Turnover: Three new teams join Kentucky atop the bracket

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It’s been a volatile week atop the bracket.  As a result, three new teams join Kentucky on the top line: Virginia, Villanova, and Gonzaga.  Wisconsin and Duke now reside on the two-line, with Arizona dropping to the top 3-seed spot.  Kansas and Louisville fill out the top two seeds in each region.

We continue to see some odd profiles, which creates interesting seeding debates. Texas is a good example. The Longhorns have lost back-to-back games and three of five, but all to quality opponents.  Early this season, UT looked like a Top 10 team, and there’s enough talent to suggest the Longhorns may return to form.  At the same time, the Longhorn’s currently own one victory (Iowa) or a team in today’s projected field.  Previous wins at Connecticut and over California have waned a bit.  It’s going to be a big week for Texas – in terms of bracket position – they play West Virginia, at TCU, and Kansas in their next three games.

A couple of other quick notes about the bracket:

  • Tulsa and Western Kentucky are in the latest bracket as current conference leaders.  As a result, Wyoming and Alabama are bumped into the First Five Out.  This simulates – at least partially – what can happen as conference tournament play unfolds.  With WKU in the field, Conference USA now has two representatives – Old Dominion becomes an at-large team.
  • There’s not a lot of difference among the final ten teams in and the first ten teams out.  So expect continued turnover in the coming weeks.

Enjoy another great weekend of college hoops.

UPDATED: January 16, 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)

  • Xavier vs. George Washington South Region
  • Washington vs. Georgia | West Region
  • ALBANY vs. ND STATE East Region
  • ST. FRANCIS (PA) vs. COLGATE Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWEST – Cleveland                     EAST Syracuse                                  
Louisville Charlotte
1) KENTUCKY 1) VIRGINIA
16) ST. FRAN (PA)/ COLGATE 16) ALBANY / ND STATE
8) Ohio State 8) Old Dominion
9) Cincinnati 9) Indiana
Jacksonville Portland
5) Iowa State 5) Butler
12) TULSA 12) E. WASHINGTON
4) VCU 4) WICHITA STATE
13) WOFFORD 13) HARVARD
Portland Pittsburgh
6) Northern Iowa 6) Arkansas
11) LSU 11) NC State
3) Arizona 3) Maryland
14) NORTHEASTERN 14) MURRAY STATE
Columbus Omaha
7) St. John’s 7) Dayton
10) Oklahoma State 10) Syracuse
2) Louisville 2) KANSAS
15) NC-CENTRAL 15) NEW MEXICO ST
WEST – Los Angeles SOUTH – Houston                        
Seattle Pittsburgh
1) GONZAGA 1) VILLANOVA
16) TX-SOUTHERN 16) NORTH FLORIDA
8) SAN DIEGO ST 8) Michigan State
9) Iowa 9) SMU
Columbus Jacksonville
5) Seton Hall 5) Oklahoma
12) GREEN BAY 12) S.F. AUSTIN
4) West Virginia 4) North Carolina
13) IONA 13) BUFFALO
Louisville Seattle
6) Baylor 6) Texas
11) Washington / Georgia 11) Xavier / Geo Washingon
3) Notre Dame 3) UTAH
14) WESTERN KENTUCKY 14) GA. SOUTHERN
Omaha Charlotte
7) Providence 7) Georgetown
10) Miami-FL 10) Stanford
2) WISCONSIN 2) Duke
15) UC-DAVIS 15) COASTAL CAROLINA

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Virginia, Villanova, and Gonzaga. Next in line: Wisconsin, Kansas, Duke, Louisville

Last Five teams in (at large): NC State, Washington, George Washington, Xavier, Georgia

First Five teams out (at large): Wyoming, Alabama, Colorado State, Temple, Connecticut

Next five teams out (at large): Illinois, BYU, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): Virginia, Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Syracuse, Miami-FL, NC State

Big 12 (7): Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma State

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

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

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

SEC (4): Kentucky, Arkansas, LSU, Georgia

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

American (3): Tulsa, Cincinnati, SMU

Missouri Valley (2): Wichita State, Northern Iowa

Conference USA (2): Western Kentucky, Old Dominion

Mountain West (1): San Diego State

West Coast (1): Gonzaga

ONE BID LEAGUES: Georgia Southern (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Eastern Washington (BSKY), Green Bay (HZN), S.F. Austin (SLND), Wofford (STHN), UC-Davis (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Iona (MAAC), North Florida (ASUN), Murray State (OVC), Northeastern (CAA), Coastal Carolina (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Albany (AEAST), Colgate (PAT), St. Francis-PA (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)