Bracketology

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Bracketology: Carolina, Kentucky move up

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We begin a new week with two new No. 1 seeds … North Carolina and Kentucky.  The Tar Heels arrive after completing a season sweep of Duke.  The Wildcats arrive after beating Florida and having Tennessee fall at Auburn.

The Blue Devils and Volunteers are next on the Seed List and could move back up with strong tourney showings.  Keep an eye, too, on Michigan State.  The Spartans beat Michigan a second time and winning the Big Ten tournament would put them in the conversation for a one seed.

Along the bubble, a few early-round tournament games might well end up being de-facto elimination games, especially in the ACC, Big East, and Big 10.  The cutline is a very unsettled landscape and it’s likely to change several times between now and Sunday.

Then we have teams like Belmont and Furman, both of whom must sit, wait, and watch.  It’s going to be a long week.

UPDATED: March 11, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
MIDWEST REGION Creighton vs. UNC-Greensboro
SOUTH REGION Ohio State vs. Clemson
EAST REGION Iona vs. Norfolk State
WEST REGION Prairie View vs. St. Francis (PA)

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON


EAST Washington, DC         WEST – Anaheim      
Columbia Salt Lake City
1) Virginia 1) Gonzaga
16) Iona / St. Francis (PA) 16) Prairie View / Norfolk St
8) Ole Miss 8) Iowa
9) VCU 9) Baylor
San Jose Hartford
5) Maryland 5) Mississippi State
12) LIBERTY 12) Creighton / NC-Greensboro
4) Kansas State 4) Florida State
13) New Mexico State 13) Vermont
Des Moines Tulsa
6) Cincinnati 6) Nevada
11) Arizona State 11) St. John’s
3) Michigan 3) Texas Tech
14) Hofstra 14) Harvard
Jacksonville Des Moines
7) Louisville 7) Wofford
10) Utah State 10) Syracuse
2) LSU 2) Michigan State
15) Colgate 15) BRADLEY
MIDWEST – Kansas City SOUTH – Louisville
Columbus Columbia
1) Kentucky 1) North Carolina
16) Omaha 16) Sam Houston State
8) Oklahoma 8) UCF
9) Seton Hall 9) Washington
Hartford San Jose
5) Virginia Tech 5) Marquette
12) MURRAY STATE 12) Ohio State / Clemson
4) Wisconsin 4) Kansas
13) Old Dominion 13) UC-Irvine
Salt Lake City Tulsa
6) Auburn 6) Villanova
11) Indiana 11) TCU
3) Houston 3) Purdue
14) Montana 14) Georgia State
Jacksonville Columbus
7) Iowa State 7) Buffalo
10) Minnesota 10) Temple
2) Duke 2) Tennessee
15) Wright State 15) GARDNER-WEBB

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
TCU Ohio State NC State Florida
St. John’s Creighton Georgetown Alabama
Arizona State UNC-Greensboro Belmont Texas
Indiana Clemson Furman Xavier

TOP SEED LINE: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Gonzaga, North Carolina, and Kentucky

Breakdown by Conference …

Big 10 (9): MICHIGAN STATE, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio State

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

BIG 12 (7): TEXAS TECH, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU

SEC (6): LSU, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Auburn, Ole Miss

Big East (5): VILLANOVA, Marquette, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Creighton

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, UCF, Temple

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (2): WOFFORD, UNC-Greensboro

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: BRADLEY (MVC), Iona (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Wright State (HORIZON), Sam Houston State (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), LIBERTY (ASUN), MURRAY STATE (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), GARDNER-WEBB (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), Omaha (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Colgate (PAT), St. Francis (PA) (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

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

CBT Bracketology: Xavier climbs to the top line

AP Photo/John Minchillo
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It’s almost March and the No. 1 seed lines remain an open book.  Kansas is best positioned to retain its slot on the top line, assuming the Jayhawks avoid a cluster of losses.  The remaining spots are more open for debate. Xavier is the latest newcomer – following Wednesday’s victory over Villanova.  Quietly, the Musketeers have compiled a resume worthy of top-seed consideration.  Keeping a spot won’t be easy, however.  North Carolina continues to push, as does a surging Michigan State team that is finally healthy.  Today, Oklahoma and Villanova hold the other No. 1 seed positions.

