Dave Ommen

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Bracketology: How high can North Carolina climb?

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On Monday, North Carolina passed Michigan State and Purdue on the Seed List (UNC is No. 7 overall).  Wednesday, the Tar Heels backed up their route of Louisville by winning another road game at Syracuse.  That’s six straight ACC victories – all but two of which are against teams in today’s bracket.  Carolina now has 10 Quadrant 1 wins, which ties the Tar Heels with Kansas for the most in that category (by a two-win margin).  Which brings us to this question: How high can Carolina climb?

The answer, of course, depends on these next two weeks.  But given their strong schedule and depth of quality wins, a No. 1 seed isn’t out of the question if the Tar Heels beat Duke (again) to close the regular season and/or win the ACC tournament.

Overall, several ACC teams benefitted today by the confusing state of the SEC.  The middle of the bracket is littered with SEC teams who ebb and flow like the tides of the ocean.  These next two weeks will be important for them, too.

With another full weekend ahead, here’s where we stand …

UPDATED: February 23, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Baylor vs. Washington | Midwest Region
  • Texas vs. LSU West Region
  • SOUTHERN vs. SAVANNAH ST | South Region
  • FL GULF COAST vs. NICHOLLS | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION

SOUTH Atlanta    EAST – Boston                               
Charlotte Pittsburgh
1) VIRGINIA 1) VILLANOVA
16) SOUTHERN / SAVANNAH ST 16) FL GULF CST / NICHOLLS
8) Alabama 8) Miami-FL
9) Creighton 9) Florida
San Diego Boise
5) Ohio State 5) Kentucky
12) LOUISIANA 12) St. Bonaventure
4) West Virginia 4) GONZAGA
13) E. TENNESSEE ST 13) VERMONT
Dallas Wichita
6) Florida State 6) Virginia Tech
11) Saint Mary’s 11) MIDDLE TENNESSEE
3) Texas Tech 3) CINCINNATI
14) CHARLESTON 14) BUCKNELL
Detroit Nashville
7) Arizona State 7) Butler
10) Providence 10) Kansas State
2) MICHIGAN STATE 2) North Carolina
15) WRIGHT STATE 15) WAGNER
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Wichita Detroit
1) KANSAS 1) Xavier
16) PENNSYLVANIA 16) UNC-ASHEVILLE
8) Seton Hall 8) Arkansas
9) Texas AM 9) TCU
Boise Dallas
5) Clemson 5) Michigan
12) NEW MEXICO ST 12) LOYOLA (CHI)
4) Wichita State 4) Tennessee
13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 13) MURRAY STATE
San Diego Pittsburgh
6) Houston 6) RHODE ISLAND
11) LSU / Texas 11) Baylor / Washington
3) ARIZONA 3) Purdue
14) RIDER 14) BUFFALO
Nashville Charlotte
7) NC State 7) Missouri
10) NEVADA 10) Oklahoma
2) AUBURN 2) Duke
15) UC-IRVINE 15) MONTANA

NOTES on the BRACKET: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Villanova, Xavier, and Kansas

Last Four Byes (at large): Kansas State, Providence, Saint Mary’s, St. Bonaventure

Last Four IN (at large): Baylor, Texas, LSU, Washington

First Four OUT (at large): Marquette, Syracuse, USC, Utah

Next four teams OUT (at large): UCLA, Mississippi State, Louisville, Georgia

Breakdown by Conference …

SEC (9): AUBURN, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Texas AM, LSU

ACC (8): VIRGINIA, Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State, Miami-FL, Virginia Tech, NC State

BIG 12 (8): TEXAS TECH, Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, TCU, Kansas State, Baylor, Texas

Big East (6): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Butler, Seton Hall, Creighton, Providence

Big 10 (4): MICHIGAN STATE, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan

Pac 12 (3): ARIZONA, Arizona State, Washington

American (3): CINCINNATI, Wichita State, Houston

Atlantic 10 (2): RHODE ISLAND, St. Bonaventure

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Louisiana (SBELT), Pennsylvania (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Wright State (HORIZON), Nicholls (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Santa Barbara (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Murray State (OVC), Charleston (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Savannah State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Southern (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.

Bracketology: Kansas returns to top line

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The roller-coaster ride along the No. 1 seed line continues.  This morning, we welcome back Kansas.  The Jayhawks’ rally against West Virginia, combined with Auburn’s loss at South Carolina, inched KU back to the top line.  With three weeks to go, Virginia and Villanova look like good bets to hold their top-seed positions.  The next two spots – occupied today by Xavier and Kansas – are a little more in question.

Various seed line groupings are closely bunched, meaning fluidity remains in the middle and lower ends of the bracket.  A lot of bubble teams won over the weekend, picking up notable wins along the way.  The proverbial stretch run is upon us.

Here’s the latest ..

UPDATED: February 19, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Washington vs. St. Bonaventure | East Region
  • Syracuse vs. Baylor Midwest Region
  • SOUTHERN vs. SAVANNAH ST | South Region
  • FL GULF COAST vs. NICHOLLS | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION

SOUTH Atlanta    EAST – Boston                               
Charlotte Pittsburgh
1) VIRGINIA 1) VILLANOVA
16) SOUTHERN / SAVANNAH ST 16) FL GULF CST / NICHOLLS
8) Providence 8) Florida State
9) Florida 9) NEVADA
Boise San Diego
5) Ohio State 5) West Virginia
12) LOUISIANA 12) St. Bonaventure / Washington
4) Tennessee 4) GONZAGA
13) E. TENNESSEE ST 13) BUFFALO
Dallas Wichita
6) Alabama 6) Kentucky
11) MID TENNESSEE 11) Kansas State
3) Texas Tech 3) CINCINNATI
14) CHARLESTON 14) VERMONT
Detroit Nashville
7) Texas AM 7) Creighton
10) NC State 10) TCU
2) MICHIGAN STATE 2) North Carolina
15) WRIGHT STATE 15) WAGNER
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Wichita Detroit
1) KANSAS 1) Xavier
16) PENNSYLVANIA 16) UNC-ASHEVILLE
8) Miami-FL 8) Oklahoma
9) Seton Hall 9) Virginia Tech
San Diego Boise
5) Michigan 5) RHODE ISLAND
12) NEW MEXICO ST 12) LOYOLA (CHI)
4) ARIZONA 4) Wichita State
13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 13) BELMONT
Dallas Pittsburgh
6) Houston 6) Missouri
11) Texas 11) Baylor / Syracuse
3) Clemson 3) Purdue
14) BUCKNELL 14) RIDER
Nashville Charlotte
7) Arizona State 7) Arkansas
10) Saint Mary’s 10) Butler
2) AUBURN 2) Duke
15) UC-SANTA BARBARA 15) MONTANA

NOTES on the BRACKET: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Villanova, Xavier, and Kansas

Last Four Byes (at large): Butler, Saint Mary’s, Kansas State, Texas

Last Four IN (at large): Washington, Baylor, St. Bonaventure, Syracuse

First Four OUT (at large): UCLA, LSU, Louisville, Marquette

Next four teams OUT (at large): USC, Utah, Georgia, Notre Dame

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): VIRGINIA, Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State, Miami-FL, Virginia Tech, NC State, Syracuse

SEC (8): AUBURN, Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama, Kentucky, Texas AM, Arkansas, Florida

BIG 12 (8): TEXAS TECH, Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, TCU, Kansas State, Texas, Baylor

Big East (6): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Creighton, Providence, Seton Hall, Butler

Big 10 (4): MICHIGAN STATE, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan

Pac 12 (3): ARIZONA, Arizona State, Washington

American (3): CINCINNATI, Wichita State, Houston

Atlantic 10 (2): RHODE ISLAND, St. Bonaventure

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Louisiana (SBELT), Pennsylvania (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Wright State (HORIZON), Nicholls (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Santa Barbara (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Charleston (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Savannah State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Southern (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.

Bracketology: You’re up Auburn!

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Auburn, it’s your turn.  Welcome to the No. 1 seed line.

With Purdue’s loss at Wisconsin, the Boilermakers slip a notch, opening a door for the Tigers, who enter as the fourth overall seed and No. 1 seed in the West Region.  Kansas is now next in line.

Virginia continues to lead the Field of 68, followed by Xavier, Villanova, and those aforementioned Tigers.  Just for fun, Xavier and Villanova meet on Saturday at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati.  Villanova won the first meeting in Philadelphia.

The bubble isn’t overly deep, but it is tightly contested.  There’s little separation among about 15 or so teams.  The result: there’s a lot left to decide between now and Selection Sunday.

Here’s were we stand today …

UPDATED: February 16, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Washington vs. Texas | East Region
  • UCLA vs. Baylor Midwest Region
  • NICHOLLS ST vs. SAVANNAH ST | Midwest Region
  • PENN vs. ARKANSAS-PB | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION 

SOUTH Atlanta               MIDWEST – Omaha   
Charlotte Nashville
1) VIRGINIA 1) XAVIER
16) PENN / ARK-PB 16) NICHOLLS ST / SAV ST
8) Providence 8) Kentucky
9) Arkansas 9) Saint Mary’s
Boise Boise
5) Oklahoma 5) RHODE ISLAND
12) LOUISIANA 12) LOYOLA (CHI)
4) Tennessee 4) West Virginia
13) E. TENNESSEE ST 13) BELMONT
Detroit Dallas
6) Alabama 6) Missouri
11) NC State 11) UCLA / Baylor
3) MICHIGAN STATE 3) Clemson
14) BUFFALO 14) CHARLESTON
Pittsburgh Detroit
7) Florida State 7) Miami-FL
10) Kansas State 10) TCU
2) CINCINNATI 2) Purdue
15) NO KENTUCKY 15) FL GULF COAST
WEST – Los Angeles EAST – Boston
Nashville Pittsburgh
1) AUBURN 1) Villanova
16) UNC-ASHEVILLE 16) WAGNER
8) Houston 8) Michigan
9) Seton Hall 9) Virginia Tech
San Diego San Diego
5) GONZAGA 5) Texas AM
12) NEW MEXICO ST 12) Washington / Texas
4) ARIZONA 4) Ohio State
13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 13) VERMONT
Wichita Dallas
6) Creighton 6) Florida
11) MIDDLE TENNESSEE 11) Louisville
3) North Carolina 3) TEXAS TECH
14) UC-SANTA BARBARA 14) RIDER
Wichita Charlotte
7) Arizona State 7) Wichita State
10) NEVADA 10) Butler
2) Kansas 2) Duke
15) MONTANA 15) BUCKNELL

NOTES on the BRACKET: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Xavier, Villanova, and Auburn

Last Four Byes (at large): Butler, Kansas State, NC State, Louisville

Last Four IN (at large): Washington, Texas, UCLA, Baylor

First Four OUT (at large): USC, Utah, St. Bonaventure, Syracuse

Next four teams OUT (at large): Nebraska, Temple, LSU, Marquette

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): VIRGINIA, Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, Florida State, Miami-FL, Virginia Tech, NC State, Louisville

SEC (8): AUBURN, Tennessee, Texas AM, Florida, Missouri, Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas

BIG 12 (8): TEXAS TECH, Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, TCU, Kansas State, Texas, Baylor

Big East (6): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Creighton, Providence, Seton Hall, Butler

Big 10 (4): OHIO STATE, Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan

Pac 12 (4): ARIZONA, Arizona State, Washington, UCLA

American (3): CINCINNATI, Wichita State, Houston

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

Atlantic 10 (1): RHODE ISLAND

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Louisiana (SBELT), Pennsylvania (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Nicholls State (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Santa Barbara (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Charleston (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Savannah State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.

Bracketology: Committee slots Virginia as No. 1 overall seed

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The Selection Committee revealed its initial Top 16 teams (seed list) prior to games tipping on Sunday.  There were no overwhelming surprising, although one could debate the plusses and minuses of the Committee slotting Oklahoma as its final No. 4 seed, in particular.

Their reasoning throughout the Top 16, whether you agree or disagree, was pretty clear: the Committee still values traditional measures such quality wins, strength of schedule, road performance, and an RPI-based demarkation for sorting teams (now using Groups or Quadrants rather than merely Top 50 or Top 100).

That doesn’t mean individual or collective members of the Committee will not use or value other metrics (BPI, SOR, Ken Pom, etc) in the process, but the ole standbys still appear to be actively in place.

As selections were unveiled, Virginia earned the Committee’s No. 1 overall seed, followed by Villanova, Xavier, and Purdue.  Purdue’s overall profile – and its small margins in defeat – kept the Boilermakers on the top line.

That said, we have about a month left, and things can change.  We’ve seen teams make late charges; we’ve seen teams go into late-February swoons.  The bubble is once again deep and includes a hodgepodge of resumes that look eerily similar.  In other words, the race is on.

UPDATED: February 12, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • NC State vs. UCLA | East Region
  • Kansas State vs. LSU South Region
  • NICHOLLS ST vs. ARK-PINE BLUFF | East Region
  • HARVARD vs. NC A&T | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION

SOUTH Atlanta               EAST – Boston   
Charlotte Pittsburgh
1) VIRGINIA 1) VILLANOVA
16) HARVARD / NC A&T 16) NICHOLLS ST / ARK-PB
8) Seton Hall 8) Florida State
9) TCU 9) Arkansas
Boise Boise
5) RHODE ISLAND 5) Texas AM
12) MIDDLE TENNESSEE 12) LOUISIANA
4) Tennessee 4) OHIO STATE
13) E. TENNESSEE ST 13) VERMONT
Detroit Dallas
6) Miami-FL 6) Florida
11) Kansas St / LSU 11) NC State / UCLA
3) Michigan State 3) Texas Tech
14) CHARLESTON 14) RIDER
Pittsburgh Charlotte
7) Kentucky 7) Alabama
10) Washington 10) Butler
2) CINCINNATI 2) Duke
15) FL GULF COAST 15) BUCKNELL
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Detroit Nashville
1) Purdue 1) Xavier
16) UNC-ASHEVILLE 16) WAGNER
8) Creighton 8) Michigan
9) NEVADA 9) Virginia Tech
San Diego San Diego
5) West Virginia 5) Gonzaga
12) Louisville 12) LOYOLA-CHI
4) ARIZONA 4) Oklahoma
13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 13) BELMONT
Wichita Dallas
6) SAINT MARY’S 6) Arizona State
11) NEW MEXICO ST 11) Houston
3) North Carolina 3) Clemson
14) MONTANA 14) BUFFALO
Wichita Nashville
7) Missouri 7) Wichita State
10) Providence 10) Texas
2) KANSAS 2) AUBURN
15) UC-SANTA BARBARA 15) NO KENTUCKY

NOTES on the BRACKET: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Villanova, Xavier, and Purdue

Last Four Byes (at large): Providence, Washington, Louisville, Houston

Last Four IN (at large): Kansas State, NC State, UCLA, LSU

First Four OUT (at large): Syracuse, USC, St. Bonaventure, Baylor

Next four teams OUT (at large): Oklahoma State, Temple, Marquette, Boise State

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): VIRGINIA, Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, Miami-FL, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Louisville, NC State

SEC (9): AUBURN, Tennessee, Texas AM, Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, LSU

BIG 12 (7): TEXAS TECH, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, TCU, Texas, Kansas State

Big East (6): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Creighton, Seton Hall, Butler, Providence

Big 10 (4): OHIO STATE, Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan

Pac 12 (4): ARIZONA, Arizona State, Washington, UCLA

American (3): CINCINNATI, Wichita State, Houston

West Coast (2): SAINT MARY’S, Gonzaga

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

Atlantic 10 (1): RHODE ISLAND

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Louisiana (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Nicholls State (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Santa Barbara (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Charleston (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), North Carolina A&T (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.

