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Bracketology: Wisconsin moves to top line

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Here’s the Selection Sunday morning update:

Wisconsin moves into the final No. 1 seed position in the West Region.  The Badgers may need to win the B10 title today to hold it; it’s likely the Selection Committee is building at least two or three brackets today.  Beyond the late Big Ten final, Connecticut can still acquire a bid by winning the American Conference title.  That would force the final at-large team “IN” right now, to be bumped out.  The biggest concern for Virginia is the health of Justin Anderson.  He doesn’t appear to be 100-percent, and that could prompt the Committee to reward Wisconsin with the final No. 1 seed.  It’s also possible that UVA takes Duke’s spot as the regular-season ACC champ.  But it’s hard to argue against the Blue Devils’ road wins at Virginia and at Wisconsin.

As for the bubble, the final seven to nine spots are somewhat of a pick’em.  I’ll be going through them again once or twice today; and making a final plan for what happens if Connecticut wins.  Television won’t allow earlier ending times for games, and the Committee will be under the gun today.  The teams that appear most vulnerable among the final at-large teams: Texas, Colorado State, Boise State, Temple and BYU – along with Indiana, Ole Miss, and LSU, if your so inclined- or even Georgia or Davidson.  You get the picture.

We’ll have a final bracket posted later today.  It’s Selection Sunday.  Enjoy the Madness.

UPDATED: March 15, 2015 | 8:30 a.m. (ET)

Note: Now that we’ve reached Championship Week, teams in CAPS represent the AUTOMATIC bid. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc). During conference tournament play, the highest remaining seed will earn the teams auto bid for the bracket until the tournament is completed.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Texas vs. Colorado State | East Region
  • Boise State vs. Temple | Midwest Region
  • LAFAYETTE vs. MANHATTAN | South Region
  • ROBERT MORRIS vs. HAMPTON | Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWESTCleveland EAST Syracuse
Louisville Pittsburgh
1) Kentucky 1) Villanova
16) ROB MORRIS / HAMPTON 16) NORTH FLORIDA
8) Oregon 8) NC State
9) Ohio State 9) Dayton
Seattle Jacksonville
5) West Virginia 5) Arkansas
12) WYOMING 12) WOFFORD
4) Louisville 4) Baylor
13) VALPARAISO 13) HARVARD
Columbus Pittsburgh
6) Butler 6) Georgetown
11) Boise State / Temple 11) Texas / Colorado St
3) Notre Dame 3) Maryland
14) NORTH DAKOTA ST 14) ALBANY
Omaha Charlotte
7) Iowa 7) Utah
10) Georgia 10) Oklahoma State
2) Kansas 2) Virginia
15) BELMONT 15) NORTHEASTERN
WEST – Los Angeles SOUTH – Houston
Charlotte Charlotte
1) Wisconsin 1) Duke
16) COASTAL CAROLINA 16) LAFAYETTE / MANHATTAN
8) St. John’s 8) VCU
9) Cincinnati 9) Purdue
Jacksonville Portland
5) Wichita State 5) Providence
12) BUFFALO 12) S.F. AUSTIN
4) North Carolina 4) NORTHERN IOWA
13) Georgia State 13) NEW MEXICO ST
Columbus Omaha
6) Michigan State 6) SMU
11) Mississippi 11) Indiana
3) Oklahoma 3) IOWA STATE
14) UC-IRVINE 14) EASTERN WASHINGTON
Portland Seattle
7) Xavier 7) San Diego State
10) Davidson 10) LSU
2) ARIZONA 2) GONZAGA
15) TEXAS-SOUTHERN 15) UAB

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Villanova, Duke, Wisconsin. Next in line: Virginia, Arizona, Gonzaga, and Kansas.

Last Five teams in (at large): Indiana, Texas, Colorado State, Boise State, Temple

First Five teams out (at large): BYU, Miami-FL, Texas AM, UCLA, Connecticut

Next five teams out (at large): Tulsa, Old Dominion, Murray State, Illinois, Rhode Island

Breakdown by Conference …

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

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

ACC (6): Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State

Big East (6): Villanova, Georgetown, Providence, Butler, Xavier, St. John’s

SEC (5): Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss

Mountain West (4): WYOMING, San Diego State, Colorado State, Boise State

Pac 12 (3): Arizona, Utah, Oregon

Atlantic 10 (3): VCU, Dayton, Davidson

American (3): SMU, Cincinnati, Temple

Missouri Valley (2): NORTHERN IOWA, Wichita State

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: UAB (C-USA), Georgia State (SBELT), HARVARD (IVY), EASTERN WASHINGTON (BSKY), VALPARAISO (HZN), S.F. AUSTIN (SLND), WOFFORD (STHN), UC-IRVINE (BWEST), BUFFALO (MAC), MANHATTAN (MAAC), NORTH FLORIDA (ASUN), BELMONT (OVC), NORTHEASTERN (CAA), COASTAL CAROLINA(BSO), HAMPTON (MEAC), NORTH DAKOTA STATE (SUM), NEW MEXICO ST (WAC), ALBANY (AEAST), LAFAYETTE (PAT), ROBERT MORRIS (NEC), TEXAS-SOUTHERN (SWAC)

