What a weekend of college hoops! It seems like every game had an impact on the NCAA tournament projection. At this point, I am only sure of one thing: this is going to look different on Selection Sunday. How different, I don’t know. But up and down the bracket, there is so little difference between teams within a couple seed lines of each other (and I feel like I say that every year). Some marquee matchups in the last week of regular season play, as well as good win (or bad loss) opportunities in the conference tournaments, will help distinguish the teams a little bit.
For now, let’s get into the projection. The biggest change as far as teams moving in or out of the field is Utah State replacing Alabama after a key win over Nevada the other night, while the Tide continue to fade. Really, it was a toss-up between the Tide and Clemson as the last team in right now (imagine that in football), but the difference for me was Alabama just has too many unacceptable losses right now.
With that said, here’s the latest update. Moves up or down since my previous update on Friday, March 1 are in parentheses.
In since Friday 3/1: Iona, Utah State
Out since Friday 3/1: Quinnipiac, Alabama
1s: Virginia, Duke, Gonzaga, Tennessee (+1)
2s: North Carolina, Kentucky (-1), Michigan, Michigan State
3s: Purdue, Kansas, Houston, Texas Tech (+1)
4s: LSU, Marquette (-1), Florida State, Wisconsin
5s: Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Iowa State, Mississippi State
6s: Maryland, Villanova, Cincinnati, Buffalo (+1)
7s: Nevada (-1), Iowa, Louisville, Auburn (+1)
8s: Baylor (-1), Syracuse, Oklahoma, Texas (+1)
9s: St. John’s, Wofford (+1), Ole Miss (-1), VCU (+1)
10s: Ohio State (-1), Washington, Florida (-1), UCF (+2)
11s: Seton Hall (-1), Minnesota, Arizona State, TCU
12s: Temple, North Carolina State (-1), Utah State (new), Clemson, Belmont, Lipscomb
13s: Old Dominion, New Mexico State, UC Irvine, Hofstra (+1)
14s: Vermont, Yale (-1), South Dakota State, Texas State
15s: Montana, Northern Kentucky, Radford, Drake
16s: Texas Southern, Bucknell, Sam Houston State, Norfolk State, St. Francis-PA, Iona (new)
Last Four Byes: Seton Hall, Minnesota, Arizona State, TCU
Last Four In: Temple, North Carolina State, Utah State, Clemson
First Four Out: Alabama, Georgetown, UNC-Greensboro, Creighton (+1)
Next Four Out: Furman, Indiana (+1), Dayton (-1), St. Mary’s
Others in Consideration (in no particular order): Butler, East Tennessee State, Memphis, Murray State, Oregon, Providence, Toledo, Xavier
Enjoy the games, and look for my next update on Wednesday, March 6. Check out the Bracket Matrix in the meantime!