As we head into a huge Saturday of college hoops, complete with a rematch of Kansas vs. Baylor, there is one major change in the field from last night. This is in the Horizon League, where Oakland is now projected as the conference winner. They are one game behind Valparaiso, but they completed the season sweep of Valpo last night with a double-digit win. In fact, both of Oakland’s wins over Valpo are by double digits, leading me to believe they are the better team. So welcome to the field, Grizzlies!
Let’s get right to it. As always, moves up or down since yesterday’s update are in parentheses after the team’s name, and projected automatic qualifiers are in bold.
In since yesterday’s update: Oakland
Out since yesterday’s update: Valparaiso
1s: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Baylor
2s: Louisville, North Carolina, Oregon, Florida State
3s: Arizona, Duke, Florida, Kentucky
4s: Virginia, UCLA, Butler, West Virginia
5s: Purdue, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Creighton
6s: Maryland, SMU, Wisconsin, South Carolina
7s: Saint Mary’s, Iowa State, Minnesota, Xavier
8s: Oklahoma State, Michigan State, USC, VCU (+1)
9s: Virginia Tech, Northwestern, Dayton (-1), Michigan
10s: Miami, Wichita State, Seton Hall, Kansas State
11s: Arkansas, Marquette, TCU, Syracuse, California, Illinois State
12s: Middle Tennessee, Texas-Arlington (+1), UNC-Wilmington, Vermont
13s: Nevada, Princeton (+1), Monmouth, Akron
14s: UNC-Asheville, Furman, Belmont, Oakland (new)
15s: Florida Gulf Coast, Cal-Bakersfield, Bucknell, North Dakota State
16s: Texas Southern, Weber State, Cal-Irvine, Mount Saint Mary’s, New Orleans, North Carolina Central
Last Four In: TCU, Syracuse, California, Illinois State
And today I’m starting something new… since I’m tracking teams far down anyway, I’m doing an NIT projection. Keep in mind that any regular season conference winner who doesn’t make the NCAA tournament goes to the NIT, and there are always a few of those. That makes this super hard to project, but why not do it for fun?
1s (First Four Out of NCAA field): Texas Tech, Providence, Indiana, Rhode Island
2s (Next Four Out of NCAA field): Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Georgetown
3s (Third Four Out of NCAA field): Clemson, Houston, Alabama, Ohio State
4s: Boise State, Utah, Georgia, Vanderbilt
5s: Illinois, Charleston, Ole Miss, Valparaiso
6s: New Mexico, Auburn, Chattanooga, BYU
7s: Pittsburgh, Iowa, Colorado, Arkansas State
8s: Penn State, Colorado State, Memphis, Winthrop
Thanks for reading, and look for the next update tomorrow morning after today’s huge slate of games. As always, check out the Bracket Matrix!