Bracketology: Kansas shows its mettle

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As the race for top seeds continue, Kansas showed its mettle in recent days – backing up road win at Kentucky with a home victory last night against Big 12 rival Baylor.  That’s a strong two-game parlay, and keeps KU firmly entrenched as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region in today’s bracket update.  By a slim margin, Villanova holds the overall No. 1 seed position.  Baylor and unbeaten Gonzaga also reside on the top line.

The Bubble

This year’s large collection of bubble teams remains quite fluid.  It’s also about 30-teams deep as we begin the February push.  How long will teams be able to circumvent poor road records and sub-.500 league records?  It’s a valid and good question.  The answer is truly the great unknown.  Teams do not play in vacuum.  We’ll see how the landscape looks next week and next month.

UPDATED: February 2, 2017

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.

RELATED: The latest Bubble Banter

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Tennessee vs. TCU | Midwest Region
  • California vs. Kansas State South Region
  • WEBER STATE vs. UC-DAVIS | Midwest Region
  • MT. ST. MARY’S vs. NC CENTRAL | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EAST New York            MIDWEST – Kansas City             
Buffalo Tulsa
1) VILLANOVA 1) KANSAS
16) NC-CENTRAL / M.S. MARY’S 16) WEBER ST / UC-DAVIS
8) Dayton 8) Virginia Tech
9) ILLINOIS STATE 9) VCU
Milwaukee Sacramento
5) CINCINNATI 5) Purdue
12) AKRON 12) TCU / Tennessee
4) MARYLAND 4) Oregon
13) MONMOUTH 13) NEVADA
Buffalo Orlando
6) Notre Dame 6) Florida
11) NC-WILMINGTON 11) Minnesota
3) West Virginia 3) Florida State
14) E. TENNESSEE ST 14) BELMONT
Greenville Indianapolis
7) Northwestern 7) USC
10) Marquette 10) Georgia Tech
2) NORTH CAROLINA 2) KENTUCKY
15) BUCKNELL 15) PRINCETON
WEST – San Jose SOUTH – Memphis
Salt Lake City Tulsa
1) GONZAGA 1) Baylor
16) TX-SOUTHERN 16) SAM HOUSTON ST
8) Michigan State 8) MID TENNESSEE ST
9) Iowa State 9) Arkansas
Orlando Milwaukee
5) Butler 5) Duke
12) VALPARAISO 12) California / Kansas St
4) Wisconsin 4) Creighton
13) NEW MEXICO ST 13) VERMONT
Greenville Sacramento
6) South Carolina 6) Saint Mary’s
11) Oklahoma State 11) Clemson
3) Virginia 3) UCLA
14) FLA GULF COAST 14) ARKANSAS ST
Salt Lake City Indianapolis
7) Xavier 7) SMU
10) Indiana 10) Michigan
2) ARIZONA 2) Louisville
15) NORTH DAKOTA ST 15) WINTHROP

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

Last Four Byes (at large): Marquette, Minnesota, Clemson, Oklahoma State

Last Four IN (at large): California, Tennessee, TCU, Kansas State

First Four OUT (at large): Seton Hall, Miami-FL, Wichita State, Georgetown

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

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): NORTH CAROLINA, Louisville, Florida State, Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Clemson

Big 10 (8): MARYLAND, Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota

Big 12 (7): KANSAS, Baylor, West Virginia, Iowa State, TCU, Kansas State, Oklahoma State

Big East (5): VILLANOVA, Creighton, Butler, Xavier, Marquette

SEC (5): KENTUCKY, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee

Pac 12 (5): ARIZONA, UCLA, Oregon, USC, California

Atlantic 10 (2): VCU, Dayton

American (2): CINCINNATI, SMU

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Missouri Valley (1): ILLINOIS STATE

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Monmouth (MAAC), Middle Tennessee State (C-USA), Arkansas State (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Weber State (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Sam Houston State (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Davis (BWEST), Akron (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Winthrop (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), North Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Mt. St. Mary’s (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)