Bracketology: Final predictions are in and Syracuse, Illinois State won’t be happy

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It’s almost time to being the Madness.  Here’s one final look at our projected NCAA Tournament Bracket.

UPDATED: March 12, 2017 | 4:30 p.m. (ET)

Note: 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)

  • Wake Forest vs. USC | South Region
  • Providence vs. Kansas State | East Region
  • UC DAVIS vs. Texas State | Midwest Region
  • NEW ORLEANS vs. NC CENTRAL | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EAST New York MIDWEST Kansas City
Buffalo Tulsa
1) VILLANOVA 1) Kansas
16) NC CENTRAL / MT ST. MARY’S 16) UC-DAVIS / NEW ORLEANS
8) Miami 8) South Carolina
9) Dayton 9) VCU
Orlando Milwaukee
5) IOWA STATE 5) Virginia
12) UNC-WILMINGTON 12) VERMONT
4) Florida 4) Butler
13) EAST TENNESSEE ST 13) PRINCETON
Indianapolis Sacramento
6) Wisconsin 6) SMU
11) Kansas St / Providence 11) MID TENNESSEE ST
3) Louisville 3) UCLA
14) IONA 14) NEW MEXICO ST
Sacramento Greenville
7) Saint Mary’s 7) Maryland
10) Michigan State 10) Marquette
2) Oregon 2) DUKE
15) TEXAS-SOUTHERN 15) JACKSONVILLE ST
WEST – San Jose SOUTH – Memphis
Salt Lake City Greenville
1) GONZAGA 1) North Carolina
16) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 16) TROY
8) Northwestern 8) Arkansas
9) Oklahoma State 9) Seton Hall
Milwaukee Buffalo
5) Cincinnati 5) Purdue
12) NEVADA 12) Wake Forest / USC
4) Notre Dame 4) West Virginia
13) WINTHROP 13) BUCKNELL
Tulsa Orlando
6) Michigan 6) Minnesota
11) Xavier 11) RHODE ISLAND
3) Baylor 3) Florida State
14) FLA GULF COAST 14) KENT STATE
Salt Lake City Indianapolis
7) Virginia Tech 7) Creighton
10) Vanderbilt 10) WICHITA STATE
2) ARIZONA 2) KENTUCKY
15) NORTH DAKOTA 15) NORTHERN KENTUCKY

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

Last Four Byes (at large): Marquette, Vanderbilt, Michigan State, Xavier

Last Four IN (at large): Providence, Kansas State, Wake Forest, USC

First Four OUT (at large): Illinois State, Syracuse, California, Iowa

Next four teams OUT (at large): Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, Alabama

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (9): DUKE, North Carolina, Louisville, Florida State, Virginia, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Miami-FL, Wake Forest

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

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

Big 12 (6): IOWA STATE, Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Kansas State

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

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

Atlantic 10 (2): RHODE ISLAND, Dayton, VCU

American (2): SMU, Cincinnati

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Missouri Valley (2): WICHITA STATE

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

ONE BID LEAGUES: IONA (MAAC), MIDDLE TENNESSE STATE (C-USA), TROY (SBELT), PRINCETON (IVY), NORTH DAKOTA (BSKY), NORTHERN KENTUCKY (HORIZON), NEW OLEANS (SLND), EAST TENNESSEE STATE (STHN), UC-DAVIS (BWEST), KENT STATE (MAC), FLORIDA GULF COAST (ASUN), JACKSONVILLE STATE (OVC), UNC-WILMINGTON (CAA), WINTHROP (BSO), NC-CENTRAL (MEAC), SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (SUM), NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC), VERMONT(AEAST), BUCKNELL (PAT), MOUNT ST. MARY’S (NEC), TEXAS-SOUTHERN (SWAC)