CBT Bracketology: Villanova leads the field of 68

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As we prepare to usher in 2017, the Villanova Wildcats reside in familiar territory – atop our current bracket projection.  Simply put, the reigning national champions find ways to win.  Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA join Villanova as early No. 1 seeds.  Baylor has the best collection of wins; in fact, one could make the case for the Bears to be the No. 1 overall seed.  UCLA looks the part, too.  A last-second road loss at Oregon doesn’t change that scenario.  Today, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Gonzaga fall on the two-line.

A couple of housekeeping notes:

  • Conference play is just getting started; league road games tend to separate contenders from pretenders.
  • Conference leaders are projected, based on the Seed List and/or RPI and overall record.  Once we have a few league games in tact, bracket positions will begin to take shape – especially for one-bid leagues.
  • We have some very odd resumes out there, with huge variations in the RPI, KenPom, etc.  Those will even out in January.
  • You can find the Seed List at Bracketville.

Enjoy your New Year’s weekend.  Regular updates to the bracket return in January.

UPDATED: December 30, 2016 | 9:00 a.m. (ET)

Regarding bracketing principles, 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)

  • Marquette vs. Michigan State | Midwest Region
  • TCU vs. Texas AM | South Region
  • UC-IRVINE vs. TX-SOUTHERN | Midwest Region
  • LOYOLA-MD vs. LIU-BROOKLYN | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EAST New York MIDWEST – Kansas City                          
Buffalo Tulsa
1) VILLANOVA 1) KANSAS
16) LOYOLA-MD/LIU BROOKLYN 16) UC-IRVINE/TX-SOUTHERN
8) Michigan 8) Northwestern
9) Pittsburgh 9) SMU
Sacramento Milwaukee
5) Oregon 5) Arizona
12) NC-WILMINGTON 12) VALPARAISO
4) West Virginia 4) Xavier
13) NEVADA 13) MONMOUTH
Salt Lake City Indianapolis
6) Notre Dame 6) USC
11) VCU 11) Marquette/Michigan St
3) Creighton 3) Louisville
14) NEW MEXICO ST 14) AKRON
Greenville Salt Lake City
7) Maryland 7) Virginia Tech
10) Iowa State 10) WICHITA STATE
2) North Carolina 2) GONZAGA
15) YALE 15) NORTH DAKOTA ST
WEST – San Jose SOUTH – Memphis
Sacramento Tulsa
1) UCLA 1) Baylor
16) E. WASHINGTON 16) NC-CENTRAL
8) Clemson 8) South Carolina
9) Seton Hall 9) Minnesota
Orlando Orlando
5) Florida 5) Wisconsin
12) UT-ARLINGTON 12) MID TENNESSEE ST
4) Butler 4) Florida State
13) TENNESSEE STATE 13) CHATTANOOGA
Milwaukee Buffalo
6) Saint Mary’s 6) Indiana
11) Miami-FL 11) TCU/Texas AM
3) PURDUE 3) Virginia
14) FLA GULF COAST 14) WINTHROP
Greenville Indianapolis
7) Oklahoma State 7) CINCINNATI
10) Arkansas 10) Dayton
2) DUKE 2) KENTUCKY
15) VERMONT 15) SAM HOUSTON ST

NOTES on the BRACKET: Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Kansas, Baylor, and UCLA

Last Four Byes (at large): Arkansas, Iowa State, Dayton, Miami-FL

Last Four IN (at large): TCU, Texas AM, Michigan State, Marquette

First Four OUT (at large): Ohio State, Providence, Illinois, Temple

Next four teams OUT (at large): NC State, Rhode Island, Wake Forest, Ole Miss

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (10): DUKE, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisville, Florida State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Miami-FL

Big 10 (8): PURDUE, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan State

Big 12 (6): KANSAS, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, TCU

Big East (6): VILLANOVA, Creighton, Xavier, Butler, Seton Hall, Marquette

SEC (5): KENTUCKY, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas AM

Pac 12 (4): UCLA, Arizona, Oregon, USC

American (2): CINCINNATI, SMU

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Atlantic 10 (2): VCU, Dayton

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Monmouth (MAAC), Middle Tennessee State (C-USA), UT-Arlington(SBELT), Yale (IVY), Eastern Washington (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Sam Houston St (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Tennessee State (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Winthrop (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Loyola-MD (PAT), LIU-Brooklyn (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)