Kenny Boynton, Ernest Ross

Florida grabs No. 1 seed in East in latest bracket

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Florida grabs a No. 1 seed in the East Region in our latest bracket projection. The other number one seeds are Kansas, Michigan, and Arizona.  It’s shaping up to be quite a race for the top line.  Indiana, Syracuse, and Duke are close behind.  It would take some help, but it’s not impossible for Gonzaga or even Butler to be considered a top-line team if those two keep piling up wins.  Several other teams are in the mix, too.  An outright winner of the Big Ten will almost certainly garner consideration.

As for the bubble, wait a day, it’s bound to change.  Consider Kentucky.  The Wildcats numbers are pretty blah.  By holding off LSU, UK stays in the field as one of our last five “in” today.  With visits to Ole Miss and Texas AM up next, it’s a huge week for Big Blue Nation.  Villanova and La Salle both join the field thanks to good weeks. Villanova beat Syracuse and Louisville back-to-back.  La Salle beat Butler and VCU.  While slotted only one spot different on the s-curve, Villanova drops to the 12-line to avoid conference conflicts.

Following the Super Bowl, the countdown to Selection Sunday will take center stage.  Here’s to a great week of hoops.

UPDATED: January 29, 2013

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid based on current standings. 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)

  • Saint Louis vs. Indiana State | East Region
  • Iowa State vs. Arizona State | West Region
  • NORFOLK STATE vs. CHARLESTON-SOUTHERN | East Region
  • BRYANT vs. FLORIDA GULF COAST | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTWashington, DC SOUTHDallas                                       
Lexington Kansas City
1) FLORIDA 1) KANSAS
16) NORFOLK ST / CHARL-SOUTHERN 16) BRYANT / FLA GULF COAST
8) Notre Dame 8) Wisconsin
9) Oklahoma State 9) Colorado
Austin Austin
5) NC State 5) Missouri
12) Saint Louis / Indiana State 12) Villanova
4) Ohio State 4) NEW MEXICO
13) LEHIGH 13) OHIO
Auburn Hills San Jose
6) Kansas State 6) Marquette
11) North Carolina 11) Kentucky
3) Michigan State 3) OREGON
14) DAVIDSON 14) HARVARD
Philadelphia Dayton
7) UNLV 7) Minnesota
10) MEMPHIS 10) Oklahoma
2) SYRACUSE 2) BUTLER
15) NORTHEASTERN 15) SOUTHERN
MIDWEST – Indianapolis WEST – Los Angeles
Auburn Hills Salt Lake City
1) MICHIGAN 1) ARIZONA
16) STONY BROOK 16) LONG BEACH
8) Mississippi 8) VCU
9) Colorado State 9) Baylor
Kansas City San Jose
5) WICHITA STATE 5) Cincinnati
12) MID TENNESSEE ST 12) BELMONT
4) Louisville 4) Creighton
13) SO DAKOTA STATE 13) S.F. AUSTIN
Salt Lake Lexington
6) UCLA 6) San Diego State
11) Temple 11) Iowa State / Arizona State
3) GONZAGA 3) MIAMI-FL
14) LOUISIANA TECH 14) VALPARAISO
Philadelphia Dayton
7) Georgetown 7) Pittsburgh
10) Illinois 10) La Salle
2) Duke 2) Indiana
15) NIAGARA 15) MONTANA

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kansas is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Michigan, Florida, and Arizona.

Last Five teams in (at large): Kentucky, Saint Louis, Iowa State, Indiana State, Arizona State

First Five teams out (at large): St. John’s, Boise State, Maryland, St. Mary’s, Wyoming

Next Five teams out (at large): Alabama, Charlotte, Virginia, Iowa, Southern Miss

Breakdown by Conference …

Big East (8): Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Villanova

Big Ten (7): Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin

Big 12 (6): Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa State

Pac 12 (5): Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona State

Atlantic 10 (5): Butler, VCU, Temple, La Salle, Saint Louis

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

ACC (4): Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Miami-FL

SEC (4): Missouri, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi

Missouri Valley (3): Creighton, Wichita State, Indiana State

West Coast (1): Gonzaga

Conference USA (1): Memphis

Conference Automatic Qualifiers … BELMONT (Ohio Valley), LEHIGH (Patriot), MIDDLE TENNESSE ST (Sunbelt), SOUTH DAKOTA ST (Summit), VALPARAISO (Horizon), DAVIDSON (Southern), LOUISIANA TECH (WAC), NIAGARA (MAAC), STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (Southland), OHIO (MAC), FLORIDA GULF COAST (A-Sun), HARVARD (IVY), LONG BEACH (Big West), NORTHEASTERN (Colonial), STONY BROOK (American East), MONTANA (Big Sky), NORFOLK STATE (MEAC), CHARLESTON-SOUTHERN (Big South), BRYANT (NEC), SOUTHERN (SWAC)

BUBBLE BANTER: All of tonight’s bubbly action in one place

Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie calls to his team during an NCAA college basketball game against Central Florida, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 at the CFE Arena in Orlando, Fla. (Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
(Jacob Langston/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
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Tonight’s schedule. This post will be updated as the games are completed.

UConn (KenPom: 19, RPI: 46) at Temple (KenPom: 95, RPI: 69), 7:00 p.m.
Florida State (KenPom: 37, RPI: 38) at Syracuse (KenPom: 39, RPI: 44), 7:00 p.m.
VCU (KenPom: 32, RPI: 40) at UMass, 7:00 p.m.
Arkansas-Little Rock (KenPom: 41, RPI: 63) at Louisiana Monroe, 8:00 p.m.
Northern Kentucky at Valparaiso (KenPom: 22, RPI: 48), 8:00 p.m.
No. 4 Iowa at Indiana (KenPom: 24, RPI: 51), 9:00 p.m.
No. 11 Oregon at Cal (KenPom: 44, RPI: 32), 9:00 p.m.
Washington State at Colorado (KenPom: 56, RPI: 29), 11:00 p.m.
Gonzaga (KenPom: 33, RPI: 66) at Portland, 11:00 p.m.
Pepperdine at Saint Mary’s (KenPom: 26, RPI: 52), 11:00 p.m.
Oregon State (KenPom: 81, RPI: 31) at Stanford (KenPom: 104, RPI: 71), 11:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Big Ten showdown and key bubble battles

Iowa's Jarrod Uthoff (20), Christian Williams, center, and Adam Woodbury, second from left, and Michigan State's Deyonta Davis (23) and Eron Harris (14) reach for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
AP Photo/Al Goldis
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 4 Iowa at Indiana, 9:00 p.m.

As a result of their surprising loss at Penn State Saturday night, Tom Crean’s Hoosiers enter this pivotal contest a game back of the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten standings. And with their backloaded conference schedule, this is a game Indiana has to get if they’re to entertain thoughts of winning the Big Ten title. Two of the Big Ten’s best players will be on display in Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff and Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell, but both have plenty of help behind them offensively.

Iowa’s Peter Jok has been one of the conference’s most improved players, and the Hoosiers can counter not only with forward Troy Williams but with freshman center Thomas Bryant as well. The key in this one: turnovers, as Indiana has lost the ball on more than 20 percent of their possessions in conference play. That can’t happen tonight if they’re to win.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: No. 11 Oregon at California, 9:00 p.m.

The Ducks have been the class of the Pac-12 to this point, but a win in Berkeley won’t come easy. The Golden Bears may not be enjoying the success many expected before the season began, but Cuonzo Martin’s team has won all 14 of its home games this season, most recently whipping rival Stanford last weekend.

The problem for Cal: Tyrone Wallace is still out due to injury, and given Oregon’s many versatile scoring options that’s a problem. Pac-12 POY candidate Dillon Brooks leads the way, but Chris Boucher has emerged as one of the conference’s best big men in recent weeks. Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb and Jordan Mathews will need to come up big, as this is a huge contest for Cal’s NCAA tournament hopes.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  • The top two teams in the Big West get together in Honolulu, as Hawai’i hosts UC Irvine (1:00 a.m.) in the first of their two meetings this season. This will be a matchup of strengths when the Bows have the ball, as they lead the Big West in two-point field goal percentage (54.7) while UC Irvine leads the conference in two-point percentage defense (38.9) thanks in large part to 7-foot-6 Mamadou Ndiaye. Hawai’i forward Stefan Jankovic (15.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg) has been a much-improved player under first-year head coach Eran Ganot, leading the team in both scoring and rebounding.
  • Two ACC teams with matching 6-5 league records meet at the Carrier Dome, as Syracuse hosts Florida State (7:00 p.m.) in a game both teams need for their respective NCAA tournament résumés. Jim Boeheim’s team should be well-rested, as they haven’t played in nine days, and they’ll need that energy to slow down FSU guards Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Malik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon. The Seminole backcourt is young but talented, and they’ll face two fifth-year seniors in Syracuse’s Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney.
  • Picking up a home sweep of Utah and Colorado may have given Oregon State’s NCAA tournament hopes some life, but they really need to go on a run here. Tonight’s game at Stanford (11:00 p.m.) represents a good opportunity for Gary Payton II and company to win their third straight, but the Cardinal did win the first meeting in Corvallis back on January 6. In that game rebounding was the deciding factor (Rosco Allen finished with 21 and eight boards, too), as Stanford grabbed half of their available missed shots. OSU can’t let that happen again.
  • With SMU ineligible for postseason play, the other American Athletic Conference teams are jockeying for position in next month’s conference tournament. Tonight UConn looks to avenge its home loss to Temple January 5 with a win in Philadelphia (7:00 p.m.). Since Amida Brimah’s return the Huskies have played much better basketball, as they have their rim protector and a finisher for Daniel Hamilton’s alley-oop passes back on the court. The Owls have won their last three games, and tonight is their second-best remaining opportunity for a quality win (they play No. 1 Villanova next Wednesday).
  • At this point, no one’s catching Wichita State for the Missouri Valley regular season title without the Shockers collapsing in epic fashion. But when it comes to who can earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, both Illinois State and Evansville have a shot. The two teams meet in Evansville tonight (8:00 p.m.), with three of the Valley’s best players on display in ISU’s DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Evansville’s D.J. Balentine and Edigijus Mockevicius. Evansville won the first meeting by 11 in mid-January, as the Redbirds shot 6-for-31 from three on the night.

OTHER NOTABLE GAMES

  • Mercer at Wofford, 7:00 p.m.
  • Hofstra at William & Mary, 7:00 p.m.
  • High Point at Coastal Carolina, 7:00 p.m.
  • James Madison at College of Charleston, 7:00 p.m.
  • Milwaukee at Oakland, 7:00 p.m.
  • Pepperdine at Saint Mary’s, 11:00 p.m.