Dave Ommen

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15:  Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats talks with Malik Monk #5, De'Aaron Fox #0, and Wenyen Gabriel #32 in the second half during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Bracketology: Kentucky, Florida State pushing for No. 1 seeds

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Although this week’s No. 1 seeds remain intact, Kentucky and Florida State are pushing for slots on the top line of the bracket.  One could make the case for dropping Baylor after the Bears’ loss at West Virginia, but the seed list doesn’t always work the same as a poll.  Baylor’s resume is still quite strong, and a lone loss in Morgantown doesn’t change that – much the same as Villanova’s loss at Butler last week didn’t drop the Wildcats from the overall No. 1 seed position.  That said, resumes are still very much a recurring work in progress.

It’s no surprise that the cutline is quite fluid.  With another full slate of games tonight, the bottom of the bracket might look different if we updated it again tomorrow.  The process slows in mid-February and resumes become more complete.

As a reminder, conference champions are determined by league standings until Championship Week.  In the event of a tie in the loss column, the automatic bid for the bracket is awarded to the team with the best RPI at the time of publication.  To an extent, this helps simulate some variances that occur in the process.  For example, Illinois State and Wichita State are both unbeaten (5-0) in the Missouri Valley.  Largely due to non-conference schedule strength, Illinois State’s RPI is distinctly better than Wichita State’s this morning.  Thus, ISU earns the auto bid from the Valley (similar to what might happen in a league tournament, per se).  As a result, Wichita State joins the at-large pool for consideration.  It’s also why Florida is listed as the auto bid instead of Kentucky.

Enjoy another busy weekend of college hoops.

UPDATED: January 12, 2017

Regarding bracketing principles, can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Marquette vs. Kansas State | East Region
  • Rhode Island vs. Texas Tech South Region
  • UC-IRVINE vs. WEBER STATE | Midwest Region
  • FDU vs. DELAWARE STATE | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EAST New York                     MIDWEST – Kansas City
Buffalo Tulsa
1) VILLANOVA 1) KANSAS
16) FDU / DELAWARE ST 16) UC-IRVINE / WEBER ST
8) USC 8) Northwestern
9) South Carolina 9) Pittsburgh
Orlando Sacramento
5) Purdue 5) Wisconsin
12) Marquette / Kansas St 12) BOISE STATE
4) Virginia 4) OREGON
13) VERMONT 13) NEW MEXICO ST
Buffalo Indianapolis
6) FLORIDA 6) CINCINNATI
11) NC-WILMINGTON 11) TCU
3) West Virginia 3) Louisville
14) GA-SOUTHERN 14) E. TENNESSEE ST
Orlando Salt Lake City
7) Maryland 7) Virginia Tech
10) Seton Hall 10) VCU
2) FLORIDA STATE 2) Creighton
15) PRINCETON 15) RIDER
WEST – San Jose SOUTH – Memphis
Sacramento Tulsa
1) UCLA 1) Baylor
16) TEXAS-SOUTHERN 16) NEW ORLEANS
8) Iowa State 8) MICHIGAN STATE
9) Indiana 9) Dayton
Milwaukee Milwaukee
5) Notre Dame 5) Arizona
12) OAKLAND 12) ILLINOIS STATE
4) Butler 4) Minnesota
13) FLA GULF CST 13) AKRON
Greenville Greenville
6) Saint Mary’s 6) Xavier
11) MID TENNESSEE ST 11) Rhode Island / Texas Tech
3) North Carolina 3) Duke
14) BELMONT 14) NC-ASHEVILLE
Salt Lake City Indianapolis
7) SMU 7) Clemson
10) Arkansas 10) Illinois
2) GONZAGA 2) KENTUCKY
15) NORTH DAKOTA ST 15) BOSTON UNIV

NOTES on the BRACKET: Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA

Last Four Byes (at large): Seton Hall, Arkansas, Illinois, TCU

Last Four IN (at large): Rhode Island, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Marquette

First Four OUT (at large): Miami-FL, Michigan, Wichita State, Houston

Next four teams OUT (at large): NC State, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, California

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): FLORIDA STATE, Louisville, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Northwestern, Indiana, Illinois

