Bracket Watch: UCLA still hasn’t done enough to be a No. 1 seed

Jan 19, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins forward TJ Leaf (22) reacts after a made basket against the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first half at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA is 19-1, ranked third in the AP poll and harboring legit national title aspirations. But as of today, the numbers wouldn’t support the Bruins landing one of the four No. 1 seeds. Most notably, they boast just one RPI Top 50 win, albeit a big one at Kentucky.

But Steve Alford’s team gets another shot at a showcase win Saturday against 17-2 Arizona. The Wildcats are 6-0 in the Pac-12, tied for first in the league with Oregon. It’s a chance for UCLA to build its resume, but even more so, for Arizona — which I currently have as a No. 5 seed — to start shooting up the bracket.

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

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

LAST FOUR IN: Seton Hall, Miami, VCU, Georgia

FIRST FOUR OUT: Marquette, Rhode Island, NC State, Wake Forest

NEXT FOUR OUT: Houston, Cal, Wichita State, Kansas State

MULTIPLE BID CONFERENCES: ACC (10), Big Ten (9), Big 12 (6), Big East (5), SEC (5), Pac-12 (4), A-10 (2), American (2), WCC (2)