As it looks right now, a group of teams from the Atlantic 10 could have a lot at stake in the next two weeks.  Dayton is strongest positioned, and most likely safe, even as the Flyers teeter a little.  The next four – Saint Joseph’s, VCU, St. Bonaventure, and George Washington – all have various tasks remaining.  Although St. Joe’s is the final No. 7 seed today, the difference between the Hawks and VCU and St. Bonaventure (among the First Four OUT) is not nearly as deep as it appears.  In fact, it’s rather small –  which serves as a good illustration of where we stand in the middle and lower-end of the bracket.  To varying degrees, teams on seed lines 7-12 all have work remaining.

Consider Providence.  After losing five of six games and six of their past eight, the Friars find themselves among the last four teams with a bye (meaning just above the First Four).  Their last three games should be manageable, but their margin for error is fading – fast.

It could really get interesting if we have a few “upsets” during Championship Week.  How will the cutline look if a few teams like Little Rock, Monmouth, San Diego State, Valparaiso and even Hawaii or Chattanooga lose in the the championship games of their conference tournaments?  What if Gonzaga wins the West Coast tourney? Has Saint Mary’s done enough?  And what if an upstart – say a team like Mississippi State in the SEC – goes on a hot streak for three days?  Stay tuned.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 26, 2016

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. In the event of a tie in the loss column, RPI is first tiebreaker. Notes: To simulate actual bracket conditions, we’ve used current conference leaders to receive the automatic bid. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (ex: UCLA)

Several new bracketing principles were introduced a couple of years ago. You 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)

  • Cincinnati vs. Alabama | Midwest Region
  • Vanderbilt vs. Tulsa | South Region
  • BUCKNELL vs. WAGNER | West Region
  • HAMPTON vs. TEXAS-SOUTHERN | Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWEST – Chicago  WEST – Anaheim                                 
Des Moines Oklahoma City
1) KANSAS 1) Oklahoma
16) TX-SOUTHERN / HAMPTON 16) BUCKNELL / WAGNER
8) USC 8) Seton Hall
9) Pittsburgh 9) Oregon State
Oklahoma City Spokane
5) INDIANA 5) Baylor
12) MONMOUTH 12) SAN DIEGO ST
4) KENTUCKY 4) Utah
13) CHATTANOOGA 13) HAWAII
Spokane Des Moines
6) Purdue 6) California
11) Cincinnati / Alabama 11) LITTLE ROCK
3) OREGON 3) Iowa
14) S.F. AUSTIN 14) UAB
Brooklyn Raleigh
7) Texas Tech 7) Saint Joseph’s
10) Michigan 10) Providence
2) Miami-FL 2) Virginia
15) MONTANA 15) NEW MEXICO ST
SOUTH – Louisville        EAST – Philadelphia
St. Louis Brooklyn
1) Xavier 1) VILLANOVA
16) NORTH FLORIDA 16) WINTHROP
8) Wisconsin 8) Syracuse
9) Colorado 9) WICHITA STATE
Denver Denver
5) Duke 5) Texas
12) VALPARAISO 12) TEMPLE
4) Iowa State 4) Arizona
13) AKRON 13) STONY BROOK
Providence Providence
6) Texas A&M 6) Notre Dame
11) Vanderbilt / Tulsa 11) SAINT MARY’S
3) Maryland 3) West Virginia
14) HOFSTRA 14) PRINCETON
Raleigh St. Louis
7) DAYTON 7) South Carolina
10) Florida 10) Connecticut
2) NORTH CAROLINA 2) Michigan State
15) BELMONT 15) IPFW

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kansas is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Oklahoma, Villanova, and Xavier.  Next in line: North Carolina, Michigan State, Virginia, Miami-FL

Last Four Byes (at large): Providence, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan

Last Four IN (at large): Vanderbilt, Alabama, Cincinnati, Tulsa

First Four OUT (at large): VCU, St. Bonaventure, Butler, George Washington

Next four teams OUT (at large): Gonzaga, Washington, BYU, UCLA

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (7): NORTH CAROLINA, Virginia, Miami-FL, Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pittsburgh

Pac 12 (7): OREGON, Utah, Arizona, California, USC, Colorado, Oregon State

Big 12 (7): KANSAS, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech

Big 10 (7): INDIANA, Michigan State, Maryland, Iowa, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan

SEC (6): KENTUCKY, Texas AM, South Carolina, Florida, Vanderbilt, Alabama

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence

American (4): TEMPLE, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Tulsa

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

West Coast (1): SAINT MARY’S

Mountain West (1): SAN DIEGO STATE

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: Monmouth (MAAC), UAB (C-USA), Ark-Little Rock (SBELT), Princeton (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Stephen F. Austin (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), Hawaii (BWEST), Akron (MAC), North Florida (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Winthrop (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), IPFW (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)

CBT Bracketology: Merry-go-round bubble continues

AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
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Apparently, there’s a fascination with this year’s carrousel, otherwise known as the NCAA tournament bubble.  Teams grab a seat, take a couple of spins on an open seed line, and then return to the ticket booth to purchase another ride.  While that is all well and good at the moment, the Selection Committee will remove a few seats come Selection Sunday.  By rule, the final trip through March Madness can only have 68 seats.

Looking at today’s hopefuls, we find about 30 teams whose seats are uncertain.  Their goal is to work themselves toward the front of the line, to provide a little breathing room if an unexpected rider (automatic qualifier) arrives.  No one wants to be the first team outside the gate when the Madness begins.

Enjoy your weekend of hoops.  Our next update arrives on Monday.

UPDATED: February 19, 2016

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. In the event of a tie in the loss column, RPI is first tiebreaker. Notes: To simulate actual bracket conditions, we’ve used current conference leaders to receive the automatic bid. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (ex: UCLA)

Several new bracketing principles were introduced a couple of years ago. You 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)

  • Oregon State vs. LSU | East Region
  • Texas Tech vs. Butler | West Region
  • BUCKNELL vs. WAGNER | East Region
  • HAMPTON vs. TEXAS-SOUTHERN | Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWEST – Chicago EAST – Philadelphia                                
Des Moines Brooklyn
1) KANSAS 1) VILLANOVA
16) TX-SOUTHERN / HAMPTON 16) BUCKNELL / WAGNER
8) Providence 8) Pittsburgh
9) Florida 9) Alabama
Spokane Denver
5) Utah 5) Texas
12) CHATTANOOGA 12) ARK-LITTLE ROCK
4) Purdue 4) KENTUCKY
13) AKRON 13) STONY BROOK
Providence Brooklyn
6) Baylor 6) Indiana
11) MONMOUTH 11) Oregon State / LSU
3) MIAMI-FL 3) West Virginia
14) NC-WILMINGTON 14) YALE
Des Moines Raleigh
7) USC 7) Connecticut
10) GONZAGA 10) Wisconsin
2) IOWA 2) North Carolina
15) SOUTH DAKOTA ST 15) NC-ASHEVILLE
WEST – Anaheim SOUTH – Louisville
Oklahoma City Raleigh
1) Oklahoma 1) Virginia
16) MONTANA 16) NORTH FLORIDA
8) Saint Joseph’s 8) South Carolina
9) Seton Hall 9) Colorado
Denver Oklahoma City
5) Duke 5) DAYTON
12) SAN DIEGO STATE 12) TEMPLE
4) Arizona 4) Iowa State
13) HAWAII 13) VALPARAISO
Providence Spokane
6) Notre Dame 6) Texas A&M
11) Texas Tech / Butler 11) WICHITA STATE
3) Maryland 3) OREGON
14) UAB 14) S.F. AUSTIN
St. Louis St. Louis
7) California 7) Syracuse
10) Michigan 10) VCU
2) Xavier 2) Michigan State
15) NEW MEXICO ST 15) BELMONT

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kansas is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Villanova, Virginia, and Oklahoma.  Next in line: Xavier, North Carolina, Michigan State, Iowa

Last Four Byes (at large): Alabama, Wisconsin, Michigan, VCU

Last Four IN (at large): Texas Tech, Oregon State, LSU, Butler

First Four OUT (at large): Tulsa, Cincinnati, Saint Mary’s, George Washington

Next four teams OUT (at large): Clemson, Florida State, St. Bonaventure, Washington

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (7): MIAMI-FL, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pittsburgh

Pac 12 (7): OREGON, Arizona, Utah, USC, California, Colorado, Oregon State

Big 12 (7): KANSAS, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech

Big 10 (7): IOWA, Michigan State, Maryland, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan

Big East (5): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Providence, Seton Hall, Butler

SEC (6): KENTUCKY, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, LSU

Atlantic 10 (3): DAYTON, Saint Joseph’s, VCU

American (2): TEMPLE, Connecticut

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

Mountain West (1): SAN DIEGO STATE

Missouri Valley (1): WICHITA STATE

ONE BID LEAGUES: Monmouth (MAAC), UAB (C-USA), Ark-Little Rock (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Valparaiso (HORIZON), Stephen F. Austin (SLND), Chattanooga (STHN), Hawaii (BWEST), Akron (MAC), North Florida (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Hampton (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Stony Brook (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)

Bracketology: Wisconsin moves to top line

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Here’s the Selection Sunday morning update:

Wisconsin moves into the final No. 1 seed position in the West Region.  The Badgers may need to win the B10 title today to hold it; it’s likely the Selection Committee is building at least two or three brackets today.  Beyond the late Big Ten final, Connecticut can still acquire a bid by winning the American Conference title.  That would force the final at-large team “IN” right now, to be bumped out.  The biggest concern for Virginia is the health of Justin Anderson.  He doesn’t appear to be 100-percent, and that could prompt the Committee to reward Wisconsin with the final No. 1 seed.  It’s also possible that UVA takes Duke’s spot as the regular-season ACC champ.  But it’s hard to argue against the Blue Devils’ road wins at Virginia and at Wisconsin.

As for the bubble, the final seven to nine spots are somewhat of a pick’em.  I’ll be going through them again once or twice today; and making a final plan for what happens if Connecticut wins.  Television won’t allow earlier ending times for games, and the Committee will be under the gun today.  The teams that appear most vulnerable among the final at-large teams: Texas, Colorado State, Boise State, Temple and BYU – along with Indiana, Ole Miss, and LSU, if your so inclined- or even Georgia or Davidson.  You get the picture.

We’ll have a final bracket posted later today.  It’s Selection Sunday.  Enjoy the Madness.

UPDATED: March 15, 2015 | 8:30 a.m. (ET)

Note: Now that we’ve reached Championship Week, teams in CAPS represent the AUTOMATIC bid. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc). During conference tournament play, the highest remaining seed will earn the teams auto bid for the bracket until the tournament is completed.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Texas vs. Colorado State | East Region
  • Boise State vs. Temple | Midwest Region
  • LAFAYETTE vs. MANHATTAN | South Region
  • ROBERT MORRIS vs. HAMPTON | Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWESTCleveland EAST Syracuse
Louisville Pittsburgh
1) Kentucky 1) Villanova
16) ROB MORRIS / HAMPTON 16) NORTH FLORIDA
8) Oregon 8) NC State
9) Ohio State 9) Dayton
Seattle Jacksonville
5) West Virginia 5) Arkansas
12) WYOMING 12) WOFFORD
4) Louisville 4) Baylor
13) VALPARAISO 13) HARVARD
Columbus Pittsburgh
6) Butler 6) Georgetown
11) Boise State / Temple 11) Texas / Colorado St
3) Notre Dame 3) Maryland
14) NORTH DAKOTA ST 14) ALBANY
Omaha Charlotte
7) Iowa 7) Utah
10) Georgia 10) Oklahoma State
2) Kansas 2) Virginia
15) BELMONT 15) NORTHEASTERN
WEST – Los Angeles SOUTH – Houston
Charlotte Charlotte
1) Wisconsin 1) Duke
16) COASTAL CAROLINA 16) LAFAYETTE / MANHATTAN
8) St. John’s 8) VCU
9) Cincinnati 9) Purdue
Jacksonville Portland
5) Wichita State 5) Providence
12) BUFFALO 12) S.F. AUSTIN
4) North Carolina 4) NORTHERN IOWA
13) Georgia State 13) NEW MEXICO ST
Columbus Omaha
6) Michigan State 6) SMU
11) Mississippi 11) Indiana
3) Oklahoma 3) IOWA STATE
14) UC-IRVINE 14) EASTERN WASHINGTON
Portland Seattle
7) Xavier 7) San Diego State
10) Davidson 10) LSU
2) ARIZONA 2) GONZAGA
15) TEXAS-SOUTHERN 15) UAB

