Bracket Update: The Top Two seed lines setting themselves apart

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We’re now a month from Selection Sunday, and Madness continues around the bubble.  Weekend results did little to change this scenario, so the same rules apply: If your team is seeded 8th or lower they have work to do.  In fact, we have a few teams on the 8/9 seed line that should probably be 11/12 seeds.  That’s where we stand.  Championship Week will be must-see TV.

Unbeaten Kentucky (25-0) continues to lead the Field of 68.  At this point, it would take multiple glitches for UK to lose its reign on the Midwest Region.  Elsewhere at the top of the bracket, Virginia, Gonzaga, and Duke continue to hold No. 1 seeds. If Kansas, Villanova, Wisconsin, and Arizona also keep winning, there will be some interesting discussions among Selection Committee members regarding the top two seed lines. Keep this in mind: Although the Committee will “balance” regions for the Top 4 seed lines, geographic preference remains a priority – as long as other bracketing principles can be met.  Thus, we’re likely to see Arizona in the West and Wisconsin in the Midwest regardless of their spot on the 2-line, assuming both stay in that group.

READ MORE: Our latest top 25 | Weekly Award winners: Villanova, San Diego State

We’ll see how much the bottom of the bracket changes by Friday.  Until then, enjoy another whacky few days of college hoops.  For the complete Seed List to today’s bracket, visit Bracketville.

UPDATED: February 16, 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)

  • NC State vs. St. John’s | East Region
  • Miami-FL vs. UCLA | East Region
  • TX-SOUTHERN vs. ALBANY | Midwest Region
  • ST. FRANCIS (NY) vs. BUCKNELL | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWESTCleveland              EAST Syracuse
Louisville Charlotte
1) KENTUCKY 1) VIRGINIA
16) ALBANY / TX-STHERN 16) ST. FRANCIS / BUCKNELL
8) Michigan State 8) Dayton
9) Temple 9) Mississippi
Jacksonville Pittsburgh
5) Baylor 5) WICHITA STATE
12) VALPARAISO 12) Miami-FL / UCLA
4) North Carolina 4) Maryland
13) BOWLING GREEN 13) IONA
Columbus Omaha
6) Oklahoma State 6) Indiana
11) Purdue 11) St. John’s / NC State
3) Louisville 3) Iowa State
14) NC-CENTRAL 14) HARVARD
Columbus Pittsburgh
7) Georgetown 7) VCU
10) LSU 10) Georgia
2) WISCONSIN 2) VILLANOVA
15) GA. SOUTHERN 15) WILLIAM & MARY
SOUTH – Houston WEST – Los Angeles
Charlotte Seattle
1) Duke 1) GONZAGA
16) FLA GULF COAST 16) NEW MEXICO ST
8) Texas 8) SAN DIEGO ST
9) Cincinnati 9) Illinois
Jacksonville Seattle
5) Arkansas 5) Northern Iowa
12) WOFFORD 12) MURRAY STATE
4) Butler 4) Oklahoma
13) LOUISIANA TECH 13) S.F. AUSTIN
Portland Louisville
6) Providence 6) Ohio State
11) Texas AM 11) Xavier
3) Utah 3) Notre Dame
14) E. WASHINGTON 14) HIGH POINT
Omaha Portland
7) SMU 7) West Virginia
10) Iowa 10) Colorado State
2) KANSAS 2) ARIZONA
15) SO DAKOTA ST 15) UC-DAVIS

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

Last Five teams in (at large): Texas AM, St. John’s, NC State, UCLA, Miami-FL

First Five teams out (at large): Stanford, Oregon, Tulsa, Davidson, Massachusetts

Next five teams out (at large): Boise State, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, BYU, Old Dominion

Breakdown by Conference …

Big 10 (8): Wisconsin, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa, Purdue

ACC (7): Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State, Miami-FL

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

Big East (6): Villanova, Butler, Providence, Georgetown, Xavier, St. John’s

SEC (6): Kentucky, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Georgia, LSU, Texas AM

Pac 12 (3): Arizona, Utah, UCLA

American (3): SMU, Temple, Cincinnati

Mountain West (2): San Diego State, Colorado State

Atlantic 10 (2): VCU, Dayton

Missouri Valley (2): Wichita State, Northern Iowa

Conference USA (1): Louisiana Tech

West Coast (1): Gonzaga

ONE BID LEAGUES: Georgia Southern (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Eastern Washington (BSKY), Valparaiso (HZN), S.F. Austin (SLND), Wofford (STHN), UC-Davis (BWEST), Bowling Green (MAC), Iona (MAAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Murray State (OVC), William & Mary (CAA), High Point (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Albany (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), St. Francis – NY (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)