College basketball is unique among sports, because there is a big game just about every day during the season. While Saturdays are usually identified with college football in the sports world, winter Saturdays of college basketball are even better. In every time slot, there is an important game, whether it’s two ranked teams going at it or two bubble teams battling to get (or stay) in the field.
This Saturday is no exception. We start off with Kansas vs. Texas Tech. Kansas is still the overall #1 in my bracket projection. Meanwhile, Texas Tech, who wasn’t even in my Next Four Out when I did my first projection of the season on January 30, is all the way up to a 7 seed. Can the red-hot Red Raiders knock off the Jayhawks? There are tons of other intriguing matchups today too, such as VCU vs. George Washington, Arizona vs. Utah, Maryland vs. Purdue, Virginia vs. North Carolina, BYU vs Gonzaga, and Florida vs LSU.
I could go on all day about it, but it’s time to get to the games. So here is my latest projection, with moves up or down in parentheses and projected auto qualifiers in bold.
In since 2/24 update: Saint Bonaventure, High Point
Out since 2/24 update: Virginia Commonwealth, Winthrop
1s: Kansas, Xavier, Oklahoma, Villanova
2s: Virginia, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oregon (+1)
3s: Utah, Kentucky, Miami, Iowa (-1)
4s: West Virginia, Maryland, Iowa State, Duke
5s: Texas A & M, Notre Dame, California (+1), Purdue
6s: Baylor, Arizona (-1), Texas, Dayton
7s: Indiana, South Carolina, Texas Tech, Wisconsin (+1)
8s: Wichita State, Colorado, Saint Joe’s (+1), Seton Hall (+1)
9s: Providence (-2), Southern California (-1), Tulsa, Connecticut (+1)
10s: Pittsburgh (-1), Florida, Michigan, Syracuse
11s: Vanderbilt, San Diego State, Cincinnati, Monmouth, Saint Bonaventure
12s: Saint Mary’s, Valparaiso, Arkansas-Little Rock, Temple, George Washington
13s: Princeton, Hofstra, Akron (+1), Belmont
14s: Stony Brook, Chattanooga, Stephen F. Austin, Hawaii (-1)
15s: IPFW, Alabama-Birmingham, Montana, New Mexico State
16s: High Point, North Florida, Hampton, Texas Southern, Wagner, Lehigh
Last Four In: Cincinnati, Saint Bonaventure, Temple, George Washington
First Four Out: Oregon State (+1), Alabama, Butler, Virginia Commonwealth
Second Four Out: Gonzaga, Stanford (+1), Brigham Young (+1), Washington (-1)
Third Four Out: Georgia Tech (-1), UCLA (-1), Florida State, Clemson
Fourth Four Out (yes, seriously): Louisiana State, Ohio State, Davidson (+1), Creighton
With the way things tend to go in the last couple weeks of the season, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see any of the teams in the first or second four out get into the field. Even the third and fourth four out are not hopeless yet!
As always, check out the Bracket Matrix for more. And, look for another update from me tomorrow.