Big 12 (7): KANSAS, Baylor, West Virginia, Iowa State, TCU, Texas Tech, Kansas State

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

SEC (4): FLORIDA, Kentucky, South Carolina, Arkansas

Pac 12 (4): OREGON, UCLA, Arizona, USC

Atlantic 10 (3): VCU, Dayton, Rhode Island

American (2): CINCINNATI, SMU

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Missouri Valley (1): ILLINOIS STATE

Mountain West (1): BOISE STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee State (C-USA), UT-Arlington (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Weber State (BSKY), Oakland (HORIZON), New Orleans (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Delaware State (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Boston University (PAT), Fairleigh-Dickinson (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)

Bracketology: Bumpy ride to Selection Sunday

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15:  Frank Mason III #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks in action against the Duke Blue Devils in the second half during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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It looks like a bumpy ride to Selection Sunday.  In a just over a week’s time, we’ve been reminded that conference games take on a different flavor.  Since Christmas, two No. 1 seeds – Villanova and UCLA – have lost league road games to quality opponents (Butler and Oregon).  Neither is a reason to panic, nor switch directions.  One could look at the SEC and believe Kentucky has a chance to run the table; same for Gonzaga in the WCC.  Other than that?  Teams are going to lose.  It happens.  It’s an important reminder that the Seed List – used by the Selection Committee to create the bracket – isn’t a poll, where a single loss (or win), is often judged above the whole.  Rather, the Seed List is a evaluation of a team’s entire body of work at a given point in time, relative to teams around it.

Were today Selection Sunday, the Committee would have some particularly tough choices. How would they handle a team like Indiana?  The Hoosiers have two stellar wins – Kansas and North Carolina.  The rest of their current resume is suspect.  Largely due to a poor slate of non-conference home games, IU’s RPI is hovering around 130; a team with that type of number has never received an at-large bid.  What we believe – or at least suspect – is that Indiana will win enough Big Ten games to improve that number.  By contrast, IU is 29th in today’s KenPom rankings and 42nd in the ELO Chess metric.  The Hoosiers are 38th on our Seed List.  We’ll see how the next few weeks play out.

It’s early January, so things remain very fluid.  Conference play generally provides separation for seeding and selection.  Given what we’ve seen in the first week, however, a bumpy ride.  It should be fun.

UPDATED: January 5, 2017

Regarding bracketing principles, can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Rhode Island vs. Miami-FL | East Region
  • TCU vs. Illinois South Region
  • UC-IRVINE vs. SE-LOUISIANA | Midwest Region
  • NC-CENTRAL vs. MOUNT ST. MARY’S | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EAST New York          MIDWEST – Kansas City                  
Buffalo Tulsa
1) VILLANOVA 1) KANSAS
16) NC-CENTRAL/MT ST MARY’S 16) UC-IRVINE/SE LOUISIANA
8) Northwestern 8) Pittsburgh
9) SMU 9) Michigan
Orlando Sacramento
5) Florida 5) Wisconsin
12) NC-WILMINGTON 12) UT-ARLINGTON
4) Virginia 4) Oregon
13) AKRON 13) NEW MEXICO ST
Buffalo Salt Lake City
6) Purdue 6) Minnesota
11) Rhode Island/Miami-FL 11) WICHITA STATE
3) West Virginia 3) Creighton
14) VERMONT 14) PENN
Greenville Orlando
7) Maryland 7) USC
10) South Carolina 10) Indiana
2) Duke 2) FLORIDA STATE
15) JACKSONVILLE ST 15) UNC-ASHEVILLE
WEST – San Jose SOUTH – Memphis
Sacramento Tulsa
1) UCLA 1) Baylor
16) TEXAS-SOUTHERN 16) BUCKNELL
8) Seton Hall 8) Michigan State
9) Dayton 9) Arkansas
Milwaukee Milwaukee
5) Notre Dame 5) Arizona
12) MID TENNESSEE ST 12) VALPARAISO
4) Butler 4) Xavier
13) BOISE STATE 13) FLA GULF COAST
Greenville Indianapolis
6) CINCINNATI 6) Saint Mary’s
11) VCU 11) Illinois/TCU
3) North Carolina 3) Louisville
14) SAMFORD 14) CANISIUS
Salt Lake City Indianapolis
7) Clemson 7) Virginia Tech
10) Oklahoma State 10) Iowa State
2) GONZAGA 2) KENTUCKY
15) NORTH DAKOTA ST 15) E. WASHINGTON

