Sunday (Jan. 8) Bracket

MIDWEST

1 Kansas
16 UMBC

8 Dayton
9 Northwestern

5 Notre Dame
12 Oakland

4 Oregon
13 Marshall

6 Cincinnati
11 UNCW

3 Louisville
14 Belmont

7 Virginia Tech
10 Illinois

2 Creighton
15 North Dakota St

SOUTH

1 Baylor
16 New Orleans

8 Purdue
9 Arkansas

5 UVA
12 Akron

4 Arizona
13 FGCU

6 St Mary’s
11 MTSU/Michigan St

3 Xavier
14 East Tennessee St

7 Wisconsin
10 TCU

2 Kentucky
15 GA Southern

EAST

1 Villanova
16 Morgan State/Fairleigh Dickinson

8 NC State
9 Temple

5 UNC
12 Illinois St

4 Florida
13 Winthrop

6 Clemson
11 VCU

3 Butler
14 Texas Southern

7 Maryland
10 South Carolina

2 Florida State
15 Harvard

WEST

1 UCLA
16 UC Davis/Weber St

8 Pitt
9 Seton Hall

5 West Virginia
12 Boise State

4 Minnesota
13 New Mexico St

6 USC
11 Wake Forest / Rhode Island

3 Duke
14 Bucknell

7 SMU
10 Nebraska

2 Gonzaga
15 Canisius

THOUGHTS:

-Gonzaga has a strong resume and may be able to ride it to a one seed. Do I think they’re one of the four best teams? Definitely not. But they could be unbeaten entering the tournament. And even one or two losses may get them a one seed.

-The ACC has an amazing eleven bids in this projection.  I don’t think that many will make it, but ten may be likely as all of those teams feast on each other to build top 50 and top 100 wins while minimizing bad loss chances.

-Nebraska is still rolling. They have a HUGE home game against Northwestern today. I’d go as far as saying that if they win, they will likely make the field but will likely not make it if they lose.

-After two blowout losses, I expected Virginia Tech to drop further. But they are closer to a six seed than an eight, thanks to three top fifty wins (Duke, Ole Miss and Nebraska).

-The first four out: Providence, Iowa State, Miami and Texas Tech.

-Keep an eye out on the middle of the Big XII.  The conference is stronger than the RPI calculations find. Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and TCU are likely fighting for two slots in the field, but all of those teams are tournament quality outfits.  Who steals a road win or two over the others will likely determine who makes the field and who doesn’t.

 

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