LADDERS, NO BUBBLES: Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss took the chance out of their destiny and punched their ticket through to the big dance with the SEC championship. Photo courtesy Andy Lyons/Getty Images

LADDERS, NO BUBBLES: Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss took the chance out of their destiny and punched their ticket through to the big dance with the SEC championship. Photo courtesy Andy Lyons/Getty Images

This is it, my final answer.

All conference tournaments are over which means it’s on to the REALLY fun stuff. And in, oh, say, about an hour, the bracket will below will either look like it was created by Nostradamus or someone wearing tin foil on their head. Personally, my money’s on the latter.

We had four basketball games today, down from 50 something two days ago, which makes it a hell of a lot easier to describe how the bracket forecast has changed.

I’ve maintained since Duke lost, if Miami won the ACC Championship, they would be the fourth #1 seed. They did just that today which means, as far as the Atlantic Coast Conference teams are concerned, nothing has changed. Miami is still a 1-seed and UNC is still a 7-seed.

In the SEC championship, though, everything changed completely. Ole Miss, very much on the bubble, secured the automatic berth, meaning if you didn’t have them in the big dance before, one of your other bubble teams just lost their seat at the table. Florida was an underrated 3-seed, so the loss won’t cost them anything, but for Ole Miss it moves them out of the First Four.

Shortly after Mississippi stunned the top seed in their conference tournament, St. Louis avoided such a loss in theirs. I had VCU as winning the game, so they drop from a 4-seed to a 6-seed, and the Billikens rise from a 5-seed to a 4-seed.

And in the final game, the Big 10 championship, Ohio State, in my mind, secured a 2-seed by winning the conference title over Wisconsin, who will undoubtedly be in the 4- to 6-seed range.

So, while there were some seeds shuffled around, the field of 68 I had this morning remains the same…sort of. Ole Miss isn’t any longer on the bubble, which means teams like Boise State, Wichita State, and Oklahoma are that much closer to the chopping block.

Either way, this is the OFFICIAL projected bracket I’m rolling with:

SOUTH (Arlington)

WEST (Los Angeles)

1

Louisville*

1

Gonzaga*

16

James Madison*

16

Western Kentucky*

8

Oklahoma St.

8

Oregon*

9

Missouri

9

Cincinnati

5

Wisconsin

5

UCLA

12

>Villanova/UMass

12

Ole Miss*

4

St. Louis*

4

Syracuse

13

Davidson*

13

New Mexico St.*

6

Creighton*

6

Colorado State

11

Belmont*

11

Oklahoma

3

Michigan State

3

Michigan

14

South Dakota State*

14

Montana*

7

San Diego State

7

North Carolina

10

Colorado

10

Temple

2

Duke

2

Kansas*

15

Florida Gulf Coast*

15

Pacific*

EAST (Washington D.C.)

MIDWEST (Indianapolis)

1

Miami (Fl.)*

1

Indiana

16

>N.C. A&T/LIU-Brooklyn*

16

>Southern*/Liberty*

8

Memphis*

8

N.C. State

9

Illinois

9

Minnesota

5

Notre Dame

5

Marquette

12

Akron*

12

>Boise State/La Salle

4

UNLV

4

Kansas State

13

Bucknell*

13

Valparaiso*

6

VCU

6

Arizona

11

California

11

Wichita State

3

Florida

3

Georgetown

14

Iona*

14

Harvard*

7

Pittsburgh

7

Butler

10

Iowa State

10

St. Mary’s

2

Ohio State*

2

New Mexico*

15

Albany*

15

Northwestern St.*

KEY: > = First Four Play-In Game, * = Clinched Berth

LAST FOUR IN: Boise State, Villanova, La Salle, UMass
FIRST FOUR OUT: Southern Miss., Maryland, Alabama, Tennessee
NEXT FOUR OUT: Kentucky, Virginia, Middle Tennessee St., Baylor