NCAA BK

Projecting the NCAA tournament brackets

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Frank Burlison

 
   
 
The 1 and 2 seed lines in the latest projected NCAA tournament bracket? They could need some revamping after the final weekend of conference action. Two current projected No. 1 seeds, Pitt (East/Boston) and Connecticut (Midwest/Indianapolis), hook up in a mega Big East clash in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The winner could be on the road to the No. 1 overall seed; the loser could slip to the 2 line if it doesn't get to the Big East tourney final in Madison Square Garden. North Carolina, another team with designs on the No. 1 overall seed, plays host to Duke Sunday in Chapel Hill. If the Tar Heels make it 2-0 vs. the Blue Devils in regular-season play (they won in Durham by 14 points last month), they become favorites for the "overall No. 1" on March 15. Should the Blue Devils leave the Smith Center with the W, Mike Krzyzewski's crew — with a trip to the ACC tourney final a week later — could find itself on the "1 line" on Selection Sunday. Maryland, Penn State, New Mexico and Rhode Island moved into this week's projected field — in large part because of the way Arizona (four consecutive losses in the Pac 10), Kentucky (four losses in its past five SEC games, including one to Georgia in Lexington) and Florida (three SEC losses in a row) are back-peddling to the conference finish line. The Wildcats and Gators hook up in Gainesville on Saturday. "Must win" is written all over that baby, for both clubs. Brackets are updated through games of March 5.
Boston region
Seed Team Comment
at Philadelphia
1   Pittsburgh No. 1 overall seed at stake vs. UConn Saturday
16  Morgan State The Bears have won 10 of past 11
8  Oklahoma State Cowboys the hottest team in Big 12
9  Davidson BCS conference members losses this week helped Wildcats' at-large hopes
at Boise
5  UCLA Bruins seem on right tourney track
12  Rhode Island Rams' jump shooters could challenge Bruins' defense
4  Florida State Seminoles need an ACC tourney win or two for this seed
13  American Holy Cross the last team to knock 'em off
at Portland
3  Wake Forest Huge win at Maryland solidified this seed
14  Binghamton Vermont the biggest tourney roadblock
6  Purdue Can help its seed with win at Michigan State
11  UNLV Needs a win at SDSU on Saturday
at Minnesota
7  Syracuse Jim Boeheim's perimeter attack something for foes to fear
10  Wisconsin Can't afford Sunday slipup vs. Hoosiers
2  Memphis Need considerable help to move into a No. 1 seed
15  Cornell Will struggle vs. Memphis quickness and "length"

Phoenix region
Seed Team Comment
at Kansas City
1  Oklahoma May need Big 12 tourney win over Kansas to secure this
16  Radford Radford facing VMI in Friday finale
8  BYU The Cougars are humming along quite nicely!
9  Dayton Go ahead and say "Creighton-Dayton" real fast
at Portland
5  Marquette Its seed has been slipping since loss of James
12  Maryland A loss at Virginia Saturday would be beyond disastrous
4  Washington Huskies can win Pac 10 outright Saturday vs. school from other side of state
13  Western Kentucky Should breeze by Florida International on Sunday . . . or else!
at Boise
3  Missouri The win over Oklahoma definitely got our attention
14  S. F. Austin As a reminder: The Southland Conference has no Southern California members
6  West Virginia Mountaineers close with Louisville at home; it will be loud in the building
11  Penn State Fourth place in Big Ten gets a team in!
at Greensboro
7  Illinois Mike Davis one of the real "surprise" players in Big Ten or elsewhere
10  Saint Mary's A healthy Patrick Mills on Sunday night is all that is needed for this slot
2  Duke A spot on the 1 line is definitely still a doable goal for Blue Devils
15  Robert Morris Won Northeast race by three games

Memphis region
Seed Team Comment
at Greensboro
1  North Carolina Could play Duke on consecutive Sundays if all breaks well for both teams
16  Jacksonville 39 years ago this program played UCLA in title game!
8  Creighton Dana Altman doing another dandy job
9  Texas This seed might be a little generous
at Minnesota
5  LSU Hard to punish Tigers too much for loss to Vandy
12  New Mexico Win over Utah nudges Lobos into this field
4  Xavier Another Elite Eight run not out of the 2009 question
13  VCU We think Eric Maynor is capable of leading a nice NCAA run
at Miami
3  Villanova Wildcats slapped Notre Dame and Providence around recently
14  Weber State Long awaited "all-Wildcats" clash
6  Gonzaga Bulldogs were rarely tested in WCC this season
11  South Carolina Gamecocks' quickness would present some interesting issues for Gonzaga
at Dayton
7  Butler Brad Stevens' name should be in all Coach of Year conversations
10  Siena This would certainly qualify as a "mid-major clash"
2  Michigan State Spartans' win at Illinois as impressive as any W they've collected this season
15  Buffalo One of four Mid-American teams to go 10-5

Indianapolis region
Seed Team Comment
at Miami
1  Connecticut A win over Pittsburgh Saturday puts Huskies into the East
16  CS Northridge/
 Alabama State
Go with the Matadors if this is the opening round matchup
8  Arizona State The Sun Devils are inexplicably skidding
9  Texas A&M Aggies clawing their way into Field of 65
at Kansas City
5  Utah Can't treat Utes too harshly for losses in Provo and Albuquerque
12  Ohio State Buckeyes made it this time with no room to spare
4  Clemson Tigers need decent ACC tourney showing to keep this seed
13  Utah State Aggies can save a lot of March 15 nerves with WAC tourney title
at Dayton
3  Kansas If you think Jayhawks are suffering here for loss at Texas Tech, you are correct
14  North Dakota State Has two wins over second-best team (ORU) in Summit Conference
6  Cal Win in Tucson Thursday could help Pac 10 and NCAA seeds
11  Boston College Eagles have built enough of an at-large cushion to survive loss to NCSU
at Philadelphia
7  Tennessee Unless they are teasing us, Volunteers are picking perfect time to peak, right?
10  Minnesota Gophers can put a lock on a bid with Saturday win vs. Michigan
2   Louisville Rick's Guys always play well in March, or so it seems
15  Tennessee-Martin Lester Hudson vs. the Cardinals' defense would be sweet to watch
The last schools in: New Mexico, Rhode Island, Ohio State, Maryland. Waiting to get in: Temple, Michigan, Arizona, Kentucky.
Tagged: Kansas, Michigan, Penn State, Florida International, North Carolina, Virginia, Duke, Maryland, St. Mary's (CA), Rhode Island, Utah, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, New Mexico, Memphis, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, Louisville, Arizona, Virginia Commonwealth, UCLA, Connecticut, Southern California, Oklahoma, California, Texas Tech, Ohio State, Illinois

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