It’s Selection Sunday: Who’ll be in the NCAA tournament field?

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After a long journey, we’re almost home – just a few hours until the official bracket is announced.  It’s been a wild ride this past week and if you’re seeking absolute clarity, good luck.  If you’re not particularly happy with the bottom of the bracket, join the rest of us.  After hours of review and re-review, the picture is still fuzzy.  So what do we have pending the outcome of today’s Atlantic 10 final with Dayton and Richmond?  See below.  One last review this afternoon before we post our final bracket.

The biggest decisions right now seem to be Georgia and USC.  The Trojans lost some games early without Jio Fontan.  Some very ugly home losses. Without Fontan, they also beat Texas at home.  How will the Committee handle that?  Until late Saturday, the Trojans have been on the outside looking in.  But if it the debate centers around … “Who did you beat?” then USC has some wins a few other bubble teams don’t have.  Georgia is the only at-large team without a bad loss.  Alabama’s non-conference schedule and results were less than ideal – and even with two wins over Georgia in recent days, we have to account for the full season – not one week, and not only head-to-head results.  If that’s confusing, welcome to this year’s bubble.   

UPDATED: Sunday, March 13 | Records reflect Division I games only – through March 12.

NEW: Teams in CAPS represent the AUTOMATIC bid 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 … USC vs. Clemson | Georgia vs. Virginia Tech | UT-SAN ANTONIO vs. ALABAMA STATE | UA-LITTLE ROCK vs. UNC-ASHEVILLE. 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: Sunday, March 13 | 5:00 p.m. ET.

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTNewark   SOUTHEASTNew Orleans
Cleveland   Cleveland
1) Ohio State (30-2)   1) Pittsburgh (27-5)
16) NC-ASHEVILLE / UA-LITTLE ROCK   16) UC-SANTA BARBARA (16-13)
8  UCLA (22-10)   8  George Mason (26-6)
9) BUTLER (22-9)   9) Florida State (21-10)
     
Tampa   Denver
5) West Virginia (20-11)   5) Texas AM (23-8)
12) Colorado (20-13)   12) MEMPHIS (25-9)
4) Kentucky (24-8)   4) BYU (28-4)
13) BELMONT (30-4)   13) ST. PETERS (20-13)
     
Washington, DC   Tampa
6) Xavier (24-7)   6) Cincinnati (25-8)
11) Illinois (19-13)   11) Richmond (25-7)
3) Syracuse (26-7)   3) Florida (26-6)
14) BUCKNELL (25-8)   14) WOFFORD (21-12)
     
Charlotte   Tulsa
7) OLD DOMINION (26-6)   7) Georgetown (21-10)
10) Tennessee (19-14)   10) Michigan (19-13)
2) Duke (29-4)   2) Texas (27-7)
15) BOSTON UNIVERSITY (21-13)   15) AKRON (22-12)
     
SOUTHWEST – San Antonio   WEST – Anaheim
Tulsa   Chicago
1) Kansas (30-2)   1) Notre Dame (26-6)
16) UT-SAN ANTONIO / ALABAMA ST   16) HAMPTON (23-8)
8  WASHINGTON (23-10)   8  Missouri (22-10)
9) Villanova (21-10)   9) GONZAGA (24-9)
     
Denver   Tucson
5) St. John’s (21-11)   5) Vanderbilt (23-10)
12) Georgia / Virginia Tech   12) USC / Clemson  
4) Wisconsin (23-8)   4) Purdue (25-7)
13) OAKLAND (24-9)   13) PRINCETON (24-6)
     
Washington, DC   Chicago
6) UNLV (24-8)   6) Arizona (26-7)
11) Penn State (19-13)   11) Michigan State (18-14)
3) CONNECTICUT (26-9)   3) Louisville (25-8)
14) LONG ISLAND (27-5)   14) INDIANA STATE (19-13)
     
Charlotte   Tucson
7) Temple (24-7)   7) Kansas State (21-10)
10) Marquette (21-14)   10) UTAH STATE (29-3)
2) North Carolina (25-6)   2) SAN DIEGO STATE (30-2)
15) MOREHEAD STATE (22-9)   15) NORTHERN COLORADO (19-10)

 

NOTES on the BRACKET: Ohio State remains the No. 1 overall seed followed by Kansas, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame. The two seeds in order are Duke, San Diego State, Texas, North Carolina

Last Five teams in (at large): Colorado, Georgia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, USC

First Five teams out (at large): Alabama, St. Mary’s, Boston College, UAB, VCU

Bracket adjustments: None in this update.

Here is the team breakdown by Conference …

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

Big Ten (7): Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State

ACC (5): Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech

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

Big 12 (5): Kansas, Texas, Texas AM, Missouri, Kansas State, Colorado

Pac 10 (4): Arizona, UCLA, Washington, USC

Mountain West (3): San Diego State, BYU, UNLV

Atlantic 10 (3): Xavier, Temple, Richmond

Colonial (2): OLD DOMINION, George Mason

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

Horizon (1): BUTLER

Conference USA (1): MEMPHIS

Missouri Valley (1): INDIANA STATE

Conference leaders/champions … UTAH STATE (WAC), MOREHEAD STATE (OVC), ST. PETERS (MAAC), AKRON (MAC), NO. COLORADO (Big Sky), WOFFORD (Southern), OAKLAND (Summit), UC-SANTA BARBARA (Big West), LONG ISLAND (NEC), BELMONT (Atlantic Sun), ARK-LITTLE ROCK (Sun Belt), PRINCETON (Ivy), UNC-ASHEVILLE (Big South), HAMPTON (MEAC), BUCKNELL (Patriot), BOSTON UNIVERSITY (America East), UT-SAN ANTONIO (Southland), ALABAMA STATE (SWAC)