Kentucky grabs No. 1 overall seed in first bracket projection

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There are several surprises in our first bracket projection of 2011-2012 season, but there’s no surprise about which team is the overall No. 1 seed: Kentucky.  Fresh off a thrilling victory over North Carolina on Saturday, the Wildcats take their place as the top seed in the South – going to Atlanta.  The remaining No. 1 seeds are Ohio State, Syracuse and Duke.  One could easily make the case for North Carolina to stay on the one-line based on talent and expectations.  No one will be surprised to see the Tar Heels in New Orleans.  For today, however, Duke’s overall resume is superior and Carolina has lost two games.  Let’s just remember, it’s very early.

The rest of the bracket is quite interesting.  Several major conference teams have been less than stellar though the first month of the season.  That’s opened the door for the mid majors and today’s bracket reflects some quality non-conference work by teams from the Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt, Conference USA, and Missouri Valley.  All have multiple teams in the field.

We’ve played a little less than a quarter of the season.  There are certain to be a lot of changes in the coming weeks.  The journey to Selection Sunday is here again – let’s enjoy the ride.

UPDATED: Monday, December 5

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UTEP, BYU, etc).

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Mississippi vs. Oklahoma
  • Kansas State vs. Middle Tennessee State
  • NORKFOLK STATE vs. ROBERT MORRIS
  • TX-SAN ANTONIO vs. ALABAMA ST.

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTBoston SOUTHAtlanta
Pittsburgh Louisville
1) SYRACUSE 1) KENTUCKY
16) STONY BROOK 16) ALABAMA STATE / UTSA
8) Vanderbilt 8) HARVARD
9) St. Louis 9) Texas AM
Columbus Portland
5) MEMPHIS 5) Purdue
12) Virginia 12) St. Mary’s
4) Wisconsin 4) Georgetown
13) Ohio 13) Oklahoma / Mississippi
Louisville Columbus
6) CREIGHTON 6) ARIZONA
11) KENT STATE 11) Minnesota
3) Alabama 3) XAVIER
14) MURRAY STATE 14) OLD DOMINION
Greensboro Albuquerque
7) Michigan 7) UNLV
10) IONA 10) Stanford
2) North Carolina 2) BAYLOR
15) OAKLAND 15) WEBER STATE
MIDWEST – St. Louis WEST – Phoenix
Pittsburgh Greensboro
1) OHIO STATE 1) DUKE
16) NORFOLK ST / ROBERT MORRIS 16) CAMPBELL
8) California 8) Indiana
9) CLEVELAND STATE 9) Wichita State
Albuquerque Portland
5) Pittsburgh 5) Mississippi State
12) Marshall 12) DENVER
4) Missouri 4) Connecticut
13) Central Florida 13) Kansas State / Mid Tennessee St
Omaha Omaha
6) SAN DIEGO STATE 6) Michigan State
11) Northern Iowa 11) BELMONT
3) Marquette 3) Kansas
14) NEW MEXICO STATE 14) LONG BEACH STATE
Nashville Nashville
7) Illinois 7) GONZAGA
10) Temple 10) Florida State
2) Florida 2) Louisville
15) DAVIDSON 15) BUCKNELL

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Ohio State, Syracuse and Duke. Next in line are North Carolina, Louisville, Baylor, and Florida.

Last Five teams in (at large): Central Florida, Kansas State, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Middle Tennessee State

First Five teams out (at large): Northwestern, Santa Clara, Miami-FL, Oregon State, New Mexico

Bracket adjustments: Michigan State and Mississippi State switch spots on the S-Curve to accommodate bracketing principles.

Here is the team breakdown by Conference …

Big Ten (8): Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan State, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota

Big East (6): Syracuse, Louisville, Marquette, Connecticut, Georgetown, Pittsburgh

SEC (6): Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Mississippi

Big 12 (6): Baylor, Kansas, Missouri, Texas AM, Oklahoma, Kansas State

ACC (4): Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia

Atlantic 10 (3): Xavier, St. Louis, Temple

Conference USA (3): Memphis, Marshall, Central Florida

Missouri Valley (3): Creighton, Wichita State, Northern Iowa

Pac 12 (3): Arizona, California, Stanford

Mountain West (2): San Diego State, UNLV

Sun Belt (2): Denver, Middle Tennessee State

Mid-American (2): Kent State, Ohio

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

Colonial (1): Old Dominion

Horizon (1): Cleveland State

Conference leaders/champions … New Mexico State (WAC), Murray State (OVC), Iona(MAAC), Weber State (Big Sky), Davidson (Southern), Oakland (Summit), Long Beach State (Big West), Robert Morris (NEC), Belmont (Atlantic Sun), Harvard (Ivy), Campbell (Big South), Norfolk State (MEAC), Bucknell (Patriot), Stony Brook (America East), UT-San Antonio (Southland), Alabama State (SWAC)