Bracketology: Mayhem strikes early in Louisville

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For all of its magical moments, March can be agonizingly brutal. Just ask the Louisville Cardinals, who suffered a devastating loss to Virginia Thursday night following what can only be described as an unimaginable turn of events in the game’s final seconds.  It was March at its most maddening.

And yet, the Cardinals season is far from over.  They still have a trip to NC State this weekend and the ACC tournament next week.  Can they recover?  That’s a question only the Cardinals can answer.

Elsewhere, it’s an equally big weekend for a handful of other bubble teams vying for those final coveted spots in the Field of 68.  Here’s a peek at where we stand this morning …

UPDATED: March 2, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Kansas State vs. Washington | South Region
  • Baylor vs. UCLA South Region
  • Savannah State vs. Tx-Southern | South Region
  • Nicholls vs. UC-Irvine | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION

SOUTH Atlanta    EAST – Boston                                 
Charlotte Pittsburgh
1) Virginia 1) Villanova
16) Savannah St / Tx-Southern 16) Nicholls / UC-Irvine
8) Seton Hall 8) TCU
9) Arizona State 9) Florida State
Boise San Diego
5) Ohio State 5) Kentucky
12) Baylor / UCLA 12) Louisiana
4) West Virginia 4) Texas Tech
13) Murray State 13) Vermont
Nashville Dallas
6) Rhode Island 6) Arkansas
11) Kansas St / Washington 11) USC
3) Auburn 3) Cincinnati
14) Charleston 14) Rider
Detroit Nashville
7) Miami-FL 7) Texas AM
10) Providence 10) Butler
2) Purdue 2) North Carolina
15) Northern Kentucky 15) UNC-Asheville
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Wichita Pittsburgh
1) Kansas 1) Xavier
16) FL Gulf Coast 16) Pennsylvania
8) Creighton 8) Missouri
9) St. Bonaventure 9) NC State
San Diego Boise
5) Arizona 5) Michigan
12) Alabama 12) New Mexico St
4) Clemson 4) Gonzaga
13) Buffalo 13) South Dakota St
Dallas Wichita
6) Florida 6) Houston
11) Saint Mary’s 11) Loyola (CHI)
3) Wichita State 3) Tennessee
14) UNC-Greensboro 14) Bucknell
Detroit Charlotte
7) Virginia Tech 7) Nevada
10) Oklahoma 10) Middle Tennessee
2) Michigan State 2) Duke
15) Montana 15) Wagner

NOTES on the BRACKET: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Villanova, Xavier, and Kansas

Last Four Byes (at large): Providence, USC, Saint Mary’s, Alabama

Last Four IN (at large): Kansas State, Washington, Baylor, UCLA

First Four OUT (at large): Texas, Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette

Next four teams OUT (at large): Mississippi State, Nebraska, Utah, Boise State

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, Miami-FL, Virginia Tech, Florida State, NC State

SEC (8): Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, Texas AM, Missouri, Alabama

BIG 12 (7): Kansas, West Virginia, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Baylor

Big East (6): Villanova, Xavier, Creighton, Seton Hall, Butler, Providence

Pac 12 (5): Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Washington, UCLA

Big 10 (4): Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan

American (3): Cincinnati, Wichita State, Houston

Atlantic 10 (2): Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

Mountain West (1): Nevada

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Louisiana (SBELT), Pennsylvania (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Nicholls (SLND), UNC-Greensboro (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Murray State (OVC), Charleston (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Savannah State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com.