Bracketology: Virginia vaults to No. 1 overall seed

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Yes, Virginia, you are the No. 1 overall seed in today’s bracket.  Take a bow, you’ve earned it.  The Cavaliers not only keep winning, they’ve just about wrapped up a regular-season ACC title.  Think about this … in a deep, talented league, UVA owns a three-game lead on Clemson and a four-game lead on Duke and Miami.  Impressive no matter how you slice it.

Despite a hiccup each, Villanova and Purdue retain their No. 1 seed positions.  One loss (nor one win) does a resume make.  The Boilermakers can either solidify their spot with a win at Michigan State on Saturday or crack the door further with a loss.

The lower end of the bracket is quirky today with the dearth of ACC teams (10) in the field.  It caused both a procedural bump and a deep dive into the bracketing playbook.  Here’s the latest …

UPDATED: February 9, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Houston vs. Syracuse | West Region
  • UCLA vs. NC State West Region
  • NICHOLLS ST vs. ARK-PINE BLUFF | East Region
  • NC-ASHEVILLE vs. NC A&T | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION 

SOUTH Atlanta     EAST – Boston                          
Charlotte Pittsburgh
1) VIRGINIA 1) VILLANOVA
16) NC-ASHEVILLE / NC A&T 16) NICHOLLS ST / ARK-PB
8) Alabama 8) Michigan
9) Butler 9) NEVADA
Boise San Diego
5) Gonzaga 5) Kentucky
12) E. TENNESSEE ST 12) Virginia Tech
4) West Virginia 4) RHODE ISLAND
13) LOUISIANA 13) BUFFALO
Detroit Charlotte
6) Miami-FL 6) Creighton
11) Kansas State 11) MIDDLE TENNESSEE
3) Michigan State 3) Duke
14) RIDER 14) VERMONT
Nashville Pittsburgh
7) Seton Hall 7) Texas AM
10) Washington 10) TCU
2) AUBURN 2) CINCINNATI
15) CHARLESTON 15) BUCKNELL
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Nashville Detroit
1) Xavier 1) PURDUE
16) FL GULF COAST 16) PENN
8) Texas 8) Arizona State
9) Missouri 9) Providence
San Diego Boise
5) ARIZONA 5) Oklahoma
12) Syracuse / Houston 12) LOYOLA-CHI
4) Ohio State 4) North Carolina
13) BELMONT 13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Wichita Dallas
6) SAINT MARY’S 6) Florida State
11) UCLA / NC State 11) NEW MEXICO ST
3) Clemson 3) Tennessee
14) MONTANA 14) WRIGHT STATE
Wichita Dallas
7) Florida 7) Wichita State
10) Louisville 10) Arkansas
2) KANSAS 2) Texas Tech
15) UC-SANTA BARBARA 15) WAGNER

NOTES on the BRACKET: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Villanova, Purdue, and Xavier

Last Four Byes (at large): TCU, Louisville, Kansas State, Virginia Tech

Last Four IN (at large): NC State, UCLA, Houston, Syracuse

First Four OUT (at large): Marquette, USC, LSU, Boise State

Next four teams OUT (at large): Nebraska, Mississippi State, St. Bonaventure, Temple

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (10): VIRGINIA, Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, Miami-FL, Florida State, Louisville, NC State, Virginia Tech, Syracuse

SEC (8): AUBURN, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Texas AM, Missouri, Arkansas

BIG 12 (7): KANSAS, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas, TCU, Kansas State

Big East (6): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Creighton, Seton Hall, Providence, Butler

Big 10 (4): PURDUE, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan

Pac 12 (4): ARIZONA, Arizona State, Washington, UCLA

American (3): CINCINNATI, Wichita State, Houston

West Coast (2): SAINT MARY’S, Gonzaga

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

Atlantic 10 (1): RHODE ISLAND

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Louisiana (SBELT), Pennsylvania (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Wright State (HORIZON), Nicholls State (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Santa Barbara (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Charleston (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), North Carolina A&T (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.

