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Bracketology: Valentines for Wichita State and West Virginia

Feb 14, 2014, 8:46 AM EST

source: AP

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the February 14 bracket projection offers special gifts to Wichita State and West Virginia.

After chasing the top line for a month or so, Wichita State holds the final No. 1 seed (Midwest) in today’s bracket.  And West Virginia has the distinction of being today’s final team IN the Field of 68.  Whether either team holds onto its current status remains to be seen.

Several heavyweights are vying for top seeds – including Kansas and Michigan State.  Should Wichita State reach Selection Sunday with an unbeaten record, it’ll be interesting to see how the Selection Committee handles the Shockers.  Especially if Kansas and Michigan State, for example, were to win Big 12 and Big Ten titles.  We also can’t forget about the potential for strong finishes from Villanova and Michigan, or even Duke – if the Blue Devils were to win the ACC.

The bubble continues to be a mosh pit.  It changes daily.  West Virginia and St. John’s are two teams who have steadily climbed the seed list during the past couple of weeks.  They are right next to each other on the s-curve if you remove the lower-seeded automatic qualifiers.  St. John’s happens to be today’s first team OUT.  Come Monday, things could well be different.  It’s been that kind of season around the cutline.  Even with all of their recent troubles, Oregon and Baylor remain capable of grabbing bids (again) in the next couple of weeks.  And who knows about the SEC beyond Florida and Kentucky.

Enjoy a great weekend of college hoops.

UPDATED: February 14, 2014

Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid based on current standings with RPI as a tiebreaker for teams with the same number of losses. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).

Several new bracketing principles were introduced after last year’s tournament. You can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)

  • Saint Joseph’s vs. Tennessee | East Region
  • Providence vs. West Virginia | South Region
  • SOUTHERN vs. UTAH VALLEY | Midwest Region
  • ROBERT MORRIS vs. COASTAL CAROLINA | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION …

EASTNew York WEST - Anaheim                                
Buffalo San Diego
1) SYRACUSE 1) ARIZONA
16) ROB MORRIS / CO CAROLINA 16) WEBER STATE
8) Massachusetts 8) GONZAGA
9) Xavier 9) SMU
Spokane Spokane
5) Ohio State 5) SAINT LOUIS
12) TOLEDO 12) GREEN BAY
4) Kentucky 4) Iowa State
13) IONA 13) BELMONT
Raleigh Milwaukee
6) UCLA 6) Connecticut
11) Tennessee / Saint Joseph’s 11) Georgetown
3) CINCINNATI 3) MICHIGAN
14) GEORGIA STATE 14) UC-SANTA BARBARA
Buffalo San Antonio
7) North Carolina 7) Memphis
10) Colorado 10) California
2) VILLANOVA 2) SAN DIEGO STATE
15) VERMONT 15) YALE
MIDWEST – Indianapolis SOUTH – Memphis
St. Louis Orlando
1) WICHITA STATE 1) FLORIDA
16) UTAH VALLEY / SOUTHERN 16) DAVIDSON
8) New Mexico 8) VCU
9) George Washington 9) Oklahoma State
San Diego Orlando
5) Texas 5) Iowa
12) SOUTHERN MISS 12) Providence / West Virginia
4) Wisconsin 4) Virginia
13) MERCER 13) DELAWARE
Raleigh San Antonio
6) Louisville 6) Oklahoma
11) Minnesota 11) Missouri
3) Duke 3) Creighton
14) S.F. AUSTIN 14) NORTH DAKOTA ST
St. Louis Milwaukee
7) Pittsburgh 7) Kansas State
10) Arizona State 10) Stanford
2) KANSAS 2) Michigan State
15) NC-CENTRAL 15) AMERICAN

NOTES on the BRACKET: Syracuse is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Arizona, Florida, and Wichita State.

Last Five teams in (at large): Missouri, Tennessee, Providence, Saint Joseph’s, West Virginia

First Five teams out (at large): St. John’s, Dayton, LSU, Richmond, BYU

Next five teams out (at large): Louisiana Tech, Florida State, Arkansas, NC State, Saint Mary’s

Breakdown by Conference …

Big 12 (7): Kansas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia

Pac 12 (6): Arizona, Colorado, UCLA, California, Stanford, Arizona State

Big Ten (6): Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota

ACC (5): Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia

American (5): Louisville, Memphis, Connecticut, Cincinnati, SMU

Big East (5): Creighton, Villanova, Xavier, Providence, Georgetown

Atlantic 10 (5): Massachusetts, VCU, Saint Louis, Geo Washington, Saint Joseph’s

SEC (4): Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri

Mountain West (2): New Mexico, San Diego State

West Coast (1): Gonzaga

Missouri Valley (1): Wichita State

Conference Automatic Qualifiers … Southern Miss (C-USA), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Georgia State (Sun Belt), American (Patriot), North Dakota State (Summit), Green Bay (Horizon), Davidson (Southern), Utah Valley (WAC), Iona (MAAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Toledo (MAC), Mercer (A-Sun), Yale (IVY), UC-Santa Barbara (Big West), Delaware (Colonial), Vermont (American East), Weber State (Big Sky), NC-Central (MEAC), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Robert Morris (NEC), Southern (SWAC)

  1. eagles512 - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Proves that adding teams to the tourney is a joke. Way to ruin the best thing in sports, NCAA. Not just the fact that there are bad teams in or close, but the entire first gout setup is laughable.

  2. ldbmountaineer - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    I like the current setup. Always fun to see the low seeds upset the power teams. You know they are not going to win the tournament. But, the games are fun to watch and you can tell the kids love getting their shot at the big boys.

  3. eagles512 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    But I mean the first four and the fact that they call the first round the second round now. It should have stayed and 64. Even in the 64/65 game is annoying.

  4. shockertalk - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    WSU is in a “no lose” situation. Its good for them either way. Either they finish undefeated (which is a “champion” achievement by itself) and they are rewarded with a no. 1 seed, OR they lose a game or two and end up with a 2 or 3 seed, which takes the pressure off and they can spend all their adrenalin on the court, instead of spending some of it handling the fans and the media.

    BTW, the nation is starting to “get on the bandwagon” of rooting for WSU. I hear that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon this morning promised some lucky winners to party with them and root for WSU come April. Aaaah, from baling hay to being Hollywood !! haha

  5. joneildu - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Louisville vs Minnesota. I see what you did thar!

  6. ldbmountaineer - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    @Eagle512. Agreed. Field of 64 is good. Side games not needed.

  7. musketmaniac - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    The ncaa couldn’t stand the fact that the nit expanded to 48 years ago. so they bought the nit and went back to 32 teams. personally I’d rather watch providece wvu rather than iona-texas corpus christie. And if people are right it won’t matter by the sweet sixteen, cause both undeserving teams will be gone. Than again Virginia commonwealth started from final four in, to final four for real. so maybe we need to add six more.

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