NOTES on the BRACKET: Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA

Last Four Byes (at large): Oklahoma State, Indiana, Iowa State, South Carolina

Last Four IN (at large): TCU, Illinois, Rhode Island, Miami-FL

First Four OUT (at large): NC State, Marquette, Ohio State, Kansas State

Next four teams OUT (at large): Providence, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Houston

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (10): FLORIDA STATE, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Miami-FL

Big 10 (9): WISCONSIN, Minnesota, Purdue, Maryland, Northwestern, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois

Big 12 (6): KANSAS, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, TCU

Big East (5): VILLANOVA, Creighton, Xavier, Butler, Seton Hall

SEC (4): KENTUCKY, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas

Pac 12 (4): UCLA, Arizona, Oregon, USC

Atlantic 10 (3): VCU, Dayton, Rhode Island

American (2): CINCINNATI, SMU

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

Mountain West (1): BOISE STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: Canisius (MAAC), Middle Tennessee State (C-USA), UT-Arlington (SBELT), Penn (IVY), Eastern Washington (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), SE Louisiana (SLND), Samford (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Jacksonville State (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Mount St. Mary’s (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)

CBT Bracketology: Villanova leads the field of 68

VILLANOVA, PA - DECEMBER 13: Head coach Jay Wright and Jalen Brunson #1 of the Villanova Wildcats congratulate Josh Hart #3 of the Villanova Wildcats in the second half against the Temple Owls at The Pavilion on December 13, 2016 in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Temple Owls 78-57. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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As we prepare to usher in 2017, the Villanova Wildcats reside in familiar territory – atop our current bracket projection.  Simply put, the reigning national champions find ways to win.  Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA join Villanova as early No. 1 seeds.  Baylor has the best collection of wins; in fact, one could make the case for the Bears to be the No. 1 overall seed.  UCLA looks the part, too.  A last-second road loss at Oregon doesn’t change that scenario.  Today, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Gonzaga fall on the two-line.

A couple of housekeeping notes:

  • Conference play is just getting started; league road games tend to separate contenders from pretenders.
  • Conference leaders are projected, based on the Seed List and/or RPI and overall record.  Once we have a few league games in tact, bracket positions will begin to take shape – especially for one-bid leagues.
  • We have some very odd resumes out there, with huge variations in the RPI, KenPom, etc.  Those will even out in January.
  • You can find the Seed List at Bracketville.

Enjoy your New Year’s weekend.  Regular updates to the bracket return in January.

UPDATED: December 30, 2016 | 9:00 a.m. (ET)

Regarding bracketing principles, can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Marquette vs. Michigan State | Midwest Region
  • TCU vs. Texas AM | South Region
  • UC-IRVINE vs. TX-SOUTHERN | Midwest Region
  • LOYOLA-MD vs. LIU-BROOKLYN | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EAST New York MIDWEST – Kansas City                          
Buffalo Tulsa
1) VILLANOVA 1) KANSAS
16) LOYOLA-MD/LIU BROOKLYN 16) UC-IRVINE/TX-SOUTHERN
8) Michigan 8) Northwestern
9) Pittsburgh 9) SMU
Sacramento Milwaukee
5) Oregon 5) Arizona
12) NC-WILMINGTON 12) VALPARAISO
4) West Virginia 4) Xavier
13) NEVADA 13) MONMOUTH
Salt Lake City Indianapolis
6) Notre Dame 6) USC
11) VCU 11) Marquette/Michigan St
3) Creighton 3) Louisville
14) NEW MEXICO ST 14) AKRON
Greenville Salt Lake City
7) Maryland 7) Virginia Tech
10) Iowa State 10) WICHITA STATE
2) North Carolina 2) GONZAGA
15) YALE 15) NORTH DAKOTA ST
WEST – San Jose SOUTH – Memphis
Sacramento Tulsa
1) UCLA 1) Baylor
16) E. WASHINGTON 16) NC-CENTRAL
8) Clemson 8) South Carolina
9) Seton Hall 9) Minnesota
Orlando Orlando
5) Florida 5) Wisconsin
12) UT-ARLINGTON 12) MID TENNESSEE ST
4) Butler 4) Florida State
13) TENNESSEE STATE 13) CHATTANOOGA
Milwaukee Buffalo
6) Saint Mary’s 6) Indiana
11) Miami-FL 11) TCU/Texas AM
3) PURDUE 3) Virginia
14) FLA GULF COAST 14) WINTHROP
Greenville Indianapolis
7) Oklahoma State 7) CINCINNATI
10) Arkansas 10) Dayton
2) DUKE 2) KENTUCKY
15) VERMONT 15) SAM HOUSTON ST