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Villanova, Duke, Wisconsin. Next in line: Virginia, Arizona, Gonzaga, and Kansas.

Last Five teams in (at large): Indiana, Texas, Colorado State, Boise State, Temple

First Five teams out (at large): BYU, Miami-FL, Texas AM, UCLA, Connecticut

Next five teams out (at large): Tulsa, Old Dominion, Murray State, Illinois, Rhode Island

Breakdown by Conference …

Big 10 (7): Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana

Big 12 (7): Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas

ACC (6): Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State

Big East (6): Villanova, Georgetown, Providence, Butler, Xavier, St. John’s

SEC (5): Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss

Mountain West (4): WYOMING, San Diego State, Colorado State, Boise State

Pac 12 (3): Arizona, Utah, Oregon

Atlantic 10 (3): VCU, Dayton, Davidson

American (3): SMU, Cincinnati, Temple

Missouri Valley (2): NORTHERN IOWA, Wichita State

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: UAB (C-USA), Georgia State (SBELT), HARVARD (IVY), EASTERN WASHINGTON (BSKY), VALPARAISO (HZN), S.F. AUSTIN (SLND), WOFFORD (STHN), UC-IRVINE (BWEST), BUFFALO (MAC), MANHATTAN (MAAC), NORTH FLORIDA (ASUN), BELMONT (OVC), NORTHEASTERN (CAA), COASTAL CAROLINA(BSO), HAMPTON (MEAC), NORTH DAKOTA STATE (SUM), NEW MEXICO ST (WAC), ALBANY (AEAST), LAFAYETTE (PAT), ROBERT MORRIS (NEC), TEXAS-SOUTHERN (SWAC)

Bracketology: Opportunities for Tulsa, UCLA, Atlantic 10

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As the dust settles from Thursday’s bubble carnage, we’re left with two quick takeaways … 1) the final few teams “IN” remained in place, although in a slightly different order; … and 2) at-large opportunities improved for teams like Tulsa and UCLA, along with a couple of teams from the Atlantic 10.

READ MORE: Thursday’s Bubble Banter

Today is a potentially important day for the top of the bracket, too.  Virginia, Duke, Villanova, Wisconsin, and Arizona all take the court in search of a No. 1 seed position on Sunday.  Kentucky is locked in as the No. 1 overall seed, regardless; but spots 2-4 are still undecided.  We have six teams for three spots.

Enjoy another day of hoops; the Madness continues.

