We all knew this would happen. An ACC team has reached the top line. With the strength and depth of the conference, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the ACC doesn’t get a 1 seed. A classic between Kansas and Baylor, won by the former after Baylor failed to score in the final three minutes, moved Baylor down to the 2 line and opened up the last 1 seed.
The winner, for the moment, is North Carolina. An embarrassment – to the tune of 65-41 – of a very good Virginia team was the selling point. That adds to very high-quality wins over Florida State (home), Wisconsin (neutral), and Notre Dame (home). Beyond that, the Tar Heels have four more wins over teams currently in the field.
Louisville also has a strong case for the 1 seed right now. They actually have a better strength of schedule than North Carolina at the moment, and a KenPom rating of 4, to North Carolina’s 6. It is really a thin margin between the two teams. They even have similar quality wins, or it could be argued that Louisville’s are better, having beaten a current 2, 3, and 4 seed: Duke, Kentucky, and Purdue. It really came down to the style points: Louisville beat a good Virginia Tech team at home by 4 yesterday, while North Carolina crushed an excellent Virginia team. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this seed goes back and forth in the next couple of weeks. For now, Louisville is the top 2 seed.
With all that said, it’s time for me to watch Michigan take on Minnesota in a key matchup for both teams, so here’s the projection. As always, moves up or down are in parentheses after the team’s name, and projected automatic qualifiers are in bold.
In since yesterday’s update: North Dakota
Out since yesterday’s update: Weber State
1s: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, North Carolina (+1)
2s: Louisville, Baylor (-1), Oregon, Duke (+1)
3s: Arizona, Florida State (-1), Florida, Kentucky
4s: UCLA, West Virginia, Purdue (+1), Butler
5s: Virginia (-1), Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Creighton
6s: SMU, Maryland, Wisconsin, Saint Mary’s (+1)
7s: Iowa State, South Carolina (-1), Minnesota, Oklahoma State (+1)
8s: Xavier (-1), Northwestern (+1), Dayton (+1), VCU
9s: Virginia Tech, Michigan, Miami (+1), Kansas State (+1)
10s: Wichita State, Marquette (+1), Michigan State (-2), Southern California (-2)
11s: Arkansas, Seton Hall (-1), Syracuse, California, Middle Tennessee (+1)
12s: Illinois State (-1), TCU (-1), Texas-Arlington, UNC-Wilmington, Nevada (+1)
13s: Vermont (-1), Princeton, Monmouth, Akron
14s: UNC-Asheville, Belmont, Florida Gulf Coast (+1), Oakland
15s: Cal-Bakersfield, Bucknell, Furman (-1), North Dakota State
16s: North Dakota (new), Texas Southern, UC-Irvine, Mount Saint Mary’s, New Orleans, North Carolina Central
Last Four In: Syracuse, California, Illinois State, TCU
In since yesterday’s update: La Salle, Eastern Tennessee State, San Francisco
Out since yesterday’s update: Penn State, Iowa, Colorado
1s (First Four Out of NCAA tournament field): Providence, Texas Tech, Rhode Island, Wake Forest (+1)
2s (Next Four Out): Tennessee, Georgetown, Indiana (-1), Georgia Tech
3s (Third Four Out): Alabama, Vanderbilt (+1), Clemson, Houston
4s (Fourth Four Out): Utah, Boise State, Georgia, Ohio State (-1)
5s: Illinois, Charleston, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh (+2)
6s: Valparaiso (-1), New Mexico, Arkansas State (+1), Memphis (+2)
7s: Auburn (-1), Chattanooga (-1), BYU (-1), Winthrop (+1)
8s: Colorado State, La Salle (+1), Eastern Tennessee State (+1), San Francisco (+1)
Look for my next projection early in the week, and check out the Bracket Matrix for more bracketology in the meantime!