Notre Dame’s the new No. 1 in our latest NCAA tourney projections

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Less than a week until Selection Sunday and we have a lot to be decided in conference tournaments.  We also have at least one spot up for grabs at the top.  Today, Notre Dame grabs the final No. 1 seed and is slotted out West – with opening games in Chicago.  Ohio State is a lock for the top line. Pittsburgh and Kansas are looking very strong, too. 

Here are some teams who have the most at stake entering conference tournament play: Michigan State, Alabama, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Colorado, Boston College, Marquette, Penn State, Colorado State, Washington State, and Memphis. I would expect we’ll see some changes at the bottom of the bracket throughout the week – especially if we get a few upsets.  Stay tuned.

UPDATED: Monday, March 7 | Records reflect Division I games only – through March 6.

NEW: Teams in CAPS represent the AUTOMATIC bid champion for this bracket. Exceptions are made for those teams that traditionally use an abbreviation (UTEP, BYU, etc).

NOTE: In the new 68-team format you will notice two pairing games that represent the First Four pairings. In this bracket the First Four games in Dayton would be … Alabama vs. Butler | Michigan State vs. Clemson | Texas Southern vs. McNeese State | UNC-ASHEVILLE vs. Bethune-Cookman. The final four at-large teams are paired along with the teams seeded 65-68 on the S-curve. The matchups are indicated in the bracket below.

Next Update: Wednesday, March 9.

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTNewark   SOUTHEASTNew Orleans
Cleveland   Cleveland
1) Ohio State (29-2)   1) PITTSBURGH (27-4)
16) Beth-Cookman / NC-ASHEVILLE   16) McNeese State / Texas-Southern
8  UCLA (22-9)   8  George Mason (26-6)
9) Old Dominion (25-6)   9) Illinois (19-12)
     
Tampa   Tampa
5) Texas AM (22-7)   5) Connecticut (21-9)
12) Alabama / Butler   12) BELMONT (30-4)  
4) Louisville (23-8)   4) Florida (24-6)
13) Harvard (21-5)   13) Charleston (24-9)
     
Washington, DC   Denver
6) Vanderbilt (21-9)   6) Temple (24-6)
11) Michigan (18-12)   11) Gonzaga (23-9)
3) Syracuse (25-6)   3) Wisconsin (23-7)
14) Milwaukee (19-12)   14) Kent State (20-10)
     
Charlotte   Tulsa
7) UNLV (23-7)   7) Arizona (25-6)
10) Richmond (24-7)   10) Marquette (18-13)
2) Duke (27-4)   2) Texas (25-6)
15) Long Island (26-5)   15) MOREHEAD STATE (23-9)
     
SOUTHWEST – San Antonio   WEST – Anaheim
Tulsa   Chicago
1) Kansas (28-2)   1) Notre Dame (25-5)
16) Boston University (19-13)   16) North Texas (20-10)
8  Utah State (27-3)   8  Missouri (21-9)
9) Tennessee (18-13)   9) Florida State (21-9)
     
Washington, DC   Tucson
5) Xavier (24-6)   5) West Virginia (20-10)
12) Michigan State / Clemson   12) UAB (22-7)  
4) St. John’s (20-10)   4) Kentucky (22-8)
13) Iona (22-10)   13) Oakland (22-9)
     
Chicago   Charlotte
6) Cincinnati (24-7)   6) Georgetown (21-9)
11) Boston College (19-11)   11) St. Mary’s (22-7)
3) Purdue (25-6)   3) North Carolina (23-6)
14) INDIANA STATE (19-13)   14) Bucknell (24-8)
     
Tucson   Denver
7) Villanova (21-9)   7) Kansas State (21-9)
10) Georgia (20-10)   10) Washington (20-10)
2) San Diego State (27-2)   2) BYU (27-3)
15) Northern Colorado (17-10)   15) Long Beach State (18-10)

 

 

NOTES on the BRACKET: Ohio State remains the No. 1 overall seed followed by Pittsburgh, Kansas, and Notre Dame. The two seeds in order are Texas, Duke, BYU, San Diego State

Last Five teams in (at large): Michigan, Michigan State, Butler, Clemson, Alabama

First Five teams out (at large): Virginia Tech, Colorado, VCU, Penn State, Missouri State

Next in Line: Colorado State, New Mexico, Washington State, Memphis, Baylor

Bracket adjustments: None in this update.

