Bracket Update: Upcoming stretch could have major impact on Duke’s NCAA seeding

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In an overtime, down-to-the-wire, resume comparison battle, the Duke Blue Devils edged Villanova for the final No. 1 seed in today’s bracket update.  Without taking you through all the nuances, Duke’s road wins at Wisconsin and Louisville ultimately trumped Villanova’s better “losses.”  It was that close.

Looking ahead, it’s a challenging week for the Blue Devils.  They begin a three-game road swing on Sunday that takes them through St. John’s, Notre Dame, and Virginia.  In terms of Duke’s final bracket position, the next eight days could be huge.

Elsewhere, the week’s biggest climbers are Georgetown and Indiana.  The Hoyas spliced together wins over Butler and Villanova, and the Hoosiers backed up a road win at Illinois by out-gunning Maryland Thursday night in Bloomington. Both are five-seeds today.

We still have a wide range of questionable resumes – both inside and just outside the bracket.  Take, for example, Ohio State.  While the Buckeyes’ worst losses are to Iowa (twice), OSU lacks an RPI Top 50 win as of this morning – and they have yet to beat a team that would currently qualify for an at-large bid.  At some point, that will have to change.

Another good weekend of college hoops is almost here.  Enjoy the ride.

UPDATED: January 23, 2015

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid.  In the event of a tie in the loss column, RPI is the first tiebreaker used. 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. NC State East Region
  • George Washington vs. Syracuse | SouthRegion
  • ALBANY vs. NEW MEXICO ST East Region
  • BUCKNELL vs. NO DAKOTA ST Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWEST – Cleveland                     EAST Syracuse                                  
Louisville Charlotte
1) KENTUCKY 1) VIRGINIA
16) BUCKNELL / ND STATE 16) ALBANY / N. MEXICO ST
8) Dayton 8) Cincinnati
9) Michigan State 9) Georgia
Portland Jacksonville
5) Georgetown 5) Indiana
12) WESTERN KENTUCKY 12) Xavier / NC State
4) WICHITA STATE 4) West Virginia
13) HARVARD 13) WOFFORD
Louisville Pittsburgh
6) Arkansas 6) Baylor
11) TULSA 11) Washington
3) Notre Dame 3) Maryland
14) MURRAY STATE 14) IONA
Omaha Pittsburgh
7) Providence 7) Northern Iowa
10) Stanford 10) Miami-FL
2) KANSAS 2) VILLANOVA
15) UL-MONROE 15) HIGH POINT
SOUTH – Houston WEST – Los Angeles                        
Charlotte Seattle
1) Duke 1) GONZAGA
16) NORTH FLORIDA 16) ST. FRANCIS-BROOKLYN
8) SMU 8) Iowa
9) LSU 9) Oklahoma State
Seattle Columbus
5) Oklahoma 5) VCU
12) S.F. AUSTIN 12) GREEN BAY
4) Utah 4) Louisville
13) EASTERN WASHINGTON 13) BOWLING GREEN
Columbus Jacksonville
6) Butler 6) Texas
11) Geo. Washington / Syracuse 11) Old Dominion
3) Iowa State 3) North Carolina
14) NC-CENTRAL 14) NORTHEASTERN
Omaha Portland
7) SAN DIEGO ST 7) Seton Hall
10) St. John’s 10) Ohio State
2) WISCONSIN 2) ARIZONA
15) TEXAS-SOUTHERN 15) LONG BEACH ST

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

Last Five teams in (at large): Old Dominion, George Washington, Syracuse, Xavier, NC State

First Five teams out (at large): Tennessee, Wyoming, Colorado State, Davidson, Kansas State

Next five teams out (at large): Alabama, Illinois, Ole Miss, Texas AM, BYU

Breakdown by Conference …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: UL-Monroe (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Eastern Washington (BSKY), Green Bay (HZN), S.F. Austin (SLND), Wofford (STHN), Long Beach State (BWEST), Bowling Green (MAC), Iona (MAAC), North Florida (ASUN), Murray State (OVC), Northeastern (CAA), High Point (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Albany (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), St. Francis-NY (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)