Bracketology: Villanova leads march to Selection Sunday

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It’s a good morning to be a Philadelphia sports fan.  After winning a thrilling Super Bowl, the Eagles stand alone atop the National Football League world.  Then there’s Villanova,  who after defeating Seton Hall earlier on Sunday, continues to hold the No. 1 overall spot in today’s bracket.

Joining Villanova on the top line are Virginia, Purdue, and Xavier.  The Musketeers can thank Kansas and Duke, both of whom lost over the weekend.  They can also thank arch-rival Cincinnati.  Xavier’s non-conference win over the Bearcats was enough to push the Musketeers past Auburn for the final No. 1 seed.

The middle and lower portions of the bracket remain quite fluid.  It’s been a wild season in college hoops.  Should we expect anything different now?  Enjoy the countdown. March Madness is right around the corner.

UPDATED: February 5, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Houston vs. Kansas State | Midwest Region
  • Virginia Tech vs. LSU West Region
  • NICHOLLS ST vs. NC A&T | East Region
  • NC-ASHEVILLE vs. ARK-PINE BLUFF | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION

EAST Boston       SOUTH – Atlanta                 
Pittsburgh Charlotte
1) VILLANOVA 1) VIRGINIA
16) NICHOLLS ST / NC A&T 16) NC-ASHEVILLE / ARK-PB
8) Arizona State 8) Michigan
9) Louisville 9) Butler
Boise Wichita
5) RHODE ISLAND 5) Kentucky
12) LOYOLA-CHI 12) MIDDLE TENNESSEE
4) Ohio State 4) Oklahoma
13) BUFFALO 13) E. TENNESSEE ST
Pittsburgh Detroit
6) Florida State 6) Miami-FL
11) Arkansas 11) USC
3) CINCINNATI 3) Michigan State
14) VERMONT 14) WRIGHT ST
Charlotte Nashville
7) Alabama 7) Texas
10) Washington 10) NC State
2) Duke 2) AUBURN
15) CHARLESTON 15) BUCKNELL
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Nashville Detroit
1) Xavier 1) PURDUE
16) FL GULF COAST 16) PENN
8) NEVADA 8) Wichita State
9) Texas AM 9) TCU
San Diego Boise
5) West Virginia 5) Gonzaga
12) NEW MEXICO ST 12) LOUISIANA
4) North Carolina 4) Tennessee
13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 13) BELMONT
San Diego Dallas
6) SAINT MARY’S 6) Seton Hall
11) Virginia Tech / LSU 11) Houston / Kansas St
3) ARIZONA 3) Clemson
14) MONTANA 14) RIDER
Wichita Dallas
7) Creighton 7) Florida
10) Missouri 10) Providence
2) KANSAS 2) Texas Tech
15) UC-SANTA BARBARA 15) WAGNER

NOTES on the BRACKET: Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Virginia, Purdue, and Xavier

Last Four Byes (at large): Texas AM, Missouri, Arkansas, USC

Last Four IN (at large): Houston, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, LSU

First Four OUT (at large): SMU, Boise State, UCLA, Syracuse

Next four teams OUT (at large): Georgia, Marquette, Nebraska, South Carolina

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): VIRGINIA, Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, Miami-FL, Florida State, Louisville, NC State, Virginia Tech

SEC (9): AUBURN, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Texas AM, Missouri, Arkansas, LSU

BIG 12 (7): KANSAS, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas, TCU, Kansas State

Big East (6): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Seton Hall, Creighton, Butler, Providence

Big 10 (4): PURDUE, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan

Pac 12 (4): ARIZONA, Arizona State, Washington, USC

American (3): CINCINNATI, Wichita State, Houston

West Coast (2): SAINT MARY’S, Gonzaga

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

Atlantic 10 (1): RHODE ISLAND

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Louisiana (SBELT), Pennsylvania (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Wright State (HORIZON), Nicholls State (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Santa Barbara (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Charleston (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), North Carolina A&T (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.