NOTES on the BRACKET: Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA

Last Four Byes (at large): Arkansas, Iowa State, Dayton, Miami-FL

Last Four IN (at large): TCU, Texas AM, Michigan State, Marquette

First Four OUT (at large): Ohio State, Providence, Illinois, Temple

Next four teams OUT (at large): NC State, Rhode Island, Wake Forest, Ole Miss

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (10): DUKE, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisville, Florida State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Miami-FL

Big 10 (8): PURDUE, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan State

Big 12 (6): KANSAS, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, TCU

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

SEC (5): KENTUCKY, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas AM

Pac 12 (4): UCLA, Arizona, Oregon, USC

American (2): CINCINNATI, SMU

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Atlantic 10 (2): VCU, Dayton

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Monmouth (MAAC), Middle Tennessee State (C-USA), UT-Arlington(SBELT), Yale (IVY), Eastern Washington (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Sam Houston St (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Tennessee State (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Winthrop (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Loyola-MD (PAT), LIU-Brooklyn (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)

Preseason Bracket Projection: Duke, Kansas lead preseason Field of 68

Duke's Grayson Allen (3) and Marshall Plumlee (40) react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Durham, N.C., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Duke won 72-65. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
AP Photo/Gerry Broome
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As we begin another journey toward Selection Sunday, a pair of familiar names headline the preseason Bracket: Duke and Kansas. Both the Blue Devils and Jayhawks are loaded with talent and experience. Duke opens as the No. 1 seed in the East, Kansas as No. 1 in the Midwest.

Although Kentucky (No. 1 / South) and Villanova (No. 1 / West) occupy spots three and four on the Seed List, keep an eye on Oregon. The Ducks are going to be good again – and if Dillon Brooks were healthy, they would have been slotted just ahead of Villanova for the top spot in San Jose. We’ll see how it plays out.

Opinions vary greatly in November, as do expectations – especially once you meander past the top few teams. Projections are a starting point, not an ending one. The road to March will be filled with twists, turns, and speed bumps. Expect a few surprises and a few disappointments. That’s the way it works. It’s why they play the games.

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is a juggernaut. While I’m skeptical that double-digit teams will make the actual Field of 68, it’s not impossible. It should be quite a race atop the Big Ten, and the Big East will be heard from too – defending champ Villanova could easily make another push for the Final Four. Count aforementioned Oregon in the discussion. Who knows? Maybe this is the year that Gonzaga breaks through. Regardless, it should be an incredible ride.

Regarding bracketing principles, can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Michigan vs. Washington | East Region
  • SMU vs. Butler | Midwest Region
  • WINTHROP vs. HOWARD | East Region
  • JACKSON STATE vs. FLA GULF COAST | Midwest Region

PRESEASON BRACKET PROJECTION …

EAST New York                             MIDWEST – Kansas City
Greenville Tulsa
1) DUKE 1) KANSAS
16) WINTHROP / HOWARD 16) JACKSON ST / FLA GULF CST
8) Florida 8) California
9) Georgetown 9) Texas AM
Salt Lake City Orlando
5) CONNECTICUT 5) Syracuse
12) Washington / Michigan 12) SMU / Butler
4) GONZAGA 4) Michigan State
13) NC-WILMINGTON 13) VALPARAISO
Milwaukee Salt Lake City
6) Florida State 6) Creighton
11) Colorado 11) PRINCETON
3) INDIANA 3) Arizona
14) VERMONT 14) LONG BEACH ST
Indianapolis Buffalo
7) NC State 7) Iowa State
10) VCU 10) Ohio State
2) Xavier 2) Virginia
15) FORT WAYNE 15) NEW MEXICO ST
WEST – San Jose SOUTH – Memphis
Buffalo Indianapolis
1) VILLANOVA 1) KENTUCKY
16) FAIR-DICKINSON 16) LEHIGH
8) Oklahoma 8) Dayton
9) SAN DIEGO ST 9) Virginia Tech
Tulsa Sacramento
5) Cincinnati 5) West Virginia
12) OHIO 12) UAB
4) Purdue 4) UCLA
13) MONMOUTH 13) CHATTANOOGA
Milwaukee Orlando
6) Saint Mary’s 6) RHODE ISLAND
11) Maryland 11) Seton Hall
3) Louisville 3) Wisconsin
14) UT-ARLINGTON 14) BELMONT
Sacramento Greenville
7) Miami-FL 7) Texas
10) Baylor 10) WICHITA STATE
2) OREGON 2) North Carolina
15) WEBER STATE 15) SAM HOUSTON ST

NOTES on the BRACKET: Duke is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Kansas, Kentucky, and Villanova. Next in line: Oregon, North Carolina, Xavier, Virginia

Last Four Byes (at large): Ohio State, Colorado, Seton Hall, Maryland

Last Four IN (at large): Michigan, SMU, Butler, Washington

First Four OUT (at large): Notre Dame, Marquette, Nevada, Georgia

Next four teams OUT (at large): Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, BYU

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): DUKE, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse, Florida State, NC State, Miami, Virginia Tech

Big 10 (7): INDIANA, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, Maryland, Michigan

Pac 12 (6): OREGON, Arizona, UCLA, California, Colorado, Washington

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

Big 12 (6): KANSAS, West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor

Atlantic 10 (3): RHODE ISLAND, Dayton, VCU

American (3): CONNECTICUT, Cincinnati, SMU

SEC (3): KENTUCKY, Florida, Texas AM

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

Mountain West (1): SAN DIEGO STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: Monmouth (MAAC), UAB (C-USA), UT-Arlington (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Weber State (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Sam Houston St (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), Long Beach St (BWEST), Ohio (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Winthrop (BSO), Howard (MEAC), Fort Wayne (SUM), New Mexico St (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Lehigh (PAT), Fairleigh-Dickinson (NEC), Jackson State (SWAC)

CBT BRACKETOLOGY: JAYHAWKS LEAD FIELD OF 68

Kansas forward Carlton Bragg Jr. (15) celebrates a teammate's three-point basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 conference tournament in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, March 10, 2016. Kansas defeated Kansas State 85-63. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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It’s remarkable how consistent Kansas has been under coach Bill Self: another Big 12 title in arguably the toughest league in college basketball. Kudos to the Jayhawks who will lead the Madness when the actual 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Bracket is announced this afternoon.  With its ACC tournament victory last night, North Carolina sits atop the East Region. Michigan State and Virginia complete the top line.

We still have uncertainty along the bubble.  Those final slots could go a multitude of ways, made even more complicated by San Diego State losing in the Mountain West final Saturday night.  Today, Memphis plays Connecticut for the AAC title; a win by the Tigers would bump one current at-large team from the Field of 68. The Selection Committee will be building a contingency bracket.

One final update this afternoon ahead of the bracket announcement. Enjoy Selection Sunday.

Bracket Update: March 13, 2016

Now that we’ve reached Championship Week, teams in CAPS represent the AUTOMATIC bid. The other automatic bids are noted by the highest remaining seed in the conference tournament (as eligible). Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (ex: UCLA)

Several new bracketing principles were introduced a couple of years ago. You can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Monmouth vs. Saint Mary’s | Midwest Region
  • Temple vs. South Carolina | East Region
  • HOLY CROSS vs. SOUTHERN | Midwest Region
  • FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON vs. FLA GULF COAST | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWESTChicago EAST – Philadelphia                      
Des Moines Raleigh
1) KANSAS 1) NORTH CAROLINA
16) HOLY CROSS / SOUTHERN 16) HAMPTON
8) USC 8) Oregon State
9) Cincinnati 9) Saint Joseph’s
Denver Denver
5) Duke 5) Maryland
12) NORTHERN IOWA 12) STONY BROOK
4) California 4) Texas AM
13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 13) IONA
Des Moines St. Louis
6) Baylor 6) Notre Dame
11) Monmouth / Saint Mary’s 11) South Carolina / Temple
3) Purdue 3) Xavier
14) S.F. AUSTIN 14) MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Brooklyn Brooklyn
7) Dayton 7) Providence
10) Pittsburgh 10) VCU
2) Villanova 2) West Virginia
15) BUFFALO 15) UNC-ASHEVILLE
WEST – Anaheim SOUTH – Louisville
Raleigh St. Louis
1) Virginia 1) Michigan State
16) AUSTIN PEAY 16) FDU / FLA GULF CST
8) Wisconsin 8) Texas Tech
9) Connecticut 9) Butler
Oklahoma City Providence
5) Iowa State 5) Arizona
12) Ark-Little Rock 12) YALE
4) Indiana 4) Kentucky
13) HAWAII 13) UNC-WILMINGTON
Providence Spokane
6) Texas 6) SETON HALL
11) Wichita State 11) CHATTANOOGA
3) Miami-FL 3) Utah
14) GREEN BAY 14) FRESNO STATE
Spokane Oklahoma City
7) Iowa 7) Colorado
10) St. Bonaventure 10) GONZAGA
2) OREGON 2) Oklahoma
15) WEBER STATE 15) CSU-BAKERSFIELD

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kansas is the No. 1 overall seed followed by North Carolina, Michigan State, Virginia. Next in line: Villanova, Oklahoma, Oregon, West Virginia

Last Four Byes (at large): VCU, St. Bonaventure, Pittsburgh, Wichita State

Last Four IN (at large): Monmouth, Temple, South Carolina, Saint Mary’s

First Four OUT (at large): Michigan, San Diego State, Syracuse, Vanderbilt

Next four teams OUT (at large): Florida, Valparaiso, George Washington, Georgia

Breakdown by Conference …

Pac 12 (7): OREGON, Utah, California, Arizona, Colorado, USC, Oregon State

Big 12 (7): KANSAS, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech

ACC (6): NORTH CAROLINA, Virginia, Miami, Duke, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh

Big 10 (6): MICHIGAN STATE, Purdue, Indiana, Maryland, Iowa, Wisconsin

Big East (5): SETON HALL, Villanova, Xavier, Providence, Butler

Atlantic 10 (4): VCU, Dayton, Saint Joseph’s, St. Bonaventure

American (3): CONNECTICUT, Cincinnati, Temple

SEC (3): TEXAS AM, Kentucky, South Carolina

Missouri Valley (2): NORTHERN IOWA, Wichita State

MAAC (2): IONA, Monmouth

West Coast (1): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Mountain West (1): FRESNO STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: Iona (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Ark-Little Rock (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Weber State (BSKY), Green Bay (HORIZON), Stephen F. Austin (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), Hawaii (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Austin Peay (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), CSU-Bakersfield (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Holy Cross (PAT), Fairleigh-Dickinson (NEC), Southern (SWAC)

CBT BRACKETOLOGY: SPARTY MOVES UP, BID THIEVES LURK

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo talks with Denzel Valentine during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 69-57. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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After one of the wildest days in a wild season of college hoops, the bubble remains a mess, the top line in question, and five bid thieves have gathered like vultures awaiting a meal on an unsuspecting bubble team that could be kicked to the curb.  We even have a new No. 1 Seed: Michigan State. With one day to go, welcome to Chaos Central.

The makeup of the final eight or so teams in the field could easily change between now and Sunday afternoon.  That’s where the bid thieves come into play.  Either Memphis or Tulane will play for the American Conference’s automatic bid on Sunday.  Davidson knocked off St. Bonaventure Friday and is a win over VCU away from doing the same in the Atlantic 10. We also have LSU and Georgia playing in the semifinals of the SEC after the Bulldogs toppled South Carolina for a third time.

However unlikely, there are three potential at-large bids that could be taken away.  That thought won’t calm any nerves among those anxiously awaiting the Selection Committee’s final decisions tomorrow evening.

