With March almost here, the field is narrowing. Once we get past the Next Four Out, teams are hanging on by a thread. Take Indiana, for example. With last night’s loss at Iowa, the Hoosiers fall to 15-13 overall, 5-10 in the Big Ten. Since 2011, no team has gotten an at-large bid with more than 13 losses. By that logic, the Hoosiers need to win out, including through the Big Ten tournament.
I still think that because of their early season wins against Kansas and North Carolina, the Hoosiers could sneak into the NCAA field by winning their three remaining regular season games – Northwestern, Purdue, and Ohio State, which would add two more quality wins – and getting to the finals of the Big Ten tourney. But, that’s a tall order for a team that has lost 5 in a row and doesn’t ever seem interested in playing defense.
Of course, every team still has chances for good wins and bad losses, with the last few regular season games and the conference tournaments approaching. The field could look much different by Selection Sunday. With that said, let’s get to today’s projection.
As always, moves up or down since the previous update are in parentheses after the team’s name, and projected automatic qualifiers are in bold.
In since Sunday’s update: Providence
Out since Sunday’s update: Syracuse
1s: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, North Carolina
2s: Louisville, Baylor, Oregon, Duke
3s: Florida State, Florida, Arizona, UCLA (+1)
4s: Kentucky (-1), West Virginia, Purdue, Butler
5s: Creighton, Wisconsin (+1), Cincinnati, Virginia
6s: Notre Dame (-1), SMU, Saint Mary’s, Maryland
7s: Iowa State, Minnesota, South Carolina, Oklahoma State
8s: Xavier, Dayton, VCU, Miami (+1)
9s: Northwestern (-1), Virginia Tech, Wichita State (+1), Michigan
10s: Michigan State, Kansas State (-1), Marquette, Southern California
11s: Arkansas, Seton Hall, California, Providence (new), Middle Tennessee
12s: Illinois State, TCU, Texas-Arlington, UNC-Wilmington, Nevada
13s: Vermont, Monmouth, Princeton, Akron
14s: UNC-Asheville, Belmont, Oakland, Florida Gulf Coast
15s: Bucknell, Cal-Bakersfield, Furman, North Dakota State
16s: North Dakota, Texas Southern, Cal-Irvine, Mount Saint Mary’s, New Orleans, North Carolina Central
Last Four In: California, Providence, Illinois State, TCU
1s (First Four Out of NCAA Tournament field): Syracuse, Rhode Island, Tennessee (+1), Wake Forest
2s (Next Four Out): Georgia Tech, Texas Tech (-1), Alabama (+1), Georgetown
3s (Third Four Out): Houston, Vanderbilt, Indiana (-1), Illinois (+2)
4s: Boise State, Georgia, Clemson (-1), Utah
5s: Ohio State, Charleston, Pittsburgh, Valparaiso (+1)
6s: Ole Miss (-1), Arkansas State, Auburn (+1), Chattanooga (+1)
7s: New Mexico (-1), Memphis (-1), BYU, Colorado State (+1)
8s: Iowa (+1), Winthrop (-1), San Francisco, Richmond (+1)
Look for my next update before the weekend, and check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime!