After a big shake up in the bracket projections yesterday, it’s definitely time for another update, so let’s get right into it.
The epicenter of the chaos yesterday came from the Big 12, where both Kansas and Baylor lost to teams on the bubble for an at-large berth. TCU upset the Jayhawks while Kansas State took down Baylor, and while both victories help their resumes respectively, I still do not see quite enough for either team to make the tournament. The good news, however, is they’re still alive, and more qualities wins are out there for them to take.
Where the two upsets really did affect the current projection is in the seeding. Kansas falls from the #1 overall seed to the third and Villanova and UNC each slide up a spot accordingly. Baylor could’ve taken advantage of a Kansas loss, moved up a spot (switching with Butler, who was upset by Xavier in the Big East tournament) as the projected Big 12 champion, but instead stays a #3 seed and West Virginia moves up a bit as the projected Big 12 champ instead.
The only new team into the tournament in this projection is Vanderbilt, who, upon further review, I believe has the edge over Rhode Island and our two new Big 12 Cinderellas. If they can beat Florida for an almost inconceivable third time today in the SEC tournament, I would say their spot is a lock. Still, even with a loss, I believe they have a puncher’s chance at punching a ticket.
That’s it for now, though. I will post new updates as necessary including a final projection just ahead of the selection show on Sunday afternoon. Here is the complete, updated bracket.
|March Madness: Projecting The Field|
|EAST (New York City)||SOUTH (Memphis)|
|16||NC Central^/Mt. St. Mary’s#||16||Jacksonville St.#|
|9||Miami (Fl.)||9||Middle Tennessee St.^|
|WEST (San Jose)||MIDWEST (Kansas City)|
|16||South Dakota St.^||16||UC Irvine^/New Orleans^|
|14||New Mexico St.^||14||ETSU#|
|7||Iowa State||7||South Carolina|
|10||Wichita State#||10||Seton Hall|
|15||Eastern Washington^||15||Texas Southern^|
^ = Projected Conference Champion
# = Automatic Berth Clinched
* = New Team To Bracket Projection
Bold = First Round “First Four” Game
Last Four Byes: Seton Hall, Northwestern, Illinois St., Marquette
Last Four In: Providence, California, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt
First Four Out: Kansas State, Rhode Island, TCU, Georgia
Next Four Out: Houston, Syracuse, Illinois, Ole Miss