Ah, March. The Madness is already here. Look no further than Iowa State’s 21-point comeback against Oklahoma or Kansas’ 18-point comeback against West Virginia earlier this week. And that’s only scratching the surface. This week has been full of hard-fought games that have impacted every bracketologist’s projections.
The top of the field (seeds 1-3) and the bottom of it (seeds 13-16) are fairly similar to my previous projection from Monday, March 2. There was some movement within seed lines in those ranges but not much movement between lines. However, there was quite a bit of movement along the 4-12 lines. I’ve denoted that a team moved up with a (+) next to its name and that a team moved down with a (-) next to its name.
In a few cases, a team moved up with a loss or down with a win. For example, while I feel that Boise State hasn’t been getting the proper respect from most bracketologists, I did drop them from the 7 line to the 8 line in order to accommodate Iowa’s move up. Georgia moved up from a 10 to a 9 despite losing to Kentucky. The teams that had been ahead of them on the 10 line in my last projection both lost… so did Georgia, but I decided that a very close loss to Kentucky was good enough to move into the 9 spot that was vacated by the rest of the movement. Finally, Indiana dropped two spots. This team has been in free fall since late January and Iowa’s easy win at Assembly Hall Tuesday night was the exclamation point.
With all of that being said, here is my latest projection. Teams in bold are those that I am projecting as automatic qualifiers. Again, this is more important along the lower seed lines, as teams on those lines have to win their conference tournaments to qualify.
If you like what you see, make sure to follow the blog, as I’ll be updating my projection continuously between now and Selection Sunday.
1s – Kentucky, Virginia, Duke, Villanova
2s – Arizona, Wisconsin, Kansas, Gonzaga
3s – Notre Dame, Maryland, Oklahoma, Iowa St.
4s – Baylor, Arkansas, Wichita State (+), North Carolina (+)
5s – Northern Iowa, Louisville (-), West Virginia, Butler (-)
6s – Georgetown, Providence, Utah, Southern Methodist
7s – Saint John’s, Iowa (+), Dayton, Virginia Commonwealth
8s – San Diego State, Boise State (-), Oregon, Cincinnati (+)
9s – Michigan State, Xavier, Ohio State, Georgia (+)
10s – Indiana (-), Davidson (+), Purdue, Colorado State
11s – Ole Miss, Texas A & M (-), North Carolina State (+), Brigham Young (+), Temple
12s – Tulsa, Louisiana State, Wofford, Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech
13s – Valparaiso, Murray State, Buffalo, Iona
14s – Harvard, California-Davis, High Point, Georgia State (+)
15s – Eastern Washington (NEW, replaces Sacramento St.), South Dakota State (-), North Carolina Central, Albany
16s – William & Mary (-), Texas Southern, North Florida, New Mexico State, Saint Francis-New York, Bucknell
LAST FOUR IN: Brigham Young, Temple, Tulsa, Louisiana State
FIRST FOUR OUT: Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Miami (+)
NEXT FOUR OUT: Illinois, Old Dominion (NEW, replaces Stanford), Pittsburgh (-), Richmond (new, replaces Central Michigan)