Among the biggest questions: Will the Committee reward Saint Mary’s for a WCC regular-season title despite a schedule heavy on RPI lightweights?  Will the Committee extend courtesy to Wichita State for a dominant four-game margin in the Missouri Valley?  And what about Monmouth?  The Hawks did everything right except lose three games to sub-200 RPI teams.  And those questions don’t account for remaining uncertainties about teams like Michigan, Syracuse, or Vanderbilt.

Bracket Update: March 12, 2016

Now that we’ve reached Championship Week, teams in CAPS represent the AUTOMATIC bid. The other automatic bids are noted by the highest remaining seed in the conference tournament (as eligible). Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (ex: UCLA)

Several new bracketing principles were introduced a couple of years ago. You can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Wichita State vs. Saint Mary’s | East Region
  • VCU vs. Monmouth | South Region
  • HOLY CROSS vs. FLA GULF COAST | Midwest Region
  • FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON vs. JACKSON STATE | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWESTChicago SOUTH Louisville                           
Des Moines Raleigh
1) Kansas 1) Virginia
16) HOLY CROSS / FLA GULF CST 16) AUSTIN PEAY
8) USC 8) Oregon State
9) Saint Joseph’s 9) Butler
Oklahoma City Providence
5) Duke 5) Maryland
12) Ark-Little Rock 12) CHATTANOOGA
4) Purdue 4) Kentucky
13) IONA 13) Stony Brook
Providence St. Louis
6) Iowa 6) Baylor
11) GONZAGA 11) VCU / Monmouth
3) Miami-FL 3) Xavier
14) Middle Tennessee 14) S.F. Austin
Spokane Brooklyn
7) Providence 7) Colorado
10) South Carolina 10) Pittsburgh
2) Oregon 2) West Virginia
15) Weber State 15) GREEN BAY
WEST – Anaheim EAST – Philadelphia
St. Louis Brooklyn
1) Michigan State 1) Villanova
16) Hampton 16) FDU / JACKSON ST
8) Texas Tech 8) Wisconsin
9) Cincinnati 9) St. Bonaventure
Denver Denver
5) Arizona 5) Iowa State
12) NORTHERN IOWA 12) Akron
4) Texas AM 4) California
13) NC-WILMINGTON 13) YALE
Spokane Des Moines
6) Notre Dame 6) Texas
11) San Diego State 11) Wichita St / Saint Mary’s
3) Utah 3) Indiana
14) Hawaii 14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Oklahoma City Raleigh
7) Dayton 7) Seton Hall
10) Temple 10) Connecticut
2) Oklahoma 2) North Carolina
15) New Mexico State 15) UNC-ASHEVILLE

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kansas is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Virginia, Villanova, Michigan State. Next in line: Oklahoma, North Carolina, Oregon, West Virginia

Last Four Byes (at large): Cincinnati, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, South Carolina

Last Four IN (at large): Wichita State, VCU, Monmouth, Saint Mary’s

First Four OUT (at large): Michigan, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Florida

Next four teams OUT (at large): Valparaiso, George Washington, Georgia, Tulsa

Breakdown by Conference …

Pac 12 (7): OREGON, Utah, California, Arizona, Colorado, USC, Oregon State

Big 12 (7): KANSAS, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech

ACC (6): NORTH CAROLINA, Virginia, Miami, Duke, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh

Big 10 (6): INDIANA, Michigan State, Purdue, Maryland, Iowa, Wisconsin

Big East (5): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence, Butler

Atlantic 10 (4): DAYTON, Saint Joseph’s, St. Bonaventure, VCU

American (3): TEMPLE, Cincinnati, Connecticut

SEC (3): KENTUCKY, Texas AM, South Carolina

Missouri Valley (2): NORTHERN IOWA, Wichita State

MAAC (2): IONA, Monmouth

West Coast (1): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Mountain West (1): SAN DIEGO STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: Iona (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Ark-Little Rock (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Weber State (BSKY), Green Bay (HORIZON), Stephen F. Austin (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), Hawaii (BWEST), Akron (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Austin Peay (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Holy Cross (PAT), Fairleigh-Dickinson (NEC), Jackson State (SWAC)