UPDATED: March 13, 2015

Note: Now that we’ve reached Championship Week, teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid.  Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).  During conference tournament play, the highest remaining seed will earn the teams auto bid for the bracket until the tournament is completed.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Texas vs. BYU West Region
  • Mississippi vs. Temple West Region
  • LAFAYETTE vs. ROBERT MORRIS East Region
  • MANHATTAN vs. Montana Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWEST – Cleveland                     EAST Syracuse                                  
Louisville Charlotte
1) Kentucky 1) Virginia
16) MANHATTAN / Montana 16) LAFAYETTE / ROB MORRIS
8) Xavier 8) St. John’s
9) NC State 9) Cincinnati
Jacksonville Seattle
5) West Virginia 5) Arkansas
12) WOFFORD 12) Stephen F. Austin
4) Louisville 4) NORTHERN IOWA
13) Central Michigan 13) Yale
Columbus Pittsburgh
6) Providence 6) Georgetown
11) Indiana 11) Oklahoma State
3) Notre Dame 3) Maryland
14) NC-Central 14) NORTHEASTERN
Louisville Omaha
7) San Diego State 7) Iowa
10) LSU 10) Georgia
2) Wisconsin 2) Kansas
15) BELMONT 15) Albany
WEST – Los Angeles SOUTH – Houston                        
Pittsburgh Charlotte
1) Villanova 1) Duke
16) NORTH FLORIDA 16) COASTAL CAROLINA
8) Dayton 8) VCU
9) Oregon 9) Purdue
Jacksonville Portland
5) Wichita State 5) Utah
12) Texas / BYU 12) VALPARAISO
4) North Carolina 4) Baylor
13) Georgia State 13) Louisiana Tech
Columbus Omaha
6) Butler 6) SMU
11) Mississippi / Temple 11) Colorado State
3) Iowa State 3) Oklahoma
14) UC-Davis 14) New Mexico State
Portland Seattle
7) Ohio State 7) Michigan State
10) Boise State 10) Davidson
2) Arizona 2) GONZAGA
15) NORTH DAKOTA ST 15) Texas-Southern

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Virginia, Duke, and Villanova. Next in line: Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga, and Kansas.

Last Five teams in (at large): Indiana, Mississippi, Temple, Texas, BYU

First Five teams out (at large): Miami-FL, Tulsa, UCLA, Richmond, Texas AM

Next five teams out (at large): Rhode Island, Old Dominion, Murray State, Illinois, Stanford

Breakdown by Conference …

Big 10 (7): Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana

Big 12 (7): Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas

ACC (6): Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State

Big East (6): Villanova, Georgetown, Providence, Butler, Xavier, St. John’s

SEC (5): Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss

Pac 12 (3): Arizona, Utah, Oregon

Mountain West (3): Boise State, San Diego State, Colorado State

Atlantic 10 (3): Davidson, VCU, Dayton

American (3): SMU, Cincinnati, Temple

Missouri Valley (2): NORTHERN IOWA, Wichita State

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, BYU

Conference USA (1): Louisiana Tech

ONE BID LEAGUES: Georgia State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), VALPARAISO (HZN), S.F. Austin (SLND), WOFFORD (STHN), UC-Davis (BWEST), Central Michigan (MAC), MANHATTAN (MAAC), NORTH FLORIDA (ASUN), BELMONT (OVC), NORTHEASTERN (CAA), COASTAL CAROLINA(BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), NORTH DAKOTA STATE (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Albany (AEAST), LAFAYETTE (PAT), ROBERT MORRIS (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)

Bracketology: Bubble teams can thank Northern Iowa

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source:
Seth Tuttle (AP Photo)

When the First Four is revealed on Sunday, one of those teams might want to send a thank-you card to Northern Iowa.  Trailing Illinois State at halftime in the Missouri Valley Conference finale, UNI rallied to beat the Redbirds and grab the Valley’s automatic bid. That saved at least one at-large position in the Field of 68.

Today, that team would be Texas; the Longhorns are paired with BYU in a First Four contest; with Indiana and Temple also slotted for a trip to Dayton.

The No. 1 seed line remains in tact: Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, and Villanova.  Wisconsin and Arizona are next in line; the Badgers looked quite impressive Sunday in Columbus.  It appears we have five teams for three spots.  That noted, it’s hard to see both Duke and Virginia losing spots on the top line.  We’ll see how the ACC tournament goes.

The middle of the bracket remains fluid in terms of final seed position; we could see teams move 1-3 lines over the next several days. And Championship Week will, as it turns out, be a decisive week for several bubble teams.

