Bracket Projection: Kansas holds on to No. 1 overall seed

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Kansas and Oklahoma delivered on the hype last Monday, offering up an epic, overtime thriller.  Beyond the final score, the game anchored both teams as No. 1 seeds in today’s bracket update.  Honestly, neither was going to move unless they faltered into a two-loss week.  As such, Kansas continues its hold on the Midwest Region, with Oklahoma heading West.  After a tough week for Virginia, Maryland moves into the No. 4 spot on the seed list, anchoring the East Region.  Michigan State remains No.1 in the South.

As a reference check, today’s bracket features several new teams – thanks to current conference standings.  Come Selection Sunday, the Selection Committee will be working through various scenarios should there be surprise league winners.  As an example, Houston earns the nod today from the American (AAC) today, taking one at-large spot from the field.  The Cougars would not make the field as an at-large team.  This provides a glimpse into the bracketing process.

Remember, too, that seeding remains volatile right now.  In many cases, differences between seed lines is almost non-existent or razor thin.  Case in point, Baylor jumped from the edge of the bracket to an 8-seed by virtue of its huge road win at Iowa State.  My guess is, we’re going to see a large “bubble” develop in the next month, with little separation between several teams.  It could be time to make plans for a stressful, but fun-filled Championship Week.

UPDATED: January 11, 2016

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. In the event of a tie in the loss column, RPI is first tiebreaker. Notes: To simulate actual bracket conditions, we’ve used current conference leaders to receive the automatic bid. 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)

  • Monmouth vs. Oregon State | Midwest Region
  • Texas vs. Saint Mary’s | East Region
  • HAMPTON vs. WAGNER | 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 / WAGNER
8) Indiana 8) California
9) Connecticut 9) Wake Forest
Denver Spokane
5) Arizona 5) West Virginia
12) AKRON 12) UC-IRVINE
4) Virginia 4) TEXAS AM
13) BELMONT 13) UAB
Providence Raleigh
6) Texas Tech 6) UCLA
11) Monmouth / Oregon State 11) VALPARAISO
3) Duke 3) Miami-FL
14) IONA 14) NORTH FLORIDA
Brooklyn Providence
7) Oregon 7) South Carolina
10) Notre Dame 10) Texas / Saint Mary’s
2) Providence 2) VILLANOVA
15) IP-FORT WAYNE 15) PRINCETON
EAST – Philadelphia         WEST – Anaheim
Brooklyn Oklahoma City
1) MARYLAND 1) Oklahoma
16) MONTANA 16) CAL-BAKERSFIELD
8) Baylor 8) Dayton
9) Seton Hall 9) Michigan
Denver Spokane
5) Pittsburgh 5) Purdue
12) VCU 12) BOISE STATE
4) Kentucky 4) Utah
13) WILLIAM-MARY 13) HOUSTON
Oklahoma City Des Moines
6) USC 6) GONZAGA
11) UT-ARLINGTON 11) WICHITA STATE
3) Iowa State 3) Iowa
14) STONY BROOK 14) E. TENNESSEE ST
Raleigh St. Louis
7) Butler 7) Louisville
10) George Washington 10) WASHINGTON
2) NORTH CAROLINA 2) Xavier
15) HIGH POINT 15) Texas AM – CC

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

Last Four teams in (at large): Texas, Saint Mary’s, Oregon State, Monmouth

First Four teams out (at large): Cincinnati, Marquette, Colorado, Florida

Next four teams out (at large): Saint Joseph’s, Ole Miss, BYU, Stanford

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): NORTH CAROLINA, Miami-FL, Duke, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Wake Forest, Notre Dame

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

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

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

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

SEC (3): TEXAS AM, Kentucky, South Carolina

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

American (2): HOUSTON, Connecticut

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

MAAC (2): IONA, Monmouth

Mountain West (1): BOISE STATE

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: UAB (C-USA), UT-Arlington (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Texas AM-CC (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), North Florida (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), William & Mary (CAA), High Point (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), IP-Fort Wayne (SUM), Cal-Bakersfield (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Jackson State (SWAC)