Here is the team breakdown by Conference …

Big East (11): Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Villanova, West Virginia, Louisville, St. John’s, Cincinnati, Marquette

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

SEC (6): Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama

Big 12 (5): Kansas, Texas, Texas AM, Missouri, Kansas State

ACC (5): Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Boston College, Clemson

Pac 10 (3): Arizona, UCLA, Washington

Mountain West (3): San Diego State, BYU, UNLV

Atlantic 10 (3): Xavier, Temple, Richmond

Colonial (2): George Mason, Old Dominion

West Coast (2): St. Mary’s, Gonzaga

Horizon (2): Milwaukee, Butler

Conference USA (1): UAB

Missouri Valley (1): INDIANA STATE

Conference leaders/champions … Utah State (WAC), MOREHEAD STATE (OVC), Iona (MAAC), Kent State (MAC), Northern Colorado (Big Sky), Charleston (Southern), Oakland (Summit), Long Beach State (Big West), Long Island (NEC), BELMONT (Atlantic Sun), North Texas (Sun Belt), Harvard (Ivy), UNC-ASHEVILLE (Big South), Bethune-cookman (MEAC), BUCKNELL (Patriot), Boston University (America East), McNeese State(Southland), Texas Southern (SWAC)

2017 NCAA Tournament Final Four schedule, tip times, and announcer pairings

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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National Semifinals– Saturday, April 1

6:09 p.m. EST, CBS, Glendale
No. 7 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

Approximately 40 minutes after conclusion of first game, CBS, Glendale
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon (Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson)

VIDEO: The insane final 10 seconds of North Carolina’s win over Kentucky

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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North Carolina and Kentucky ended in legendary fashion on Sunday.

After freshman Malik Monk buried a heavily-contested three-pointer to tie the game at 73-all for Kentucky with under 10 seconds left the Tar Heels didn’t use a timeout as Theo Pinson found forward Luke Maye for the game-winning jumper.

These 10 seconds will go down as one of the greatest finishes in NCAA Tournament history.

No. 1 seed North Carolina outlasts No. 2 seed Kentucky to advance to the Final Four

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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North Carolina advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season and 20th time overall as the No. 1 seed Tar Heels outlasted No. 2 seed Kentucky, 75-73, during Sunday’s South Regional final in Memphis.

Reserve forward Luke Maye knocked in the game-winning jumper for the Tar Heels with 0.3 seconds left to break a 73-all tie after Kentucky’s Malik Monk tied the game with a three-pointer on the previous possession.

The Tar Heels (31-7) overcame an ankle issue from junior point guard Joel Berry as North Carolina was led by Justin Jackson’s 19 points.

Maye also stepped up with a big game for North Carolina as he continued his strong March with 17 points. Berry added 11 points, as he went to the locker room during the first half to get his ankle looked at before returning to play later in the half.

Kentucky (32-6) won the regular-season matchup of these teams, 103-100, in Las Vegas in December as their freshmen guards struggled to perform on Sunday. After De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 71 points in that previous win over the Tar Heels, the two freshmen studs couldn’t get going.

Both of them dealt with first-half foul trouble as Fox finished with 13 points while Monk was held to 12 points. Also battling foul trouble in the first half, freshman Bam Adebayo added 13 points for the Wildcats.

With Fox and Monk struggling to generate consistent offense, the Wildcats were able to stay in the game thanks to great performances from reserves like Isaac Humphries (career-high 12 points) and senior Dominique Hawkins (10 points.

North Carolina advances to face No. 3 seed Oregon in next weekend’s Final Four.

VIDEO: South Carolina celebrates Final Four trip by dousing Frank Martin in water

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South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with its win over SEC-rival Florida on Sunday.

The Gamecocks made sure to celebrate properly when head coach Frank Martin hit the locker room after the game by dousing him in water before Martin gave another speech.

https://twitter.com/marchmadness/status/846124174259118080/video/1

VIDEO: Darius Rucker tears up as South Carolina advances to the Final Four

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Darius Rucker, the former front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and a current star in the country music world, is a lifelong South Carolina Gamecocks fan.

This isn’t really a secret.

Hell, on Friday night at a concert he was playing, Rucker set up TVs so that he would be able to watch South Carolina take on Baylor:

You probably didn’t realize just how big of a fan he actually is until you saw him, sitting second row at the regional final in New York City on Sunday afternoon, tearing up as the Gamecocks advanced to the Final Four:

Let ’em cry, Darius, if the tears fall down like rain.