Bracketology: Kansas moves up, bubble tightens

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Kansas moves into the Midwest Region courtesy of the Jayhawks’ win over Kansas State and Xavier’s loss to Providence.  The Musketeers remain the fourth No. 1 seed this morning, shifting to the West Region.  Close behind, now, is North Carolina, which beat Duke for a second time. If the Tar Heels beat Virginia in the ACC title game, they could find themselves as a No. 1 seed come Sunday morning.

Elsewhere, the bubble has tightened thanks to some upsets – particularly in the Mountain West.  Nevada is a likely at-large candidate, meaning their loss to San Diego State opens the door for SDSU or New Mexico to grab a seat, courtesy of the league’s automatic bid.  That’s bad news for teams along the cutline.

We still have more questions than answers, but as of this morning, Arizona State slides into the First Four and hopes to hang on.  If the Committee considers the non-conference season as important as the conference season, it’s hard to ignore ASU’s wins over Kansas, Xavier, and Kansas State (not to mention San Diego State and St. John’s).

The reality, however, hasn’t really changed.   There are eight or nine teams for what amounts to two or three spots.  The Committee has its hands full.  And that number could still shrink.  Memphis is alive in the American and Davidson, in particular, is threat in the Atlantic 10.  In other words, until today’s games are complete, we’re still in a holding pattern.

The latest …

UPDATED: March 10, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Oklahoma vs. USC | East Region
  • Arizona State vs. Saint Mary’s South Region
  • SE Louisiana vs. LIU-BROOKLYN | East Region
  • Hampton vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | South Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

SOUTH Atlanta    EAST – Boston           
Charlotte Pittsburgh
1) Virginia 1) Villanova
16) Hampton / Ark-PB 16) SE La / LIU-BROOKLYN
8) Providence 8) Rhode Island
9) Nevada 9) Kansas State
San Diego San Diego
5) Florida 5) Clemson
12) Western Kentucky 12) MURRAY STATE
4) West Virginia 4) Arizona
13) Louisiana 13) Vermont
Nashville Dallas
6) Miami-FL 6) Houston
11) Arizona St / Saint Mary’s 11) Oklahoma / USC
3) Auburn 3) Tennessee
14) CHARLESTON 14) BUCKNELL
Detroit Detroit
7) TCU 7) Seton Hall
10) Butler 10) NC State
2) Cincinnati 2) Purdue
15) WRIGHT STATE 15) LIPSCOMB
WEST – Los Angeles MIDWEST – Omaha
Pittsburgh Wichita
1) Xavier 1) Kansas
16) RADFORD 16) Harvard
8) Virginia Tech 8) St. Bonaventure
9) Alabama 9) Florida State
Boise Boise
5) Texas Tech 5) Ohio State
12) New Mexico State 12) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
4) GONZAGA 4) Wichita State
13) UNC-GREENSBORO 13) Buffalo
Dallas Wichita
6) Kentucky 6) Arkansas
11) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 11) Texas
3) MICHIGAN 3) Michigan State
14) New Mexico 14) Montana
Charlotte Nashville
7) Missouri 7) Texas AM
10) Creighton 10) UCLA
2) North Carolina 2) Duke
15) UC-Irvine 15) IONA

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

Last Four Byes (at large): Butler, Creighton, UCLA, Texas

Last Four IN (at large): USC, Oklahoma, Arizona State, Saint Mary’s

First Four OUT (at large): Louisville, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Baylor

Next four teams OUT (at large): Middle Tennessee, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Penn State

Breakdown by Conference …

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

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

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

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

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

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

American (3): Cincinnati, Wichita State, Houston

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

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s

Mountain West (2): New Mexico, Nevada

ONE BID LEAGUES: LOYOLA-CHI (MVC), IONA (MAAC), Western Kentucky (C-USA), Louisiana (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Montana (BSKY), WRIGHT STATE (HORIZON), SE Louisiana (SLND), UNC-GREENSBORO (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), LIPSCOMB(ASUN), MURRAY STATE (OVC), CHARLESTON (CAA), RADFORD (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), SOUTH DAKOTA ST (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), BUCKNELL (PAT), LIU-BROOKLYN (NEC), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (SWAC)