Bracketology: Opportunities for Tulsa, UCLA, Atlantic 10

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As the dust settles from Thursday’s bubble carnage, we’re left with two quick takeaways … 1) the final few teams “IN” remained in place, although in a slightly different order; … and 2) at-large opportunities improved for teams like Tulsa and UCLA, along with a couple of teams from the Atlantic 10.

READ MORE: Thursday’s Bubble Banter

Today is a potentially important day for the top of the bracket, too.  Virginia, Duke, Villanova, Wisconsin, and Arizona all take the court in search of a No. 1 seed position on Sunday.  Kentucky is locked in as the No. 1 overall seed, regardless; but spots 2-4 are still undecided.  We have six teams for three spots.

Enjoy another day of hoops; the Madness continues.

UPDATED: March 13, 2015

Note: Now that we’ve reached Championship Week, teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid.  Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).  During conference tournament play, the highest remaining seed will earn the teams auto bid for the bracket until the tournament is completed.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Texas vs. BYU West Region
  • Mississippi vs. Temple West Region
  • LAFAYETTE vs. ROBERT MORRIS East Region
  • MANHATTAN vs. Montana Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWEST – Cleveland                     EAST Syracuse                                  
Louisville Charlotte
1) Kentucky 1) Virginia
16) MANHATTAN / Montana 16) LAFAYETTE / ROB MORRIS
8) Xavier 8) St. John’s
9) NC State 9) Cincinnati
Jacksonville Seattle
5) West Virginia 5) Arkansas
12) WOFFORD 12) Stephen F. Austin
4) Louisville 4) NORTHERN IOWA
13) Central Michigan 13) Yale
Columbus Pittsburgh
6) Providence 6) Georgetown
11) Indiana 11) Oklahoma State
3) Notre Dame 3) Maryland
14) NC-Central 14) NORTHEASTERN
Louisville Omaha
7) San Diego State 7) Iowa
10) LSU 10) Georgia
2) Wisconsin 2) Kansas
15) BELMONT 15) Albany
WEST – Los Angeles SOUTH – Houston                        
Pittsburgh Charlotte
1) Villanova 1) Duke
16) NORTH FLORIDA 16) COASTAL CAROLINA
8) Dayton 8) VCU
9) Oregon 9) Purdue
Jacksonville Portland
5) Wichita State 5) Utah
12) Texas / BYU 12) VALPARAISO
4) North Carolina 4) Baylor
13) Georgia State 13) Louisiana Tech
Columbus Omaha
6) Butler 6) SMU
11) Mississippi / Temple 11) Colorado State
3) Iowa State 3) Oklahoma
14) UC-Davis 14) New Mexico State
Portland Seattle
7) Ohio State 7) Michigan State
10) Boise State 10) Davidson
2) Arizona 2) GONZAGA
15) NORTH DAKOTA ST 15) Texas-Southern

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Virginia, Duke, and Villanova. Next in line: Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga, and Kansas.

Last Five teams in (at large): Indiana, Mississippi, Temple, Texas, BYU

First Five teams out (at large): Miami-FL, Tulsa, UCLA, Richmond, Texas AM

Next five teams out (at large): Rhode Island, Old Dominion, Murray State, Illinois, Stanford

Breakdown by Conference …

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

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

ACC (6): Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State

Big East (6): Villanova, Georgetown, Providence, Butler, Xavier, St. John’s

SEC (5): Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss

Pac 12 (3): Arizona, Utah, Oregon

Mountain West (3): Boise State, San Diego State, Colorado State

Atlantic 10 (3): Davidson, VCU, Dayton

American (3): SMU, Cincinnati, Temple

Missouri Valley (2): NORTHERN IOWA, Wichita State

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, BYU

Conference USA (1): Louisiana Tech

ONE BID LEAGUES: Georgia State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), VALPARAISO (HZN), S.F. Austin (SLND), WOFFORD (STHN), UC-Davis (BWEST), Central Michigan (MAC), MANHATTAN (MAAC), NORTH FLORIDA (ASUN), BELMONT (OVC), NORTHEASTERN (CAA), COASTAL CAROLINA(BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), NORTH DAKOTA STATE (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Albany (AEAST), LAFAYETTE (PAT), ROBERT MORRIS (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)

Bracketology: Bubble teams can thank Northern Iowa

Seth Tuttle (AP Photo)
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Seth Tuttle (AP Photo)

When the First Four is revealed on Sunday, one of those teams might want to send a thank-you card to Northern Iowa.  Trailing Illinois State at halftime in the Missouri Valley Conference finale, UNI rallied to beat the Redbirds and grab the Valley’s automatic bid. That saved at least one at-large position in the Field of 68.

