BRACKETOLOGY: Kansas leads New Year’s Day lineup

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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Happy New Year!  We can officially begin the countdown toward Selection Sunday.  March is a mere two months away, and conference play is poised to eliminate the contenders from the pretenders.

That said, it’s been an interesting opening two months of the college hoops season.  As has been pointed out numerous places, we do not have any true heavyweights dominating the field.  As such, expect the bracket to ebb and flow a bit more than usual – even at the top.

Case in point – Kansas sits atop our New Year’s Day bracket, but the Jayhawks are no lock to win a 12th straight Big 12 title.  Oklahoma is also a projected No. 1 seed in today’s Field of 68, and Iowa State will push both for league supremacy.

As for the rest of the bracket, it’s a sneak peak at where we stand heading into 2016.  Nothing more, nothing less.  If we’ve learned anything from results in November and December, it’s that things change – sometimes quickly.

On a final note … Injuries could have an impact on selection and seeding in March.  For example: How will the Committee evaluate a team like Wichita State, who lost several games early without point guard Fred VanVleet?  If the Shockers evolve into the team we expect, those early losses could largely be disregarded. Time will tell.

The Seed List for today’s bracket can be found at Bracketville.

BRACKET UPDATE: January 1, 2016

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. In the event of a tie in the loss column, RPI if first tiebreaker used. Notes: Conference play is just beginning, so a combination of ratings was used to select a champion for the bracket. Also, exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (ex: UCLA)

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Monmouth vs. Florida State | West Region
  • Notre Dame vs. Texas Tech | West Region
  • WAGNER vs. NC A&T | South Region
  • SOUTHERN vs. IDAHO | Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWESTChicago            SOUTH Louisville
Des Moines St. Louis
1) KANSAS 1) MICHIGAN STATE
16) SOUTHERN / IDAHO 16) WAGNER / NC A&T
8) Cincinnati 8) Arizona State
9) Colorado 9) Seton Hall
Spokane Oklahoma City
5) UCLA 5) Texas AM
12) NORTHERN IOWA 12) LOUISIANA TECH
4) Duke 4) Iowa State
13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 13) VALPARAISO
Des Moines Providence
6) Louisville 6) DAYTON
11) UT-ARLINGTON 11) USC
3) Purdue 3) Miami-FL
14) IONA 14) BELMONT
St. Louis Brooklyn
7) Oregon 7) Iowa
10) Texas 10) Syracuse
2) Xavier 2) PROVIDENCE
15) TEXAS AM-CC 15) YALE
EAST – Philadelphia WEST – Anaheim
Raleigh Oklahoma City
1) VIRGINIA 1) Oklahoma
16) STONY BROOK 16) GRAND CANYON
8) Michigan 8) Wake Forest
9) Vanderbilt 9) South Carolina
Denver Spokane
5) West Virginia 5) Utah
12) UNLV 12) Notre Dame / Texas Tech
4) Villanova 4) Butler
13) AKRON 13) HAWAII
Providence Denver
6) CONNECTICUT 6) GONZAGA
11) CHATTANOOGA 11) Monmouth / Florida St
3) KENTUCKY 3) ARIZONA
14) CHARLESTON 14) NORTH FLORIDA
Brooklyn Raleigh
7) Geo Washington 7) Baylor
10) Pittsburgh 10) Indiana
2) Maryland 2) North Carolina
15) ARMY 15) HIGH POINT

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kansas is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Michigan State, Oklahoma, and Virginia. Next in line: Maryland, North Carolina, Providence, Xavier.

Last Four teams in (at large): Monmouth, Florida State, Notre Dame, Texas Tech

First Four teams out (at large): Kansas State, Richmond, Marquette, Florida

Next four teams out (at large): Arkansas-Little Rock, Alabama, California, Wichita State

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): Virginia, North Carolina, Miami-FL, Duke, Louisville, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Notre Dame

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

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

Pac 12 (6): Arizona, UCLA, Utah, Oregon, Colorado, USC

Big East (5): Providence, Xavier, Butler, Villanova, Seton Hall

SEC (4): Kentucky, Texas AM, South Carolina, Vanderbilt

Atlantic 10 (2): Dayton, George Washington

American (2): Connecticut, Cincinnati

MAAC (2): Iona, Monmouth

Mountain West (1): UNLV

West Coast (1): Gonzaga

Missouri Valley (1): Northern Iowa

ONE BID LEAGUES: Louisiana Tech (C-USA), UT-Arlington (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Idaho (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Texas AM-CC (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), Hawaii (BWEST), Akron (MAC), North Florida (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Charleston (CAA), High Point (BSO), North Carolina A&T (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), Grand Canyon (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Army (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Southern (SWAC)