Bracket: Iowa climbs after strong weekend

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Ahead of tonight’s monumental tilt between Kansas and Oklahoma, the Iowa Hawkeyes completed a strong week by defeating Michigan State and Purdue.  That’s the kind of double-dip that sticks to a team’s resume – especially the road win at Mackey Arena.  As such, the Hawkeyes jump to a No. 4 seed in today’s bracket update.

On a housekeeping note, today marks the first of our weekly bracket updates.  Twice-a-week updates will begin in mid-February.

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Just think about how much has happened since January 1.  Conference play is already proving the value of road wins.  They aren’t easy to find – ask a couple of Pac-12 contenders about that.

At this juncture, the comparative difference between seed lines is marginal to razor thin.  January should help us separate the contenders and drain the bubble pool.  We’ll see.

UPDATED: January 4, 2016

[PLAYER OF THE WEEK | TEAM OF THE WEEK]

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. In the event of a tie in the loss column, RPI is 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)

Several new bracketing principles were introduced a couple of years ago. 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)

  • Florida vs. Notre Dame | South Region
  • Syracuse vs. Monmouth | East Region
  • HAMPTON vs. FDU | South Region
  • BUCKNELL vs. JACKSON ST | Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

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

First Four teams out (at large): Vanderbilt, Florida State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Saint Joseph’s

Next four teams out (at large): Kansas State, Georgetown, Oregon State, Alabama

Breakdown by Conference …

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

Pac 12 (8): Arizona, Utah, UCLA, Colorado, California, Oregon, Arizona State, USC

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

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

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

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

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): Wichita State

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), Northeastern (CAA), High Point (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Fairleigh-Dickinson (NEC), Jackson State (SWAC)