Bracket Update: Oklahoma leads Field of 68

(AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)
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This should not come as a surprise: Oklahoma is the No. 1 overall seed in today’s bracket. After dispatching Oklahoma State and West Virginia last week, the Sooners own the top spot in the RPI, their only blemish a triple-overtime classic at Kansas.

The rest of the top line is as follows: Kansas, North Carolina, and Villanova.  Elsewhere, the carousel continues.  Between Saturday morning and Sunday night, all but two teams (Maryland and Texas AM) ranked between No. 9 and No. 16 on the Seed List suffered defeats. We should probably be used to that by now, and it’s likely to continue.

Clemson is this week’s biggest mover.  While there are certainly question marks on the Tigers’ resume (including a rather horrid non-conference SOS number), the Selection Committee would not ignore a team with a 5-1 mark in the ACC that includes five straight victories over Florida State, Syracuse, Louisville, Duke, and Miami.  Four of those five games were at home and Clemson now embarks on a journey that includes four of five games on the road.  We’ll see how the Tigers handle prosperity.

[MORE: CBT’s latest Top 25 | Player of the Week | Team of the Week]

A bit under-the-radar, Texas AM has quietly remained unbeaten in the SEC. The Aggies have wins over Baylor, Texas, and Gonzaga outside the league, and haven’t lost since December 5.  Just something to keep an eye on.

Margins between teams remain very marginal – pun intended.  There really isn’t much difference between the resume of a team listed in the “First Four Out” and one listed as a nine or 10 seed.  We have a long way to go.

UPDATED: January 18, 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)

  • Washington vs. Geo Washington | South Region
  • Seton Hall vs. Alabama | Midwest Region
  • HAMPTON vs. TEXAS-SOUTHERN | South Region
  • NAVY vs. MT. ST. MARY’S | Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

SOUTH Louisville MIDWEST Chicago                        
Oklahoma City Des Moines
1) OKLAHOMA 1) Kansas
16) HAMPTON / TX-SOUTHERN 16) NAVY / MT. ST. MARY’S
8) Colorado 8) Notre Dame
9) Clemson 9) UCLA
Providence Denver
5) Kentucky 5) Arizona
12) ARK-LITTLE ROCK 12) Alabama / Seton Hall
4) Miami-FL 4) Purdue
13) CHATTANOOGA 13) MEMPHIS
St. Louis Providence
6) Baylor 6) Dayton
11) Geo Washington / Washington 11) VALPARAISO
3) Michigan State 3) Virginia
14) UAB 14) STONY BROOK
Oklahoma City St. Louis
7) Michigan 7) Indiana
10) SAINT MARY’S 10) Stanford
2) TEXAS AM 2) Xavier
15) PRINCETON 15) IP-FORT WAYNE
WEST – Anaheim EAST – Philadelphia
Brooklyn Raleigh
1) VILLANOVA 1) NORTH CAROLINA
16) MONTANA 16) CSU-BAKERSFIELD
8) South Carolina 8) Butler
9) California 9) WICHITA STATE
Spokane Spokane
5) Duke 5) Providence
12) SAN DIEGO STATE 12) UC-IRVINE
4) Oregon 4) USC
13) JAMES MADISON 13) BELMONT
Denver Raleigh
6) Pittsburgh 6) Louisville
11) Connecticut 11) VCU
3) Iowa State 3) West Virginia
14) NO. ILLINOIS 14) NORTH FLORIDA
Des Moines Brooklyn
7) Utah 7) Texas
10) Gonzaga 10) MONMOUTH
2) IOWA 2) Maryland
15) TEXAS AM-CC 15) UNC-ASHEVILLE

NOTES on the BRACKET: Oklahoma is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Kansas, North Carolina, and Villanova.

Last Four teams in (at large): Washington, Seton Hall, Alabama, George Washington

First Four teams out (at large): Oregon State, Florida State, Boise State, Texas Tech

Next four teams out (at large): Florida, Saint Joseph’s, Marquette, Cincinnati

Breakdown by Conference …

Pac 12 (8): USC, Oregon, Arizona, Utah, UCLA, California, Stanford, Washington

ACC (7): NORTH CAROLINA, Virginia, Miami-FL, Duke, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame

Big 12 (6): OKLAHOMA, Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas

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

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

SEC (4): TEXAS AM, Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama

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

American (2): MEMPHIS, Connecticut

West Coast (2): SAINT MARY’S, Gonzaga

MAAC (1): MONMOUTH

Mountain West (1): SAN DIEGO STATE

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: UAB (C-USA), Ark-Little Rock (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Texas AM-CC (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Northern Illinois (MAC), North Florida (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), James Madison (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), IP-Fort Wayne (SUM), CSU-Bakersfield (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Navy (PAT), Mt. St. Mary’s (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)