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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)

Five-star 2017 point guard Trevon Duval down to 10 schools

CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 9: Trevon Duval during the 2015  Under Armour All-America Basketball Camp on July 9, 2015 at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)
(Photo by Ned Dishman/Under Armour)
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Five-star point guard Trevon Duval is the most electrifying lead guard in the Class of 2017. The native of Delaware dominated the Under Armour circuit this spring and is currently regarded by many as a top-five player in the class by most recruiting services.

Now he’s down to 10 schools as his recruiting is starting to become more of a focus. The 6-foot-2 Duval is down to Arizona, Cal, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, St. John’s, Seton Hall, UCLA, USC and Villanova.

Things are still early in the process for Duval and it will be interesting to see if he schedules any official visits soon.

Ohio State gaining recruiting momentum with two 2018 commitments

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 24: Head coach Thad Matta of the Ohio State Buckeyes claps on the sideline in the first half against the Iowa State Cyclones during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 24, 2013 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Ohio State has lost quite a few transfers and hasn’t had a lot go their way with regards to recent recruiting, but things could be changing after a good weekend.

The Class of 2018 is starting to look really good for the Buckeyes as they landed commitments from wings Darius Bazley and Justin Ahrens this weekend. The two in-state products are grassroots teammates together on King James and they give Ohio State three commitments in that class.

Bazley is considered a four-star prospect on Rivals while Ahrens checks in as a three-star. They join another Ohio native, guard Dane Goodwin, in the class as this could be the group that helps bring Ohio State back in regular Big Ten contention.

Butler lands commitment from four-star 2017 forward Kyle Young

Atlanta, GA - SUNDAY, MAY 29: Nike EYBL. Kyle Young #34 of King James Session 4. (Photo by Jon Lopez)
(Photo by Jon Lopez)
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Butler picked up an important commitment on Monday as four-star forward Kyle Young committed to the Bulldogs.

A Class of 2017 stretch forward who can hit jumpers and has an improving skill set, the 6-foot-7 Young comes from Massillon, Ohio and he’s regarded as the No. 109 overall prospect.

Young was impressive in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer with King James as he averaged 15.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game as he shot 48 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range.

This is a nice grab for Butler as Young is the type of versatile perimeter shooter that they like to utilize and he should be able to help a bit on the glass as well.

Young joins a class that includes guards Cooper Neese and Jerald Butler.

VIDEO: Collin Sexton with a trick shot for the ages

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 1.33.34 PM
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Earlier this summer, we told you the story of Collin Sexton, how the 6-foot-2 Georgia native went from being a mid-major recruit to a five-star prospect being courted by the likes of Kansas, Arizona, North Carolina and Villanova.

It’s because he’s a bucket-getter.

     RELATED: Making A Five Star

He averaged 31 points in the Nike EYBL circuit, nine points better than Michael Porter, who finished second in the league in scoring. No one puts points on the board like he does, so it’s only fitting that he was the guy that made a shot from the balcony during ‘The Trip’, Nike’s effort to keep kids associated with their brand from Elite 24:

Lonzo Ball struggled on UCLA’s Australian tour

Lonzo Ball (UCLA Athletics)
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UCLA capped their three-game trip to Australia on Sunday night with a 94-91 win over the Brisbane Bullets, a game in which sophomore point guard Aaron Holiday finished with a team-high 17 points. Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton both added 16 points and freshman Ike Anigbogu finished with 13 points and 10 boards.

This win came just two days after the Bruins lost to Melbourne United, 89-84, when Hamilton — 18 points and five assists — and Holiday — 16 points — were both once again impressive. Alford also added 18 points in Friday’s loss.

It’s not surprising that the Bruins had some up and down performances abroad. Everyone does. It’s what happens when a team of college kids, with three freshmen playing key roles, heads to the other side of the world to square off against teams made up of professionals. Don’t go hanging the ‘Fire Steve Alford’ banners on anymore airplanes just yet.

There are, however, two interesting things to consider from this trip:

– Lonzo Ball, UCLA’s star freshman, was, at best, their fourth-best perimeter player. Seniors Isaac Hamilton and Bryce Alford and sophomore Aaron Holiday all played well and posted impressive numbers on the three-game trip. Ball? He didn’t shoot well. At all. In UCLA’s 47-point opening win, he was 3-for-9 from the floor and 1-for-3 from three, putting together was was by far his best shooting performance of the trip. In the three games, he shot a total of 25 percent (9-36) from the field and 19 percent (4-21) from three. He did average 5.0 assists and, in one game, notched 13 boards, but Ball’s ability to shoot will be something to keep an eye on.

– And then there’s this, from Bryce Alford:

UCLA needs to travel with more towels.