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Bracket Watch: The ACC could be headed for a record

Months after capping a triumphant football season with Clemson’s national championship, the ACC could be eyeing more history come March Madness. My latest bracket includes 11 ACC teams. Were that to hold come Selection Sunday it would tie a record the old Big East set in 2011.

The ACC currently has one fewer team (15) than the Big East did that year.

Mind you, quite a few of those 11 are squarely in bubble territory. Wake Forest and Miami are two of my last four in, with the ‘Canes joining the field this week thanks to their upset of North Carolina. That being said, two more ACC teams, Pittsburgh and NC State, are among my first eight out.

Georgia Tech, meanwhile, went from barely under consideration to comfortably in the field as a No. 9 seed following back-to-back wins last week over highly ranked foes Florida State and Notre Dame. With so many tourney-caliber teams in the same conference, opportunities to improve one’s resume come up nightly.

By the same token, no ACC team has yet managed to stay hot enough to rise to one of my No. 1 seeds. But Louisville, Florida State and North Carolina all sit on the No. 2 line and could move up by Selection Sunday.

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. West champions and Midwest vs. South champions in the national semifinals, based on the order of my No. 1 seeds.

BRACKET WATCH

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

LAST FOUR IN: TCU, Wake Forest, Miami, VCU

FIRST FOUR OUT: Kansas State, Texas Tech, Tennessee, Seton Hall

NEXT FOUR OUT: Wichita State, Pittsburgh, Illinois, NC State

MULTIPLE BID CONFERENCES: ACC (11), Big Ten (8), Big 12 (6), Big East (5), SEC (4), Pac-12 (4), A-10 (3), American (2), WCC (2)