Stanford, USC, California, and Washington are among those.
Staying West, how about UNLV and San Diego State? Both are Top 20 teams.
Kentucky has reloaded with another stellar recruiting class. Challengers include Florida and league newcomer Missouri. Don’t overlook Tennessee, either. The Volunteers begin at No. 21 on the s-curve.
All Kansas does is win Big 12 titles and earn high seeds in March. No reason for that to change. Baylor will be in the hunt, too.
And then there’s Louisville, Syracuse, and a host of Big East teams. Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Marquette, and Pittsburgh will make life interesting for the Cardinals and Orange.
The Road to Atlanta begins Friday. Here’s to a great season of college hoops.