Bracket Update: Virginia chasing another No. 1 seed

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As we begin the march toward Selection Sunday, Virginia has again put itself in position to compete for a No.1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Cavaliers completed an unbeaten non-conference slate and have all the resume numbers firmly intact. Only a tough Atlantic Coast Conference docket, which includes projected ACC champion Duke, is keeping UVA off the top line in today’s bracket.  Who are the No. 1 seeds?  The same four teams who opened the season atop the Field of 68 – Kentucky, Duke, Wisconsin, and Arizona.

As noted in the New Year’s Day update, we have some quirky resumes on the at-large board.  Take for example, Providence. The Friars have quality wins over Notre Dame and Butler and own a solid 7-2 mark vs. the current RPI Top 100. Those same Friars also own losses to Boston College and Brown (at home).  It’s been one of those years.

Then we have a team like Wyoming – which could ultimately be bogged down by weak non-conference schedule. The Cowboys look like an NCAA team but will need a strong Mountain West effort to overcome a non-conference SOS ranked No. 343 (out of 351 teams).

The Seed List for today’s bracket remains quite fluid.  If you don’t like the final at-large projections, check back soon.  It’s likely to change.  Keep in mind, a team’s entire resume matters, and since we’re still early in league play, close losses to quality teams – especially on the road – isn’t a huge issue, even if it means a losing conference record.

On a final note … league record isn’t the only factor used to determine a projected automatic bid.  The further we advance through conference play, the more weight will be given to overall league standings.  DePaul is a perfect example. The Blue Demons currently lead the Big East, but it seems a bit premature to project that DePaul is more likely than Villanova to win the league title.

Enjoy the latest update.  Another huge weekend of college hoops awaits.

UPDATED: January 9, 2015

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

Several new bracketing principles were introduced last year. You can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Georgia vs. Colorado State West Region
  • Alabama vs. Georgia Tech South Region
  • ST. FRANCIS (NY) vs. AMERICAN | East Region
  • NORTH DAKOTA ST vs. TX-SOUTHERN Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWESTCleveland EAST – Syracuse                          
Louisville Charlotte
1) KENTUCKY 1) DUKE
16) N. DAKOTA ST / TX-STHERN        16) AMERICAN / ST. FRAN (NY)         
8) St. John’s 8) Dayton
9) Michigan State 9) Cincinnati
Jacksonville Seattle
5) WICHITA STATE 5) OLD DOMINION
12) GREEN BAY 12) Alabama / Georgia Tech
4) VCU 4) Iowa State
13) WOFFORD 13) S.F. AUSTIN
Columbus Pittsburgh
6) Seton Hall 6) Northern Iowa
11) LSU 11) Xavier
3) Louisville 3) Maryland
14) MURRAY STATE 14) IONA
Omaha Pittsburgh
7) Washington 7) Ohio State
10) Indiana 10) Stanford
2) KANSAS 2) VILLANOVA
15) SC-UPSTATE 15) NORTHEASTERN
WEST – Los Angeles SOUTH – Houston
Portland Omaha
1) ARIZONA 1) WISCONSIN
16) NEW MEXICO ST 16) COASTAL CAROLINA
8) Iowa 8) SAN DIEGO STATE
9) TEMPLE 9) Syracuse
Louisville Jacksonville
5) Texas 5) North Carolina
12) Colorado State / Georgia 12) EASTERN WASHINGTON
4) Notre Dame 4) Oklahoma
13) BUFFALO 13) HARVARD
Columbus Portland
6) Arkansas 6) Baylor
11) Providence 11) Wyoming
3) West Virginia 3) Utah
14) UL-LAFAYETTE 14) HAWAII
Charlotte Seattle
7) Georgetown 7) Butler
10) George Washington 10) SMU
2) Virginia 2) GONZAGA
15) NC-CENTRAL 15) STONY BROOK

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Duke, Wisconsin, Arizona. Next four (2-seeds in order): Virginia, Gonzaga, Villanova, Kansas.

Last Five teams in (at large): Wyoming, Colorado State, Georgia, Alabama, Georgia Tech

First Five teams out (at large): Oklahoma State, Connecticut, Tennessee, Illinois, Minnesota

Next five teams out (at large): South Carolina, BYU, Oregon, Michigan, Miami-FL

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (7): Duke, Virginia, Louisville, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Syracuse, Georgia Tech

Big East (7): Villanova, Seton Hall, Butler, Georgetown, St. John’s, Providence, Xavier

Big 10 (6): Wisconsin, Maryland, Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan State, Indiana

Big 12 (6): Kansas, West Virginia, Texas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor

SEC (5): Kentucky, Arkansas, LSU, Georgia, Alabama

Pac 12 (4): Arizona, Utah, Washington, Stanford

American (3): Temple, Cincinnati, SMU

Atlantic 10 (3): VCU, Dayton, George Washington

Mountain West (3): San Diego State, Wyoming, Colorado State

Missouri Valley (2): Wichita State, Northern Iowa

West Coast (1): Gonzaga

ONE BID LEAGUES: Old Dominion (C-USA), Louisiana-Lafayette (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Eastern Washington (BSKY), Green Bay (HZN), S.F. Austin (SLND), Wofford (STHN), Hawaii (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Iona (MAAC), South Carolina Upstate (ASUN), Murray State (OVC), Northeastern (CAA), Coastal Carolina (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), American (PAT), St. Francis-Brooklyn (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)