Housekeeping notes:  Now that we’ve reached Championship Week, teams in CAPS represent the  AUTOMATIC bid earned in conference tournaments.  Exceptions are still made for certain teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).  During conference tournament play, the highest remaining seed will earn the teams auto bid for the bracket until the tournament is completed.

Today’s bracket has a potential regular-season rematch between Indiana and Butler (if IU were to beat Temple in its First Four game).  With all of the other bracketing principles in play, other six-seeds paired with IU/Temple would create the same scenario (Georgetown/SMU).  BYU requires Thursday-Saturday sites for both pods and regions; so there are limited options (West/Midwest), and Committee would avoid sending a First Four team far away (Seattle/Portland) if at all possible, to reduce travel.

UPDATED: March 9, 2015

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Texas vs. BYU Midwest Region
  • Indiana vs. Temple Midwest Region
  • Lafayette vs. St. Francis (NY) East Region
  • NORTH FLORIDA vs. Montana Midwest Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

MIDWEST – Cleveland                    EAST Syracuse                                  
Louisville Charlotte
1) Kentucky 1) Virginia
16) NO FLORIDA / Montana 16) Lafayette / St. Francis
8) Dayton 8) Xavier
9) NC State 9) Oregon
Jacksonville Portland
5) Utah 5) Arkansas
12) Texas / BYU 12) Wofford
4) Louisville 4) NORTHERN IOWA
13) Central Michigan 13) Iona
Columbus Pittsburgh
6) Butler 6) Georgetown
11) Indiana / Temple 11) Davidson
3) Iowa State 3) Maryland
14) Georgia State 14) NC-Central
Columbus Omaha
7) San Diego State 7) Providence
10) Mississippi 10) Purdue
2) Wisconsin 2) Kansas
15) William & Mary 15) Albany
WEST – Los Angeles SOUTH – Houston                        
Pittsburgh Charlotte
1) Villanova 1) Duke
16) Texas-Southern 16) COASTAL CAROLINA
8) Ohio State 8) VCU
9) Cincinnati 9) Georgia
Jacksonville Seattle
5) North Carolina 5) Wichita State
12) Valparaiso 12) Stephen F. Austin
4) Baylor 4) West Virginia
13) Louisiana Tech 13) Harvard
Louisville Omaha
6) Iowa 6) SMU
11) Colorado State 11) Boise State
3) Notre Dame 3) Oklahoma
14) UC-Davis 14) New Mexico State
Portland Seattle
7) St. John’s 7) Michigan State
10) Oklahoma State 10) LSU
2) Arizona 2) Gonzaga
15) South Dakota State 15) BELMONT

NOTES on the BRACKET: Kentucky is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Virginia, Duke, and Villanova. Next in line: Wisconsin, Arizona, Gonzaga, and Kansas.

Last Five teams in (at large): Colorado State, Indiana, BYU, Temple, Texas

First Five teams out (at large): Texas AM, Miami-FL, Illinois, Tulsa, Old Dominion

Next five teams out (at large): UCLA, Richmond, Green Bay, Murray State, Rhode Island

Breakdown by Conference …

Big 10 (7): Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana

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

ACC (6): Virginia, Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State

Big East (6): Villanova, Georgetown, Butler, Providence, St. John’s, Xavier

SEC (5): Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss

Pac 12 (3): Arizona, Utah, Oregon

Mountain West (3): Boise State, San Diego State, Colorado State

Atlantic 10 (3): Davidson, VCU, Dayton

American (3): SMU, Cincinnati, Temple

Missouri Valley (2): NORTHERN IOWA, Wichita State

West Coast (2): Gonzaga, BYU

Conference USA (1): Louisiana Tech

ONE BID LEAGUES: Georgia State (SBELT), Harvard (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Valparaiso (HZN), S.F. Austin (SLND), Wofford (STHN), UC-Davis (BWEST), Central Michigan (MAC), Iona (MAAC), NORTH FLORIDA (ASUN), BELMONT (OVC), William & Mary (CAA), COASTAL CAROLINA(BSO), NC-Central (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Albany (AEAST), Lafayette (PAT), St. Francis – NY (NEC), Texas-Southern (SWAC)