NCAA tourney projections: Texas, Northwestern, S. Florida need wins

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Four days and counting until Selection Sunday: time for an updated look at the bracket.

After losing to Louisville on Wednesday, Seton Hall joins Drexel, Iona, Oral Roberts, and Middle Tennessee State as nervous at-large hopefuls.  West Virginia is in that group, too, but is a little more secure heading into action on Thursday and Friday.  Connecticut helped its case by beating the Mountaineers.  With 10 Top 100 RPI wins, it’s looking more and more likely that the Huskies will be able to defend their NCAA title.  South Florida kept its at-large hopes alive by beating Villanova.  USF matches up next with Notre Dame.

Not a lot has changed since Monday’s bracket.  Seton Hall remains in the field as a First Four participant in Dayton.  They are matched against Xavier.  St. Joseph’s and Drexel are the other First Four at-large teams. South Florida still needs another win in the Big East tournament, while Texas could use at least one in the Big 12 tourney.

With this grouping, regular-season rematches were unavoidable.  The current First Four could look much different come Saturday morning.

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)

  • Drexel (27-6) vs. St. Joseph’s (20-12) | South Region
  • Xavier (19-11) vs. Seton Hall (20-12) | Midwest Region
  • Miss Valley State (19-12) vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY (15-18) | South Region
  • Stony Brook (21-8) vs. Norfolk State (21-8) | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTBoston SOUTHAtlanta
Pittsburgh Louisville
1) Syracuse (30-1) 1) Kentucky (30-1)
16) Norfolk State / Stony Brook 16) Ms Valley St / W. KENTUCKY
8) Iowa State (22-9) 8) Cincinnati (22-9)
9) Virginia (22-7) 9) Memphis (23-8)
Portland Nashville
5) Vanderbilt (20-10) 5) Florida State (21-9)
12) VCU (27-6) 12) California (23-8)
4) Temple (24-6) 4) MURRAY STATE (27-1)
13) Long Beach (20-8) 13) Drexel / St. Joseph’s
Nashville Columbus
6) New Mexico (23-6) 6) San Diego State (22-6)
11) Tennessee (17-13) 11) Mississippi State (21-10)
3) Indiana (23-7) 3) Michigan (22-8)
14) DAVIDSON (24-7) 14) BELMONT (26-7)
Greensboro Omaha
7) Notre Dame (21-10) 7) ST. MARY’S (25-5)
10) HARVARD (24-4) 10) West Virginia (19-13)
2) Duke (26-5) 2) Missouri (27-4)
15) LEHIGH (25-7) 15) MONTANA (23-6)
MIDWEST – St. Louis WEST – Phoenix
Omaha Greensboro
1) Kansas (26-5) 1) North Carolina (27-4)
16) UNC-ASHEVILLE (21-9) 16) UT-Arlington (23-7)
8) Gonzaga (25-6) 8) Purdue (20-11)
9) Alabama (20-10) 9) Connecticut (20-12)
Portland Albuquerque
5) Wichita State (25-5) 5) UNLV (23-7)
12) Seton Hall / Xavier 12) BYU (23-8)
4) Wisconsin (22-8) 4) Georgetown (21-7)
13) Nevada (23-5) 13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST (25-7)
Louisville Albuquerque
6) Florida (22-9) 6) CREIGHTON (26-5)
11) Colorado State (18-10) 11) Washington (21-9)
3) Marquette (25-6) 3) Baylor (24-6)
14) Akron (20-10) 14) LOYOLA-MD (24-8)
Pittsburgh Columbus
7) Kansas State (21-9) 7) Louisville (23-9)
10) Southern Mississippi (22-7) 10) St. Louis (23-6)
2) Ohio State (25-6) 2) Michigan State (23-7)
15) LONG ISLAND (25-8) 15) DETROIT (20-13)

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

Last Five teams in (at large): Tennessee, Xavier, Seton Hall, St. Joseph’s, Drexel

First Five teams out (at large): Dayton, South Florida, Texas, Northwestern, Iona

Also considered: Miami-Fla, NC State, Oregon, Central Florida, Middle Tennessee State, Oral Roberts, Mississippi

Adjustments: Several one-line adjustments were needed to follow correct bracketing principles.

Here is the team breakdown by Conference …

Big East (9): Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Connecticut, Marquette, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Seton Hall

Big Ten (6): Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Purdue

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

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

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

Mountain West (4): UNLV, San Diego State, New Mexico, Colorado State

Atlantic 10 (4): Xavier, St. Louis, Temple, St. Joseph’s

West Coast (3): Gonzaga, St. Mary’s, BYU

Conference USA (2): Memphis, Southern Mississippi

Pac 12 (2): Washingon, California

Missouri Valley (2): Creighton, Wichita State

Conference leaders/champions … WESTERN KENTUCKY (Sun Belt), DETROIT (Horizon), Akron (MAC), VCU (CAA), Nevada (WAC), MURRAY STATE (OVC), LOYOLA-MD (MAAC), MONTANA (Big Sky), DAVIDSON (Southern), SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (Summit), Long Beach State (Big West), LONG ISLAND (NEC), BELMONT (Atlantic Sun), HARVARD (Ivy), NC-ASHEVILLE (Big South), Norfolk State (MEAC), LEHIGH (Patriot), Stony Brook (America East), UT-Arlington(Southland), Mississippi Valley State (SWAC)