Bracketology: UNC looks to lock up No. 1 Seed

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North Carolina takes to the court in Brooklyn with its eye on the No. 1 seed in the South Region.  As we advance on Selection Sunday, Kansas and Villanova look like locks for the top line, and Gonzaga did what it had to do by winning the West Coast Conference tournament.

Elsewhere, the waiting begins for Syracuse and Wake Forest, who exited the ACC tournament yesterday.  The Orange, in particular, have taken us into unchartered territory in terms of at-large selection.  They may yet end up in the final bracket, but it could well depend upon what happens today and Friday.

UPDATED:  March 9, 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 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)

  • Illinois State vs. Wake Forest | South Region
  • Kansas State vs. Xavier Midwest Region
  • SOUTH DAKOTA ST vs. New Orleans | Midwest Region
  • MOUNT ST. MARY’S vs. NC Central | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWEST – Kansas City EAST New York                              
Tulsa Buffalo
1) Kansas 1) Villanova
16) SO DAKOTA ST / New Orleans 16)  MT ST. MARY’S / NC Central
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) Kansas State / Xavier 11) Vanderbilt
3) Duke 3) Arizona
14) Akron 14) IONA
Sacramento Indianapolis
7) Saint Mary’s 7) Creighton
10) WICHITA STATE 10) VCU
2) UCLA 2) Louisville
15) UC-Irvine 15) NORTHERN KENTUCKY
WEST – San Jose SOUTH – Memphis
Salt Lake City Greenville
1) GONZAGA 1) North Carolina
16) North Dakota 16) JACKSONVILLE STATE
8) South Carolina 8) Dayton
9) Michigan State 9) Marquette
Buffalo Milwaukee
5) Minnesota 5) Cincinnati
12) Nevada 12) Wake Forest / Illinois State
4) Virginia 4) Purdue
13) BUCKNELL 13) EAST TENNESSEE ST
Orlando Tulsa
6) SMU 6) Maryland
11) Mid Tennessee State 11) USC
3) Florida State 3) Baylor
14) WINTHROP 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, USC, Vanderbilt

Last Four IN (at large): Xavier, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Illinois State

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

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

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): NORTH CAROLINA, Louisville, Duke, Florida State, Virginia, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Miami-FL, 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 (6): KANSAS, Baylor, West Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Kansas 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), EAST TENNESSEE STATE (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Akron (MAC), FLORIDA GULF COAST (ASUN), JACKSONVILLE STATE (OVC), UNC-WILMINGTON (CAA), WINTHROP (BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (SUM), CSU-Bakersfield (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), BUCKNELL (PAT), MOUNT ST. MARY’S (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)