A frantic Friday shakes up our NCAA tournament projections

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Now that was a wild day. Here’s a breakdown of how it all affected the NCAA tournament bracket.

The bubble remains a strange and ever-moving target. We’ll be reviewing everything thoroughly again, so things could change. We also have some potential bid stealers alive in the Atlantic-10, Conference USA, and Pac-12.  Just another crazy night.  Marshall and NC State join the First Four.  Both may need to win again to keep those positions.  Colorado and Arizona play for the Pac-12 title.  In the SEC, Ole Miss remains alive thanks to a win over Tennessee.  That drops the Volunteers among those just out.

Kentucky locked in the overall No. 1 seed with Syracuse’s loss. The other top seeds remain the same, but North Carolina moves ahead of Kansas on the s-curve. The Jayhawks are now slotted West, with UK moving to the Midwest – a slightly closer location. Carolina goes South. That’s the fun news.

source: Getty Images

What will Saturday hold?  Who knows. But if it’s like Thursday and Friday, we’re in for another bumpy ride.

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)

  • Marshall (20-12) vs. Mississippi State (21-11) | West Region
  • NC State (22-11) vs. Drexel (27-6) | East Region
  • Miss Valley State (20-12) vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY (15-18) | South Region
  • Stony Brook (21-8) vs. Norfolk State (22-8) | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTBoston MIDWESTSt. Louis
Pittsburgh Louisville
1) Syracuse (30-2) 1) Kentucky (31-1)
16) UNC-ASHEVILLE (21-9) 16) Ms Valley St / W. KENTUCKY
8) Iowa State (22-10) 8) Memphis (25-8)
9) St. Louis (24-6) 9) Purdue (21-12)
Portland Portland
5) Vanderbilt (21-10) 5) Cincinnati (24-9)
12) Colorado State (19-11) 12) California (24-9)
4) MURRAY STATE (27-1) 4) Florida State (22-9)
13) Arizona (23-10) 13) Long Beach (22-8)
Nashville Albuquerque
6) CREIGHTON (28-5) 6) UNLV (23-8)
11) Seton Hall (20-12) 11) VCU (28-6)
3) Wisconsin (24-8) 3) Baylor (26-6)
14) Akron (21-10) 14) MONTANA (23-6)
Greensboro Pittsburgh
7) Kansas State (21-10) 7) Temple (24-7)
10) Southern Mississippi (23-8) 10) HARVARD (24-4)
2) Duke (27-5) 2) Ohio State (26-6)
15) LEHIGH (25-7) 15) LONG ISLAND (25-8)
SOUTH – Atlanta WEST – Phoenix
Greensboro Omaha
1) North Carolina (28-4) 1) Kansas (26-6)
16) Stony Brook / Norfolk State 16) Lamar (20-11)
8) Notre Dame (22-11) 8) Gonzaga (25-6)
9) Alabama (21-11) 9) Connecticut (20-13)
Albuquerque Nashville
5) Wichita State (25-5) 5) Louisville (25-9)
12) Drexel / Texas 12) Marshall / Mississippi State
4) Georgetown (21-8) 4) Indiana (24-8)
13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST (25-7) 13) DAVIDSON (24-7)
Columbus Louisville
6) New Mexico (25-6) 6) Florida (23-9)
11) Xavier (20-11) 11) BYU (23-8)
3) Michigan (23-8) 3) Marquette (25-7)
14) BELMONT (26-7) 14) New Mexico State (23-9)
Omaha Columbus
7) ST. MARY’S (25-5) 7) San Diego State (24-6)
10) Virginia (22-8) 10) West Virginia (19-13)
2) Missouri (29-4) 2) Michigan State (24-7)
15) LOYOLA-MD (24-8) 15) DETROIT (20-13)

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

Last Five teams in (at large): Seton Hall, Texas, Marshall, Mississippi State, Drexel

First Five teams out (at large): NC State, South Florida, Colorado, Iona, Washington

Also considered: Mississippi, Tennessee, Dayton, Miami-Fla, Oral Roberts, Northwestern, St. Joseph’s, Nevada

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conference USA (3): Memphis, Southern Mississippi, Marshall

Missouri Valley (2): Creighton, Wichita State

Pac 12 (2): Arizona, Cal

Conference leaders/champions … WESTERN KENTUCKY (Sun Belt), DETROIT (Horizon), Akron (MAC), VCU (CAA), New Mexico State (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), Lamar (Southland), Mississippi Valley State (SWAC)