Monday had a light schedule, but it had major implications for the tournament. First off, can you believe West Virginia’s meltdown at Kansas? With 3 minutes to go, the Mountaineers were up 64-50 and in complete control of the game. And somehow, Kansas won the game in overtime, basically guaranteeing themselves their 13th straight Big 12 regular season title. With the win, West Virginia would have been a game behind Kansas in the Big 12 standings with the sweep of the regular season series. It was one of the craziest endings to a game I’ve seen in a long time, and a good reminder that March is almost here.
Elsewhere in the Big 12, Baylor lost at Texas Tech, for their third loss in February. I was ready to move them down to the 2 line and to move Louisville up to the 1 line. It is almost certain that an ACC team will get a 1 seed and that either Baylor or Kansas will wind up as a 2. But looking at the resumes, I couldn’t quite do it yet. Baylor has 12 wins against teams currently projected in the field, versus 7 for Louisville. And, one of those wins for Baylor is on a neutral court against Louisville. So expect an ACC team to reach the 1 line, but not quite yet.
Finally, I have to mention the Connecticut women’s basketball team, who has now won an unreal 100 games in a row! Just as amazing, they have gone 837 games without consecutive losses. That’s a span of probably a quarter century. That is ridiculous.
With all that said, here’s tonight’s projection. Moves up or down since my last projection are in parentheses after the team’s name, and projected automatic qualifiers are in bold.
In since last update: Boise State, Seton Hall
Out since last update: Nevada, Wake Forest
1s: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor
2s: Louisville, North Carolina, Oregon, Arizona
3s: Florida State, Virginia, Florida, Kentucky
4s: UCLA, Duke, West Virginia, Butler
5s: Creighton, Purdue, Notre Dame, Cincinnati
6s: Wisconsin, South Carolina, SMU (+1), Maryland
7s: Xavier (-1), Saint Mary’s, Iowa State, Minnesota (+1)
8s: Northwestern, Southern Cal (-1), Oklahoma State, Dayton
9s: Virginia Tech (+1), VCU (-1), Michigan State, Wichita State
10s: Kansas State (-1), Miami, Michigan (+1), Marquette
11s: TCU, California, Indiana (-1), Rhode Island, Illinois State (+1), Seton Hall (new)
12s: Middle Tennessee (-1), Valparaiso, Vermont, UNC-Wilmington (+1)
13s: Boise State (new), Texas Arlington, Akron (-1), Monmouth
14s: Princeton, UNC-Asheville, Furman, Belmont
15s: Bucknell, Florida Gulf Coast, North Dakota State, Cal-Bakersfield
16s: UC-Irvine, Mount Saint Mary’s, Texas Southern, Weber State, New Orleans, North Carolina Central
Last Four In: Indiana, Rhode Island, Illinois State, Seton Hall
First Four Out: Arkansas, Syracuse, Texas Tech (+1), Wake Forest
Next Four Out: Tennessee (-1), Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Providence
Third Four Out: Utah, Ohio State, Clemson, Houston
Fourth Four Out: Alabama (+1), Georgia, Temple, Pittsburgh (+1)
Look for my next update later in the week, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime!