Here’s a quick update as a big day of college hoops gets underway. As I wrote about on Wednesday night, we still have no clarity as we move towards the middle and bottom of the field. There are so many teams from lines 7-12 who could easily be two seeds higher or lower than where they are now.
The top of the field is getting more intriguing too. Check out the Pac 12, for example. Arizona is now a 2 seed (7 overall), with Oregon a 3 seed (10 overall) and UCLA a 3 as well (11 overall). Oregon just destroyed Arizona last Saturday by 27 points. But consider this: Arizona is now the leader in the Pac 12 at 11-1 in conference play (Oregon is 10-2, UCLA is 9-3). And, Arizona’s three losses are to Gonzaga, Oregon, and Butler – three of the top teams in the nation.
Of the three Pac 12 teams near the top, Oregon has the best quality of wins, which include Arizona and UCLA, plus three other teams currently in the field. But I had to give the nod to Arizona for now. With a few weeks to go in the regular season and then the conference tournaments, we’ll see who emerges as the winner out west.
With all that said, here’s today’s projection. Moves up or down since my last update are in parentheses after the team’s name, and projected auto qualifiers are in bold.
In since last update: UNC-Asheville, Nevada, Furman, New Orleans, California
Out since last update: Winthrop, Boise State, Chattanooga, Sam Houston State, Illinois State
1s: Villanova, Kansas, Baylor, Gonzaga
2s: Florida State, Virginia, Arizona (+1), North Carolina
3s: Louisville, Oregon (-1), UCLA (+1), Kentucky
4s: Duke (+1), Creighton, Purdue, Butler (+1)
5s: West Virginia (-1), Florida, Wisconsin, Cincinnati
6s: Saint Mary’s, Xavier, Notre Dame, South Carolina
7s: Maryland, SMU, Southern Cal, Dayton (+1)
8s: Northwestern, Minnesota, VCU, Iowa State (+1)
9s: Kansas State, Oklahoma State (-1), Marquette, Wichita State (+1)
10s: Michigan State, Virginia Tech (-1), Seton Hall (+1), Miami (+1)
11s: TCU, Michigan, Indiana (-1), Rhode Island (-1), Middle Tennessee
12s: California (new), Wake Forest, UNC-Wilmington, Vermont, Valparaiso (+1)
13s: Akron, Nevada (new), Monmouth, Belmont (+1)
14s: Princeton, UNC-Asheville (new), New Mexico State (-1), Furman
15s: Georgia State, Florida Gulf Coast (-1), North Dakota State (+1), Bucknell
16s: Texas Southern (-1), Mount Saint Mary’s, Cal-Irvine, Weber State, New Orleans (new), North Carolina Central
Last Four In: Indiana, Rhode Island, California, Wake Forest
First Four Out: Syracuse, Illinois State, Tennessee, Arkansas
Next Four Out: Georgia Tech, Georgetown (+1), Clemson, Providence
Third Four Out: Texas Tech (-1), Illinois, Vanderbilt, Ohio State (+2)
Fourth Four Out: Utah (+1), Boise State, Houston (+1), Temple
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the games today! Look for my next update tomorrow (Sunday) and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime.