Jan 8, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT
Through the first two months of the college basketball season, no team has accomplished more than Duke. Thus, the Blue Devils hold the top spot on the s-curve and the No. 1 overall seed in our first bracket projection of 2013. For what it’s worth, Duke is No. 1 in the RPI, has played the nation’s third best schedule, is 10-0 vs. the RPI Top 50, and has wins over Louisville, Kentucky, Minnesota, VCU, Temple, and Ohio State. That’s about as good as it gets. The other No. 1 seeds are Louisville, Michigan, and Kansas.
As expected, the lower half of the current bracket is quite fluid. Even some national headliners have suspect resumes to this point: Kentucky, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina come to mind. Of those three, Kentucky seems most likely to push for a significantly higher seed come tournament time. We also have teams whose non-conference schedules could prove costly in March: Virginia (No. 329), Maryland (No. 323), Georgia Tech (No. 302), Charlotte (No. 300), Wyoming (No. 281), Iowa (No. 276), Pittsburgh (No. 255), and St. Mary’s (246) are just a few. How these teams – and others – handle conference play will define their seasons because their non-conference numbers won’t help much. (SOS numbers are from ESPN’s RPI rankings).
Quick note: The current bracket is for games played through Sunday, January 6. It does not include games played Monday (Jan. 7). Notre Dame’s win at Cincinnati will be included in the next bracket and s-curve update.
Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UTEP, BYU, etc). Records are for games against Division I teams only.
FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)
- Arizona State vs. Wisconsin | South Region
- Virginia vs. Oklahoma | West Region
- NORFOLK STATE vs. SOUTHERN | Midwest Region
- CHARLESTON-SOUTHERN vs. WAGNER | East Region
BRACKET PROJECTION …
|EAST – Washington, DC||MIDWEST – Indianapolis|
|1) DUKE||1) LOUISVILLE|
|16) CHARLESTON STHN / WAGNER||16) NORFOLK ST / SOUTHERN|
|8) Wyoming||8) Temple|
|9) MEMPHIS||9) UCLA|
|5) Ohio State||5) NC State|
|12) BUCKNELL||12) MURRAY STATE|
|4) Cincinnati||4) Illinois|
|13) DETROIT||13) MID TENNESSEE ST|
|6) Georgetown||6) New Mexico|
|11) Colorado State||11) Indiana State|
|3) CREIGHTON||3) MISSOURI|
|14) CANISIUS||14) UTAH STATE|
|7) Oklahoma State||7) VCU|
|10) Oregon||10) Marquette|
|2) Indiana||2) Minnesota|
|15) NORTHEASTERN||15) MERCER|
|WEST – Los Angeles||SOUTH – Dallas|
|Kansas City||Auburn Hills|
|1) KANSAS||1) MICHIGAN|
|16) WEBER STATE||16) STONY BROOK|
|8) Kentucky||8) Baylor|
|9) Miami-FL||9) Maryland|
|San Jose||San Jose|
|5) Notre Dame||5) BUTLER|
|12) Saint Louis||12) Arizona State / Wisconsin|
|4) Michigan State||4) SAN DIEGO STATE|
|13) NORTH DAKOTA ST||13) DAVIDSON|
|Salt Lake City||Lexington|
|6) UNLV||6) Kansas State|
|11) Virginia / Oklahoma||11) North Carolina|
|3) GONZAGA||3) Florida|
|14) S.F. AUSTIN||14) OHIO|
|Salt Lake City||Philadelphia|
|7) Wichita State||7) Colorado|
|10) Pittsburgh||10) Boise State|
|2) ARIZONA||2) Syracuse|
|15) HAWAII||15) HARVARD|
NOTES on the BRACKET: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed followed by Louisville, Michigan, and Kansas.
Last Five teams in (at large): Saint Louis, Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Oklahoma
First Five teams out (at large): Iowa, Iowa State, Dayton, California, Tennessee
Next Five teams out (at large): Belmont, Texas, BYU, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss
Breakdown by Conference …
Big East (7): Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Marquette, Pittsburgh
Big Ten (7): Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin
ACC (6): Duke, NC State, North Carolina, Maryland, Miami-FL, Virginia
Mountain West (6): San Diego State, UNLV, New Mexico, Wyoming, Boise State, Colorado State
Atlantic 10 (4): Butler, VCU, Temple, Saint Louis
Big 12 (5): Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Oklahoma
Pac 12 (4): Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, Oregon
Missouri Valley (3): Creighton, Wichita State, Indiana State
SEC (3): Missouri, Florida, Kentucky
West Coast (1): Gonzaga
Conference USA (1): Memphis
Conference Automatic Qualifiers … MURRAY STATE (Ohio Valley), BUCKNELL (Patriot), MIDDLE TENNESSE ST (Sunbelt), NORTH DAKOTA ST (Summit), DETROIT (Horizon), DAVIDSON (Southern), UTAH STATE (WAC), CANISIUS (MAAC), STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (Southland), OHIO (MAC), MERCER (A-Sun), HARVARD (IVY), HAWAII (Big West), NORTHEASTERN (Colonial), STONY BROOK (American East), WEBER STATE (Big Sky), NORFOLK STATE (MEAC), CHARLESTON-SOUTHERN (Big South), WAGNER (NEC), SOUTHERN (SWAC)
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