Duke tops field in first bracket projection

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No surprise that Duke is the No. 1 overall seed in our first in-season bracket projection.  The Blue Devils are joined on the top line by Ohio State, Pittsburgh, and Kansas.  A strong group of No. 2 seeds includes Michigan State, Kansas State, Georgetown and Connecticut.   Few teams have elevated their outlook more than the Huskies. 

Keep in mind a couple of things.  First, records reflect Division I games only (through games played Sunday, December 5).  Games played against non-Division I teams are not considered part of a team’s NCAA resume.  Second, it’s still very early.  The bracket projection is based on both current results and future expectations.  Some teams have yet to leave their home building, or play a quality opponent.  It’s also important not to place too much importance on one win or loss.  It’s safe to assume that the bracket will change and evolve as we head into conference play in January.  For more bracket-related news, visit Bracketville.

Teams in CAPS reflect the those projected as conference champion (auto bid) for this bracket.  Exceptions are made for those teams that traditionally use an abbreviation (UTEP, BYU, etc).

FIRST FOUR: In the new 68-team format, you will notice two games that represent the First Four pairings. In our opening bracket, the First Four games in Dayton would be … Georgia vs. VCU | Cleveland State vs. St. Mary’s | Jackson State vs. Stephen F. Austin | Morgan State vs. Quinnipiac. 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. 


EASTNewark   SOUTHEASTNew Orleans
Charlotte   Cleveland
1) DUKE (8-0)   1) OHIO STATE (6-0)
8 Arizona (7-1)   8 Richmond (7-2)
9) OLD DOMINION (5-2)   9) Louisville (6-0)
Chicago   Denver
5) Baylor (6-0)   5) Missouri (6-1)
12) West Virgina (5-2)   12) New Mexico (5-1)
4) Illinois (8-1)   4) Kentucky (5-2)
13) KENT STATE (6-2)   13) CHARLESTON (6-3)
Tampa   Tampa
6) Minnesota (7-1)   6) BYU (8-0)
11) Florida State (6-2)   11) Georgia / VCU
3) TENNESSEE (6-0)   3) MEMPHIS (7-0)
14) OAKLAND (5-3)   14) MURRAY STATE (3-4)
Washington, DC   Charlotte
7) GONZAGA (4-3)   7) North Carolina (5-3)
10) BUTLER (3-3)   10) Washington State (5-1)
2) Connecticut (7-0)   2) Georgetown (8-0)
15) COASTAL CAROLINA (4-2)   15) VERMONT (6-1)
SOUTHWEST – San Antonio   WEST – Anaheim
Cleveland   Tulsa
1) PITTSBURGH (9-0)   1) KANSAS (7-0)
8 TEMPLE (5-2)   8 Wisconsin (6-2)
9) Northwestern (5-0)   9) Miami-FL (6-2)
Tucson   Denver
5) Texas (6-2)   5) WASHINGTON (5-2)
12) Virginia (5-3)   12) Cleveland State / St. Mary’s
4) UNLV (8-0)   4) Villanova (6-1)
13) NORTH TEXAS (6-1)   13) UTAH STATE (5-2)
Washington, DC   Tucson
6) Purdue (7-1)   6) Notre Dame (8-0)
11) Boston College (6-2)   11) California (5-2)
3) Syracuse (8-0)   3) SAN DIEGO STATE (7-0)
14) FAIRFIELD (4-3)   14) WEBER STATE (2-3)
Tulsa   Chicago
7) Vanderbilt (7-1)   7) Florida (6-2)
10) WICHITA STATE (4-2)   10) Texas A-M (6-1)
2) Kansas State (6-1)   2) Michigan State (5-2)
15) UC-SANTA BARBARA (4-3)   15) HARVARD (5-2)



NOTES on the BRACKET: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Ohio State, Pittsburgh, and Kansas. The two seeds in order are Michigan State, Kansas State, Georgetown, and Connecticut.

Last Five teams in (at large): Virginia, VCU, St. Mary’s, Georgia, Cleveland State

First Five teams out (at large): Maryland, Xavier, Cincinnati, Marquette, Central Florida

Also Considered: Virginia Tech, NC State, Mississippi, UCLA, USC, Missouri State, St. John’s, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Northern Iowa, Tulsa, Rhode Island, Oklahoma State, Clemson, Indiana, Dayton, Akron, Southern Mississippi, Wofford, Appalachian State

Bracket adjustments: Texas AM, Louisville, West Virginia moved seed lines to avoid conference conflicts. BYU must be placed in Thursday-Saturday locations for all rounds.

Here is the team breakdown by Conference …

Big East (8): PITTSBURGH, Georgetown, Connecticut, Syracuse, Villanova, Notre Dame, Louisville, West Virginia

Big Ten (7): OHIO STATE, Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern

ACC (6): DUKE, North Carolina, Florida State, Miami-FL, Boston College, Virginia

Big 12 (6): KANSAS, Kansas State, Missouri, Texas, Baylor, Texas A-M

SEC (5): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt, Georgia

Mountain West (4): SAN DIEGO STATE, UNLV, BYU, New Mexico

Pac 10 (4): WASHINGTON, Arizona, Washington State, California

Atlantic 10 (2): TEMPLE, Richmond

Colonial (2): OLD DOMINION, VCU

Conference USA (2): MEMPHIS, Central Florida

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, St. Mary’s

Horizon (2): BUTLER, Cleveland State

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

Auto Bid conference champions … Utah State (WAC), Murray State (OVC), Fairfield (MAAC), Kent State (MAC), Weber State (Big Sky), Charleston (Southern), Oakland (Summit), UC-Santa Barbara (Big West), Quinnipiac (NEC), Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun), North Texas (Sun Belt), Harvard (Ivy), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Morgan State (MEAC), American (Patriot), Vermont (America East), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Jackson State (SWAC)