Bracket Watch: Who’s on, off and near the bubble?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Can you believe Selection Sunday is just three weeks away? Here is a quick snapshot of the bubble picture heading into this weekend’s action.

Trending upward: Michigan, Arkansas, Miami, Seton Hall.

All four notched big wins this past week, but still have work to do to feel safe. The 17-9 Wolverines are closest to graduating from bubble to lock while Seton Hall barely made it back into my field by beating Creighton on Wednesday.

Hanging around: Clemson, Syracuse, Kansas State, Cal.

All have done just enough to merit inclusion as of today but have serious flaws in their resumes that put them at risk of exclusion. Clemson is just 4-9 in the ACC. Syracuse is mired in the 70s in the RPI rating. Cal has just one Top 50 win.

On life support: Wake Forest, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio State.

Both the RPI and KenPom have Wake comfortably in the Top 40, but the Deacons remain winless against RPI Top 50 foes. The Vols have lost three of four to drop to just 14-12 overall. The Hoosiers and Buckeyes are likely done.

A reminder: Selection Sunday is March 12, and the tourney begins March 14. The Final Four is April 1-3 in Phoenix.

* — Denotes projected conference champion, automatic berth

This edition’s bracket is East vs. South and Midwest vs. West in the national semifinals, based on the order of my No. 1 seeds.

 

BRACKET WATCH

EAST REGION (NEW YORK)
Seed Team Location
1 Villanova* at Buffalo
16 Mount St. Mary’s*/UC Davis*
8 Virginia Tech
9 Iowa State
4 Duke at Buffalo
13 Monmouth*
5 Maryland
12 Vermont*
6 Wisconsin at Orlando
11 Syracuse/Kansas State
3 Florida*
14 Princeton*
7 Northwestern at Indianapolis
10 Miami
2 Louisville
15 UNC Asheville*
SOUTH REGION (Memphis)
Seed Team Location
1 Baylor at Tulsa
16 New Orleans*/Texas Southern*
8 Dayton*
9 Michigan State
4 UCLA at Sacramento
13 Valparaiso*
5 Cincinnati
12 Middle Tennessee*
6 Creighton at Indianapolis
11 Wichita State*
3 Kentucky
14 Furman*
7 South Carolina at Greenville, SC
10 TCU
2 North Carolina*
15 Florida Gulf Coast*
MIDWEST REGION (KANSAS CITY)
Seed Team Location
1 Kansas* at Tulsa
16 NC Central*
8 Minnesota
9 VCU
4 Butler at Milwaukee
13 Belmont*
5 Purdue*
12 UNC Wilmington*
6 Saint Mary’s at Salt Lake City
11 Marquette
3 Arizona*
14 Bucknell*
7 Oklahoma State at Orlando
10 Clemson
2 Florida State
15 North Dakota State*
WEST REGION (SAN JOSE)
Seed Team Location
1 Gonzaga* at Salt Lake City
16 Weber State*
8 USC
9 Michigan
4 West Virginia at Milwaukee
13 Akron*
5 Notre Dame
12 UT Arlington*
6 SMU at Greenville, SC
11 Seton Hall/Cal
3 Virginia
14 Colorado State*
7 Xavier at Sacramento
10 Arkansas
2 Oregon
15 Cal State Bakersfield*

LAST FOUR IN: Syracuse, Kansas State, Seton Hall, Cal

FIRST FOUR OUT: Wake Forest, Texas Tech, Providence, Tennessee

NEXT FOUR OUT: Indiana, Georgia, Illinois State, Ohio State

MULTIPLE BID CONFERENCES: ACC (10), Big Ten (7), Big 12 (7), Big East (6), Pac-12 (5), SEC (4), A-10 (2), American (2), WCC (2)

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