Today, that team would be Texas; the Longhorns are paired with BYU in a First Four contest; with Indiana and Temple also slotted for a trip to Dayton.

The No. 1 seed line remains in tact: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, and Villanova.  Wisconsin and Arizona are next in line; the Badgers looked quite impressive Sunday in Columbus.  It appears we have five teams for three spots.  That noted, it’s hard to see both Duke and Virginia losing spots on the top line.  We’ll see how the ACC tournament goes.

The middle of the bracket remains fluid in terms of final seed position; we could see teams move 1-3 lines over the next several days. And Championship Week will, as it turns out, be a decisive week for several bubble teams.

Housekeeping notes:  Now that we’ve reached Championship Week, teams in CAPS represent the  AUTOMATIC bid earned in conference tournaments.  Exceptions are still made for certain teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).  During conference tournament play, the highest remaining seed will earn the teams auto bid for the bracket until the tournament is completed.

Today’s bracket has a potential regular-season rematch between Indiana and Butler (if IU were to beat Temple in its First Four game).  With all of the other bracketing principles in play, other six-seeds paired with IU/Temple would create the same scenario (Georgetown/SMU).  BYU requires Thursday-Saturday sites for both pods and regions; so there are limited options (West/Midwest), and Committee would avoid sending a First Four team far away (Seattle/Portland) if at all possible, to reduce travel.

UPDATED: March 9, 2015

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Texas vs. BYU Midwest Region
  • Indiana vs. Temple Midwest Region
  • Lafayette vs. St. Francis (NY) East Region
  • NORTH FLORIDA vs. Montana Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWEST – Cleveland                    EAST Syracuse                                  
Louisville Charlotte
1) Kentucky 1) Virginia
16) NO FLORIDA / Montana 16) Lafayette / St. Francis
8) Dayton 8) Xavier
9) NC State 9) Oregon
Jacksonville Portland
5) Utah 5) Arkansas
12) Texas / BYU 12) Wofford
4) Louisville 4) NORTHERN IOWA
13) Central Michigan 13) Iona
Columbus Pittsburgh
6) Butler 6) Georgetown
11) Indiana / Temple 11) Davidson
3) Iowa State 3) Maryland
14) Georgia State 14) NC-Central
Columbus Omaha
7) San Diego State 7) Providence
10) Mississippi 10) Purdue
2) Wisconsin 2) Kansas
15) William & Mary 15) Albany
WEST – Los Angeles SOUTH – Houston                        
Pittsburgh Charlotte
1) Villanova 1) Duke
16) Texas-Southern 16) COASTAL CAROLINA
8) Ohio State 8) VCU
9) Cincinnati 9) Georgia
Jacksonville Seattle
5) North Carolina 5) Wichita State
12) Valparaiso 12) Stephen F. Austin
4) Baylor 4) West Virginia
13) Louisiana Tech 13) Harvard
Louisville Omaha
6) Iowa 6) SMU
11) Colorado State 11) Boise State
3) Notre Dame 3) Oklahoma
14) UC-Davis 14) New Mexico State
Portland Seattle
7) St. John’s 7) Michigan State
10) Oklahoma State 10) LSU
2) Arizona 2) Gonzaga
15) South Dakota State 15) BELMONT

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Virginia, Duke, and Villanova. Next in line: Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga, and Kansas.

Last Five teams in (at large): Colorado State, Indiana, BYU, Temple, Texas

First Five teams out (at large): Texas AM, Miami-FL, Illinois, Tulsa, Old Dominion

Next five teams out (at large): UCLA, Richmond, Green Bay, Murray State, Rhode Island

Breakdown by Conference …

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

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

ACC (6): Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State

Big East (6): Villanova, Georgetown, Butler, Providence, St. John’s, Xavier

SEC (5): Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss

Pac 12 (3): Arizona, Utah, Oregon

Mountain West (3): Boise State, San Diego State, Colorado State

Atlantic 10 (3): Davidson, VCU, Dayton

American (3): SMU, Cincinnati, Temple

Missouri Valley (2): NORTHERN IOWA, Wichita State

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, BYU

Conference USA (1): Louisiana Tech

ONE BID LEAGUES: Georgia State (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Valparaiso (HZN), S.F. Austin (SLND), Wofford (STHN), UC-Davis (BWEST), Central Michigan (MAC), Iona (MAAC), NORTH FLORIDA (ASUN), BELMONT (OVC), William & Mary (CAA), COASTAL CAROLINA(BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Albany (AEAST), Lafayette (PAT), St. Francis – NY (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)