Subtle changes throughout latest NCAA tourney projections

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source: AP

Fresh off a win at Baylor, the Missouri Tigers grab the final No. 1 seed this week and head West.  Kansas is this close behind as current leader of the Big 12.  As we wrote Sunday in an Inside the Bracket column at Bracketville, the current landscape for No. 1 seed options includes the aforementioned Tigers and Jayhawks, plus Baylor and Duke.  This week, it was a choice between Mizzou and KU.

Arguments could be made either way, and there’s no right or wrong answer.  Mizzou and KU still face each other twice, so this will be settled on the court – exactly how it should be.  Don’t assume Baylor is out of the picture either.  The Bears have re-matches with both the Jayhawks and Tigers. There’s also the Big 12 tournament.

With Duke’s loss to Florida State, the Blue Devils sit at No. 7 on the S-curve, sandwiched between Baylor (No. 6) and North Carolina (No. 8).  Those are your two seeds – along with Kansas – for the Jan. 23 bracket.

The bracket remains fairly fluid in the middle, which isn’t uncommon.  We had some interesting results the past eight days, and that trend is likely to continue. Conference play often provides an ebb and flow.  Same with those teams hovering around the cutline.  Bubble Banter will return in early February, and that figures to be quite an adventure.

This week’s Last 5 IN – St. Louis, NC State, Marshall, Iowa State, and Oregon.  The First 5 OUT – Stanford, Northwestern, BYU, Mississippi, Arkansas.

Not a lot of projected changes at the bottom of the bracket.  Nevada moves in as the representative from the WAC.  The Wolfpack would be a fringe at-large candidate and could stay there if they win the league in dominant fashion.  Time will tell.  Enjoy another great week of hoops.

UPDATED: Monday, January 23

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

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Oregon (15-5) vs. Marshall (12-6) | West Region
  • NC State (15-5) vs. Iowa State (14-5) | Midwest Region
  • MISS VALLEY ST (7-11) vs. NC-ASHEVILLE (11-7) | Midwest Region
  • STONY BROOK (10-7) vs. UT-ARLINGTON (12-5) | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTBoston SOUTHAtlanta
Pittsburgh Louisville
1) SYRACUSE (20-1) 1) KENTUCKY (19-1)
16) STONY BROOK / UT-ARLINGTON 16) NORFOLK STATE (14-4)
8) Gonzaga (16-3) 8) Illinois (15-5)
9) Alabama (13-6) 9) DAYTON (14-5)
Portland Nashville
5) San Diego State (15-2) 5) Virginia (15-3)
12) Minnesota (15-5) 12) DAVIDSON (13-4)
4) Kansas State (13-4) 4) West Virginia (13-5)
13) MID TENNESSEE ST (18-2) 13) IONA (15-4)
Columbus Columbus
6) Wichita State (16-3) 6) Indiana (16-4)
11) Memphis (12-6) 11) CALIFORNIA (16-5)
3) Michigan State (15-4) 3) Georgetown (15-3)
14) CLEVELAND STATE (16-4) 14) GEORGE MASON (15-5)
Greensboro Albuquerque
7) Cincinnati (15-5) 7) Florida State (13-6)
10) Temple (13-5) 10) SO. MISSISSIPPI (15-3)
2) North Carolina (16-3) 2) Baylor (16-2)
15) BUCKNELL (14-6) 15) BELMONT (12-7)
MIDWEST – St. Louis WEST – Phoenix
Pittsburgh Omaha
1) OHIO STATE (17-3) 1) Missouri (18-1)
16) NC-ASHEVILLE / MISS VALLEY ST 16) LONG ISLAND (14-6)
8) ST. MARY’S (16-2) 8) Florida (15-4)
9) Louisville (15-5) 9) Purdue (14-6)
Louisville Nashville
5) MURRAY STATE (17-0) 5) Marquette (16-4)
12) NC State / Iowa State 12) St. Louis (13-4)
4) Vanderbilt (14-5) 4) Mississippi State (15-4)
13) ORAL ROBERTS (18-4) 13) Oregon / Marshall
Portland Albuquerque
6) Seton Hall (14-3) 6) Michigan (14-5)
11) New Mexico (14-4) 11) UCF (14-4)
3) CREIGHTON (18-2) 3) UNLV (16-3)
14) NEVADA (14-3) 14) LONG BEACH ST (12-6)
Omaha Greensboro
7) Wisconsin (16-5) 7) Connecticut (14-5)
10) HARVARD (15-2) 10) Xavier (13-6)
2) KANSAS (16-3) 2) DUKE (16-3)
15) WEBER STATE (13-3) 15) AKRON (11-7)

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

Last Five teams in (at large): St. Louis, NC State, Marshall, Iowa State, Oregon

First Five teams out (at large): Stanford, Northwestern, BYU, Mississippi, Arkansas

Next Five teams out (at large): Notre Dame, Ohio, Oklahoma, Colorado State, LSU

Bracket adjustments: Minnesota and California switch seed lines to avoid conference conflicts.

Here is the team breakdown by Conference …

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

Big East (8): Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Marquette, West Virginia, Seton Hall, Cincinnati

SEC (5): Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Alabama

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

Big 12 (5): Baylor, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State

Atlantic 10 (4): Xavier, St. Louis, Dayton, Temple

Conference USA (4): Memphis, Southern Mississippi, UCF, Marshall

Mountain West (3): UNLV, San Diego State, New Mexico

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, St. Mary’s

Pac 12 (2): California, Oregon

Missouri Valley (2): Creighton, Wichita State

Sun Belt (1): Middle Tennessee State

Conference leaders/champions … Cleveland State (Horizon), Akron (MAC), George Mason (CAA), Nevada (WAC), Murray State (OVC), Iona (MAAC), Weber State (Big Sky), Davidson (Southern), Oral Roberts (Summit), Long Beach State (Big West), Long Island (NEC), Belmont (Atlantic Sun), Harvard (Ivy), NC-Asheville (Big South), Norfolk State (MEAC), Bucknell (Patriot), Stony Brook (America East), UT-Arlington(Southland), Mississippi Valley State (SWAC)