Selection Sunday is only three weeks away.
Here is the latest projection of what the field will be on March 11.
Our bracket features:
"Why They're In" analysis - Last 4 teams in: S. Florida, Arizona, Miami, St. Joseph's
"Why They're Out" analysis - First 4 teams out: NC State, Alabama, UConn, Colorado St.
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Be sure to check out all the brackets in the Bracket Matrix: http://bracketproject.50webs.com/matrix.htm
1 seeds: Syracuse, Kentucky, Missouri, Michigan St.
Syracuse had another impressive week, winning two road games at Louisville and at Rutgers. This week they host upstart South Florida, then travel to a desperate UConn team on Saturday. At 27-1 Syracuse is a lock for a 1 seed come Selection Sunday. Kentucky, also a lock for a 1 seed, enters a challenging stretch in their schedule. Tuesday they travel to Miss. St who is need of a marquee win. Then on Saturday Vanderbilt comes to town. Looming is a March 4 trip to Florida. Even though the league is just about wrapped up, look for Kentucky to pick up a loss or two before the end of the regular season. If Missouri is to win the Big 12 and receive a top seed come Selection Sunday, this week will be the week the heavy lifting was done. Up first on Tuesday, Missouri looks for payback against Kansas St. who beat them by 16 earlier in the year on the road. Then the border war game with a Kansas team looking for revenge. Kansas is a perfect 15-0 at home this year, and with Missouri moving to the SEC next year, this game carries with it a lot of bragging rights. Michigan St. had another superb week and sits alone atop the Big 10 standings after beating Wisconsin and Purdue this past week. This week will be the calm before the storm for the Spartans. They travel to Minnesota to face a reeling Gophers team, then host Nebraska. On the horizon, a trip to Indiana and a visit from Ohio St.
2 seeds: Kansas, Ohio St, Duke, North Carolina
Kansas collected a very solid road win at Kansas St. and beat up on a struggling Texas Tech team last week. This week they have somewhat of a trap game visit to Texas A&M Wednesday, before the huge showdown with Missouri. Missouri typically plays a four guard lineup, while Kansas has two of the best big men in the country in Thomas Robinson and improved Jeff Withey. The key to this matchup will be Kansas' patience in feeding the ball inside. Since their first matchup when Missouri held Withey scoreless, he has averaged an outstanding 18ppg. Ohio St. picked up a road split last week, beating Minnesota, but losing to rival Michigan 66-61. Ohio St. has struggled recently from 3-point range and were 3-16 for 18% against Michigan Saturday. The Buckeyes need to get more touches inside with All American Jared Sullinger, and rely less on perimeter shooting. Ohio St. has two home games this week Illinois & Wisconsin. Duke overcame a 20 point deficeit in the second half to beat N.C. State on Thursday night and dismantled an undermatched Boston College team Sunday. This Thursday Duke travels to Florida St in a huge ACC battle. Both teams enter the game with a 10-2 conference record, and the winner will be in the driver's seat. North Carolina picked up two wins last week beating bubble bound Miami and Clemson. This week UNC has two tough road games against two bubble teams in need of signature victories - NC State & Virginia. UNC has struggled on the road at times this year, and may very well end up with a split this week.
3 seeds: Marquette, Georgetown, Michigan, Florida St.
4 seeds: Florida, Notre Dame, Baylor, Wisconsin
5 seeds: Louisville, Wichita St, Vanderbilt, Temple
6 seeds: Indiana, New Mexico, Murray St, San Diego St.
7 seeds: UNLV, Gonzaga, St. Marys, St. Louis
8 seeds: West Virgina, S. Miss, Seton Hall, Kansas St.
9 seeds: Iowa St, Harvard, California, Creighton
10 seeds: BYU, Memphis, Purdue, Virginia
11 seeds: Washington, Cincinnati, Texas, Long Beach St
12 seeds: Northwestern, Xavier, Miss. St, South Florida/Arizona
13 seeds: Miami (FL)/St. Joseph's, Oral Roberts, Middle Tenn, Drexel
14 seeds: Cleveland St, Davidson, Iona, Nevada
15 seeds: Belmont, Bucknell, Weber St, Akron
16 seeds: Norfolk St, Vermont, Miss Valley St/UNC Asheville, Texas Arlington/Wagner
Last Four In: South Florida, Arizona, Miami (FL), St. Joseph's
Why They're In:
South Florida beat Pittsburgh Sunday night get their 10th Big East win of the year. In a year when so many major conference bubble teams will finish 9-9, the Bulls have a realistic shot at 11-7 or 12-8. That win total will likely be enough for their first NCAA tournament selection since 1992. Arizona has three remaining games against inferior competition and will finish the year 13-5 in the Pac12 and 22-9 overall. A win or two in the conference tournament will be crucial for a team that made the elite 8 last year. Miami (FL) continues to sit squarely on the bubble after missing out on a chance last week at home to UNC. This week they travel to Maryland in a must win game, then host Florida St. NC State, Virginia and Miami are all 7-5 in the ACC. Whichever team can break away and finish 4th in the league will be a lock. St. Joseph's has a very sneaky good profile. The question remains whether the Atlantic 10 conference will be strong enough to get 4 teams in the tournament. They sit behind Temple, St. Louis & Xavier in the pecking order. Saturday they host Temple in what is essentially a win or go home game for the Hawks.
First Four Out: N.C. State, Alabama, UConn, Colorado St.
Why They're Out:
N.C. State blew a 20 point lead on the road at Duke on Thursday and followed that up with an uninspired effort at home vs. Florida St. They must regroup quickly because all can be made well if they can beat UNC at home on Tuesday. Alabama is in a free-fall. At 6-6 in the SEC there is no margin for error left. They have a solid computer profile with an RPI of 38, but have lost 6 of their last 9 games. Thursday's game at Arkansas may determine their fate. While most of the media has given up on UConn, history tells us that a team with an RPI of 21 this late in the year has a very good shot to get in the tournament. UConn sits at 6-8 in the Big East so they are going to have to win 3 of 4 to get to the magical .500 mark. On Monday they travel to Villanova and Saturday they host #2 Syracuse. Colorado St. is another team with an outstanding RPI ranking of 36, but their resume is mostly a fraud. Their lone top 75 RPI win was a home win against San Diego St. The committee will need more than that for a selection. The Rams will have a chance to prove their worth as they get a visit from red hot New Mexico on Tuesday night. Saturday they travel to San Diego St. A split is a must.
Next Four Out: VCU, LSU, Dayton, George Mason