Bracketology: Wichita State punches its ticket

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Wichita State took care of business Sunday in St. Louis, locking up the Missouri Valley’s automatic bid, and with it, a ticket to the Big Dance.  Winners of 15 straight, the Shockers enter the 2017 tournament on quite a roll.  Advanced metric models like their profile more than the RPI.  We’ll know more about how the Selection Committee views them when seeding is revealed on Sunday.  Regardless of where they fall, the Shockers will be a dangerous opponent.

Meanwhile, Illinois State begins a long, arduous wait.  The Redbirds’ body of work is complete.  All they can do is watch what unfolds in the Big 12, Big Ten, Atlantic 10, SEC, and even the Pac-12.  They’ll be rooting for league favorites to advance.

UPDATED:  March 6, 2017

Note: Now that conference tournaments have begun, teams in ALL CAPS will represent automatic bids as they are earned.

Regarding bracketing principles, can read them for yourself at 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)

  • Illinois State vs. USC | South Region
  • Vanderbilt vs. Xavier Midwest Region
  • Mount St. Mary’s vs. New Orleans | East Region
  • JACKSONVILLE STATE vs. NC Central | Midwest Region


MIDWEST – Kansas City                      EAST New York
Tulsa Buffalo
1) Kansas 1) Villanova
16) North Dakota 16)  Mt St. Mary’s / New Orleans
8) Michigan 8) Miami
9) Arkansas 9) Northwestern
Milwaukee Orlando
5) Notre Dame 5) West Virginia
12) UT-Arlington 12) UNC-Wilmington
4) Butler 4) Florida
13) Princeton 13) Vermont
Greenville Salt Lake City
6) Wisconsin 6) Iowa State
11) Vanderbilt / Xavier 11) Syracuse
3) Duke 3) Arizona
14) Bucknell 14) Iona
Sacramento Indianapolis
7) Creighton 7) Maryland
2) UCLA 2) Louisville
15) South Dakota 15) Northern Kentucky
WEST – San Jose SOUTH – Memphis
Salt Lake City Greenville
1) Gonzaga 1) North Carolina
16) UC-Irvine 16) JACKSONVILLE ST / NC Central
8) South Carolina 8) Dayton
9) Michigan State 9) Marquette
Buffalo Milwaukee
5) Minnesota 5) Cincinnati
12) Nevada 12) USC / Illinois State
4) Virginia 4) Purdue
13) Akron 13) WINTHROP
Orlando Tulsa
6) SMU 6) Saint Mary’s
11) Mid Tennessee State 11) Wake Forest
3) Florida State 3) Baylor
14) UNC-Greensboro 14) FLA GULF COAST
Sacramento Indianapolis
7) Oklahoma State 7) Virginia Tech
10) Seton Hall 10) Providence
2) Oregon 2) Kentucky
15) CSU-Bakersfield 15) Texas-Southern

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

Last Four Byes (at large): Providence, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Wake Forest

Last Four IN (at large): Vanderbilt, Xavier, USC, Illinois State

First Four OUT (at large): Kansas State, Rhode Island, Iowa, Illinois

Next four teams OUT (at large): Houston, Georgia, Ole Miss, California

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (10): NORTH CAROLINA, Louisville, Duke, Florida State, Virginia, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Miami-FL, Syracuse, Wake Forest

Big 10 (7): PURDUE, Minnesota, Maryland, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State

Big East (7): VILLANOVA, Butler, Creighton, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, Xavier

Big 12 (5): KANSAS, Baylor, West Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma State

SEC (5): FLORIDA, Kentucky, South Carolina, Arkansas, Vanderbilt

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

Atlantic 10 (2): DAYTON, VCU

American (2): SMU, Cincinnati

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Missouri Valley (2): WICHITA STATE, Illinois State

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Iona (MAAC), Middle Tennessee State (C-USA), UT-Arlington (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), North Dakota (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), New Orleans (SLND), UNC-Greensboro (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), FLORIDA GULF COAST (ASUN), JACKSONVILLE STATE (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), WINTHROP (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), South Dakota (SUM), CSU-Bakersfield (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Mount St. Mary’s (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)