Kansas, Kentucky headline preseason NCAA tournament bracket projection

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A new college basketball season is upon us, which means another journey toward Selection Sunday and March Madness.  With that in mind, we offer up our annual preseason bracket projection, an exercise that is most certainly more art than science.

What we think we know is that Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, and Gonzaga are among a handful of teams that figure to be in the conversation for No. 1 seeds.  Another strong group includes such names as North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and, yes, even Villanova. And then there’s Nevada, a hungry and hearty Wolfpack with their own Final Four aspirations.

One thing’s for certain, the bracket will look a lot different come March.  That’s the beauty of college hoops.  Enjoy the ride!

BRACKET PROJECTION

UPDATED: October 29, 2018

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
MIDWEST REGION Houston vs. Texas
SOUTH REGION Xavier vs. San Diego State
WEST REGION Sacramento St. vs. St. Francis (PA)
SOUTH REGION Radford vs. Beth-Cookman

MIDWEST Kansas City                 SOUTH – Louisville
Tulsa Columbus
1) KANSAS 1) KENTUCKY
16) HARTFORD  16) RADFORD vs. BETH-COOKMAN
8) Purdue 8) CINCINNATI
9) Providence 9) Maryland
Des Moines Tulsa
5) Washington 5) Florida State
12) Houston / Texas 12) Xavier / San Diego St
4) Virginia Tech 4) Kansas State
13) UNC-Greensboro 13) NORTHEASTERN
Jacksonville Columbus
6) UCLA 6) LSU
11) Minnesota 11) WESTERN KENTUCKY
3) Auburn 3) MICHIGAN STATE
14) NEW MEXICO ST 14) JACKSONVILLE ST
Hartford Columbia
7) TCU 7) St. John’s
10) SAINT LOUIS 10) USC
2) Virginia 2) North Carolina
15) NO. KENTUCKY 15) GEORGIA STATE
WEST – Anaheim EAST – Washington, DC
Salt Lake City Columbia
1) GONZAGA 1) DUKE
16) SAC ST / ST. FRANCIS 16) LEHIGH
8) UCF 8) Indiana
9) Nebraska 9) Alabama
Des Moines Salt Lake City
5) Michigan 5) West Virginia
12) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 12) LOYOLA (CHI)
4) Syracuse 4) Mississippi State
13) MONTANA 13) HARVARD
San Jose Hartford
6) Marquette 6) Wisconsin
11) Iowa State 11) BUFFALO
3) OREGON 3) VILLANOVA
14) UC-IRVINE 14) RIDER
San Jose Jacksonville
7) Florida 7) Clemson
10) NC State 10) Saint Joseph’s
2) NEVADA 2) Tennessee
15) S.F. AUSTIN 15) LIPSCOMB

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
Saint Joseph’s Houston Notre Dame Texas Tech
NC State Texas Arizona Louisville
Iowa State Xavier BYU Butler
Minnesota San Diego State Vanderbilt Arizona State

TOP SEED LINE: Kansas is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Kentucky, Duke, and Gonzaga.

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Clemson, NC State

Big 10 (8): Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Minnesota

SEC (7): Kentucky, Tennessee, Auburn, Mississippi State, LSU, Florida, Alabama

BIG 12 (6): Kansas, Kansas State, West Virginia, TCU, Iowa State, Texas

Big East (5): Villanova, Marquette, St. John’s, Providence, Xavier

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

American (3): Cincinnati, UCF, Houston

Atlantic 10 (2): Saint Louis, Saint Joseph’s

Mountain West (2): Nevada, San Diego State

West Coast (1): Gonzaga

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Western Kentucky (C-USA), Georgia State (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Stephen F. Austin (SLND), UNC-Greensboro (STHN), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Lipscomb (ASUN), Jacksonville State (OVC), Northeastern (CAA), Radford (BSO), Bethune-Cookman (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Hartford (AEAST), Lehigh (PAT), St. Francis-PA (NEC), Grambling State (SWAC)