With 10 teams, Big East crowns latest bracket projection

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Conference play is moving forward – a good chance to see how teams fare in hostile environments and true road games.  No changes on the top line for the latest Bracket Projection – Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, and Syracuse.  We do have one newcomer to the two-line: Purdue replaces Kentucky. 

There is a record number of Big East teams (10) in our current projection.  Two reasons for this … 1) Depth of good teams … 2)Less qualified candidates in other BCS and non-BCS leagues.  While it’s certainly possible for the Big East to earn 10 bids (a record), we are still early in conference play and have a mid-season snapshot of data.  It’s hard to decipher which – if any – additional teams from the ACC, SEC, Big 12, and even the PAC-10 may emerge as bid contenders.  We can also expect a few surprises during Championship Week – resulting in one or two fewer at-large spots (even with 37 now available).

Our bracket projection will truly begin to take shape in February.  We use both current results and some future projecting at this point.  Take for example, a team like Minnesota.  The Gophers have already made road trips to Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State.  The fact that the Gophers lost all three is perhaps disappointing to some extent, but not unexpected, either.  Thus, an early 1-3 mark in conference play doesn’t necessarily suggest Minnesota is headed for trouble.  Rebounds welcome here and at Bracketville.

UPDATED: Monday, January 10 | Records reflect Division I games only – through January 9.

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

NOTE: This is the second of our weekly projections in the new 68-team format. You will notice two pairing games that represent the First Four pairings. In this bracket the First Four games in Dayton would be … Miami-FL vs. Wichita State | Memphis vs. Richmond | Jackson State vs. Sam Houston | American 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.

Next Update: Monday, January 17.

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTNewark   SOUTHEASTNew Orleans
Charlotte   Cleveland
1) DUKE (15-0)   1) OHIO STATE (16-0)
16) JACKSONVILLE (9-3)   16) HAMPTON (11-3)   
8 St. John’s (10-4)   8 Georgia (12-2)
9) Baylor (11-3)   9) West Virginia (10-4)
     
Tampa   Tucson
5) TEMPLE (11-3)   5) Georgetown (12-4)
12) USC (10-6)   12) Miami-FL vs. Wichita State
4) Illinois (13-3)   4) Texas A-M (13-1)
13) FAIRFIELD (12-3)   13) CHARLESTON (11-5)
     
Charlotte   Denver
6) Michigan State (9-5)   6) Louisville (13-2)
11) Boston College (12-4)   11) Oklahoma State (13-2)
3) KENTUCKY (12-3)   3) BYU (15-1)
14) MURRAY STATE (8-5)   14) MONTANA (9-5)
     
Washington   Cleveland
7) CENTRAL FLORIDA (12-1)   7) Minnesota (12-4)
10) Arizona (14-3)   10) Tennessee (10-5)
2) Connecticut (12-2)   2) Pittsburgh (15-1)
15) COASTAL CAROLINA (10-2)   15) VERMONT (11-4)
     
SOUTHWEST – San Antonio   WEST – Anaheim
Tulsa   Washington
1) KANSAS (15-0)   1) SYRACUSE (16-0)
16) JACKSON ST / SAM HOUSTON   16) AMERICAN / QUINNIPIAC
8 UNLV (13-3)   8 GONZAGA (10-5)
9) St. Mary’s (11-2)   9) BUTLER (11-5)
     
Tampa   Denver
5) North Carolina (11-4)   5) WASHINGTON (11-3)
12) OLD DOMINION (12-3)   12) Memphis vs. Richmond
4) Villanova (14-1)   4) Missouri (13-2)
13) OAKLAND (10-8)   13) UTAH STATE (14-2)
     
Chicago   Tulsa
6) Kansas State (11-4)   6) Wisconsin (12-3)
11) Virginia Tech (10-4)   11) MISSOURI STATE (13-3)
3) Notre Dame (14-2)   3) Texas (12-3)
14) PRINCETON (11-4)   14) NORTH TEXAS (11-3)
     
Chicago   Tucson
7) Vanderbilt (11-3)   7) Florida (12-3)
10) Washington State (12-4)   10) Cincinnati (15-1)
2) Purdue (15-1)   2) SAN DIEGO STATE (15-0)
15) AKRON (9-5)   15) LONG BEACH (7-8)

 

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

Last Five teams in (at large): USC, Memphis, Wichita State, Miami-FL, Richmond

First Five teams out (at large): Florida State, Cleveland State, Mississippi, Clemson, South Carolina

Also Considered: Colorado, Marquette, Michigan, Maryland, Drexel, Arkansas, NC State, UCLA, UAB, Northwestern, Xavier, Colorado State, Southern Mississippi, Dayton, New Mexico, Virginia, VCU, Penn State

Bracket adjustments: Cincinnati drops one line and Butler moves up one line for procedural reasons.

Here is the team breakdown by Conference …

Big East (10): SYRACUSE, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Villanova, Louisville, Cincinnati, St. John’s, West Virginia

Big 12 (7): KANSAS, Texas, Missouri, Kansas State, Texas A-M, Baylor, Oklahoma State

Big Ten (6): OHIO STATE, Purdue, Michigan State, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin

ACC (5): DUKE, North Carolina, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Miami-FL

SEC (5): KENTUCKY, Vanderbilt, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia

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

Mountain West (3): SAN DIEGO STATE, BYU, UNLV

Atlantic 10 (2): TEMPLE, Richmond

Missouri Valley (2): MISSOURI STATE, Wichita State

Conference USA (2): CENTRAL FLORIDA, Memphis

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, St. Mary’s

Colonial (1): OLD DOMINION

Horizon (1): BUTLER

Auto Bid conference champions … Utah State (WAC), Murray State (OVC), Fairfield (MAAC), Akron (MAC), Montana (Big Sky), Charleston (Southern), Oakland (Summit), Long Beach (Big West), Quinnipiac (NEC), Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun), North Texas (Sun Belt), Princeton (Ivy), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Hampton (MEAC), American (Patriot), Vermont (America East), Sam Houston (Southland), Jackson State (SWAC)