CBT Bracketology: Merry-go-round bubble continues

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Apparently, there’s a fascination with this year’s carrousel, otherwise known as the NCAA tournament bubble.  Teams grab a seat, take a couple of spins on an open seed line, and then return to the ticket booth to purchase another ride.  While that is all well and good at the moment, the Selection Committee will remove a few seats come Selection Sunday.  By rule, the final trip through March Madness can only have 68 seats.

Looking at today’s hopefuls, we find about 30 teams whose seats are uncertain.  Their goal is to work themselves toward the front of the line, to provide a little breathing room if an unexpected rider (automatic qualifier) arrives.  No one wants to be the first team outside the gate when the Madness begins.

Enjoy your weekend of hoops.  Our next update arrives on Monday.

UPDATED: February 19, 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)

  • Oregon State vs. LSU | East Region
  • Texas Tech vs. Butler | West Region
  • BUCKNELL vs. WAGNER | East Region
  • HAMPTON vs. TEXAS-SOUTHERN | Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWEST – Chicago EAST – Philadelphia                                
Des Moines Brooklyn
1) KANSAS 1) VILLANOVA
16) TX-SOUTHERN / HAMPTON 16) BUCKNELL / WAGNER
8) Providence 8) Pittsburgh
9) Florida 9) Alabama
Spokane Denver
5) Utah 5) Texas
12) CHATTANOOGA 12) ARK-LITTLE ROCK
4) Purdue 4) KENTUCKY
13) AKRON 13) STONY BROOK
Providence Brooklyn
6) Baylor 6) Indiana
11) MONMOUTH 11) Oregon State / LSU
3) MIAMI-FL 3) West Virginia
14) NC-WILMINGTON 14) YALE
Des Moines Raleigh
7) USC 7) Connecticut
10) GONZAGA 10) Wisconsin
2) IOWA 2) North Carolina
15) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 15) NC-ASHEVILLE
WEST – Anaheim SOUTH – Louisville
Oklahoma City Raleigh
1) Oklahoma 1) Virginia
16) MONTANA 16) NORTH FLORIDA
8) Saint Joseph’s 8) South Carolina
9) Seton Hall 9) Colorado
Denver Oklahoma City
5) Duke 5) DAYTON
12) SAN DIEGO STATE 12) TEMPLE
4) Arizona 4) Iowa State
13) HAWAII 13) VALPARAISO
Providence Spokane
6) Notre Dame 6) Texas A&M
11) Texas Tech / Butler 11) WICHITA STATE
3) Maryland 3) OREGON
14) UAB 14) S.F. AUSTIN
St. Louis St. Louis
7) California 7) Syracuse
10) Michigan 10) VCU
2) Xavier 2) Michigan State
15) NEW MEXICO ST 15) BELMONT

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

Last Four Byes (at large): Alabama, Wisconsin, Michigan, VCU

Last Four IN (at large): Texas Tech, Oregon State, LSU, Butler

First Four OUT (at large): Tulsa, Cincinnati, Saint Mary’s, George Washington

Next four teams OUT (at large): Clemson, Florida State, St. Bonaventure, Washington

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (7): MIAMI-FL, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pittsburgh

Pac 12 (7): OREGON, Arizona, Utah, USC, California, Colorado, Oregon State

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

Big 10 (7): IOWA, Michigan State, Maryland, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan

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

SEC (6): KENTUCKY, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, LSU

Atlantic 10 (3): DAYTON, Saint Joseph’s, VCU

American (2): TEMPLE, Connecticut

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

Mountain West (1): SAN DIEGO STATE

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: Monmouth (MAAC), UAB (C-USA), Ark-Little Rock (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Stephen F. Austin (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), Hawaii (BWEST), Akron (MAC), North Florida (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)