Who’s out, who’s in latest bracket projection? Answer may surprise

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When there’s a busy slate of college basketball, bracket projections are always going to be a bit behind the curve.  So with a slew of big games on tap today and tonight, we’ll provide some updates and reflections as needed.

That said, the Big East continues to dominate our January 18 Bracket Projection.  There are 11 current Big East teams in the field – including Marquette playing the First Four.  This presents numerous bracketing challenges.  For example, we have to use the rule of no Big East teams meeting before the Round of 16 rather than a Regional Final.  Note:  The current projection includes games through Monday, Jan. 17.

As a quick note, we’re nearing the point of the season where performance starts to outweigh potential.  Thus, we find a talented Baylor team as our first team out.  The Bears can certainly play their way back into the field, but Monday’s loss to Kansas didn’t help.  We’re not picking on Baylor; there are many other teams who need to post a big win or two soon.  Over the next couple of weeks we’ll start to see some selection/seeding adjustments as resumes become more credible.  More on this at Bracketville.

UPDATED: Monday, January 17 | Records reflect Division I games only – through January 17.

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: 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. Oklahoma State | Marquette vs. Penn State | Jackson State vs. McNeese State | Long Island vs. Hampton. 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.

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTNewark   SOUTHEASTNew Orleans
Washington, DC   Cleveland
1) SYRACUSE (18-1)   1) OHIO STATE (18-0)
16) LONG ISLAND / HAMPTON   16) JACKSON ST / McNEESE ST
8 North Carolina (12-5)   8 Georgia (13-3)
9) St. Mary’s (14-2)   9) Cincinnati (16-2)
     
Tampa   Chicago
5) West Virginia (12-4)   5) WASHINGTON (13-4)
12) OLD DOMINION (13-4)   12) Miami-FL vs. Oklahoma State
4) Michigan State (11-5)   4) Notre Dame (14-4)
13) CHARLESTON (12-5)   13) OAKLAND (11-8)
     
Tucson   Denver
6) Illinois (13-5)   6) TEMPLE (12-4)
11) Washington State (13-5)   11) Florida State (13-5)
3) Texas A-M (15-1)   3) BYU (16-1)
14) BUCKNELL (11-7)   14) BELMONT (16-3)
     
Charlotte   Washington, DC
7) Georgetown (13-5)   7) Kansas State (12-6)
10) Boston College (13-5)   10) CENTRAL FLORIDA (13-2)
2) KENTUCKY (14-3)   2) Connecticut (15-2)
15) BALL STATE (10-3)   15) FLORIDA ATLANTIC (12-6)
     
SOUTHWEST – San Antonio   WEST – Anaheim
Charlotte   Tulsa
1) DUKE (16-1)   1) KANSAS (18-0)
16) AUSTIN PEAY (10-7)   16) LONG BEACH (9-8)
8 St. John’s (11-5)   8 GONZAGA (12-5)
9) Arizona (15-3)   9) Tennessee (11-6)
     
Denver   Tampa
5) Minnesota (14-4)   5) Wisconsin (13-4)
12) Wichita State (14-3)   12) Virginia Tech (11-5)
4) Missouri (15-3)   4) Villanova (16-2)
13) UTAH STATE (16-2)   13) FAIRFIELD (12-4)
     
Tulsa   Chicago
6) Florida (13-4)   6) Vanderbilt (12-4)
11) Marquette / Penn State   11) BUTLER (12-6)
3) Texas (14-3)   3) Purdue (15-3)
14) PRINCETON (11-4)   14) COASTAL CAROLINA (12-2)
     
Cleveland   Tucson
7) UNLV (14-4)   7) Louisville (14-3)
10) MISSOURI STATE (14-3)   10) Colorado (13-4)
2) Pittsburgh (17-1)   2) SAN DIEGO STATE (17-0)
15) VERMONT (12-4)   15) MONTANA (11-5)

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

Last Five teams in (at large): Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Marquette, Penn State, Miami-FL

First Five teams out (at large): Baylor, Memphis, South Carolina, Xavier, UCLA

Also Considered: Southern Mississippi, Richmond, Cleveland State, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Dayton, Northwestern, Maryland

Bracket adjustments: Wichita State moves down one and the First-Four matchup with Marquette/Penn State moves up a line.

Here is the team breakdown by Conference …

Big East (11): SYRACUSE, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Villanova, Louisville, Cincinnati, St. John’s, West Virginia, Marquette

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

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

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

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

Pac 10 (3): WASHINGTON, Arizona, Washington State

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

Missouri Valley (2): MISSOURI STATE, Wichita State

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, St. Mary’s

Atlantic 10 (1): TEMPLE

Conference USA (1): CENTRAL FLORIDA

Colonial (1): OLD DOMINION

Horizon (1): BUTLER

Auto Bid conference champions … Utah State (WAC), Austin Peay (OVC), Fairfield (MAAC), Ball State (MAC), Montana (Big Sky), Charleston (Southern), Oakland (Summit), Long Beach (Big West), Long Island (NEC), Belmont (Atlantic Sun), Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt), Princeton (Ivy), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Hampton (MEAC), Bucknell (Patriot), Vermont (America East), McNeese State (Southland), Jackson State (SWAC)