Editor’s note: For years, our very own Andy Bottoms has been projecting the NCAA Tournament bracket.
Below is Andy’s latest set of projections for 2017. Expect daily updates between now and Selection Sunday.
No automatic bids were handed out on Friday, but the bubble is really starting to thin out.
California, Georgia, Houston, Indiana, Ole Miss, and TCU all lost to essentially eliminate themselves from at-large contention after Illinois and Iowa did the same on Thursday.
Kansas State missed out on a chance to solidify their bid, while Vanderbilt picked up its third win over Florida to gain some breathing room. Rhode Island was one of the only bubble teams to win, although they won’t get a crack at Dayton and another Top 30 win after the Flyers got bounced by Davidson.
There are still potential bid thieves in Conference USA (Marshall), American (Connecticut and Central Florida), Atlantic 10 (Davidson and Richmond), and the SEC (Alabama), but otherwise it feels like two of this group will wind up left out: Providence, Wake Forest, USC, Kansas State, Rhode Island, Syracuse, and Illinois State. Maybe Cal, Illinois, and Iowa still have some life, but those seem unlikely.
On this week’s Bracketology.FM podcast, I previewed all of the remaining conference tournaments with my guests Jordan Majewski and Raphielle Johnson. Both offered great insight, and it’s worth a listen as one of the best weeks of the college basketball season rolls along.
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Here are my projections through the games from March 10.
I’ve also listed my last four in and first five out as usual, but my thoughts on those teams can all be found within the latest edition of Bracket Watch.
|EAST (NEW YORK)||MIDWEST (KANSAS CITY)|
|Buffalo – March 16/18||Tulsa – March 17/19|
|1) Villanova||1) Kansas|
|16) New Orleans / NC Central||16) North Dakota|
|8) Miami (FL)
|9) South Carolina||9) Seton Hall|
|Buffalo – March 16/18||Milwaukee – March 16/18|
|12) UNC-Wilmington||12) Kansas St. / Rhode Island
|4) West Virginia||4) Notre Dame|
|13) Vermont||13) East Tennessee St.|
|Sacramento – March 17/19||Salt Lake City – March 16/18|
|6) Wisconsin||6) Iowa St.|
|11) Providence||11) Xavier|
|3) UCLA||3) Arizona|
|14) Bucknell||14) Iona|
|Greenville – March 17/19||Indianapolis – March 17/19|
|7) Maryland||7) Michigan|
|10) VCU||10) Middle Tennessee|
|2) Duke||2) Louisville|
|15) Texas Southern
||15) Northern Kentucky|
|SOUTH (MEMPHIS)||WEST (SAN JOSE)|
|Greenville – March 17/19||Salt Lake City – March 16/18|
|1) North Carolina||1) Gonzaga|
|16) Mount St. Mary’s / S. Dakota St.||16) Jacksonville St.|
|8) Arkansas||8) Dayton|
|9) Wichita St.||9) Oklahoma St.|
|Milwaukee – March 16/18||Orlando – March 16/18|
|5) Purdue||5) Virginia|
|12) UT-Arlington||12) Nevada|
|4) Butler||4) Florida|
|13) Princeton||13) Akron|
|Tulsa – March 17/19||Orlando – March 16/18|
|6) SMU||6) Creighton|
|11) Wake Forest / USC
|3) Baylor||3) Florida St.|
|14) Winthrop||14) Florida Gulf Coast|
|Indianapolis – March 17/19||Sacramento – March 17/19|
|7) Virginia Tech||7) Saint Mary’s|
|10) Marquette||10) Michigan St.|
|2) Kentucky||2) Oregon|
|15) UC-Irvine||15) Cal St. Bakersfield|
Note: I broke down the bubble teams in more detail in the latest Bracket Watch.
Last Four In
First Five Out
Here is how the bids broke down by conference:
ACC (9): Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Notre Dame, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Big Ten (7): Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin
Big East (7): Butler, Creighton, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova, Xavier
Big 12 (6): Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia
SEC (5): Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
Pac-12 (4): Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, USC
Atlantic 10 (3): Dayton, Rhode Island, VCU
American (2): Cincinnati, SMU
West Coast (2): Gonzaga*, Saint Mary’s
America East: Vermont
Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast*
Big Sky: North Dakota
Big South: Winthrop*
Big West: UC-Irvine
Conference USA: Middle Tennessee
Horizon: Northern Kentucky*
MEAC: NC Central
Missouri Valley: Wichita State*
Mountain West: Nevada
Northeast: Mount St. Mary’s*
Ohio Valley: Jacksonville St.*
Southern: East Tennessee St.*
Southland: New Orleans
Summit: South Dakota St.*
Sun Belt: UT-Arlington
SWAC: Texas Southern
WAC: Cal State Bakersfield
* – Denotes team has earned automatic bid
Follow Andy on Twitter (@andybottoms) for more thoughts on college hoops and to receive an update whenever new brackets are posted.