Bracket Watch: Rivalry Week is here to shake things up
Kansas and Kansas State got Rivalry Week off to a fun start Monday night. Duke-North Carolina, Purdue-Indiana and Michigan State-Michigan are still to come.
But for bracket purposes, two of the week’s most interesting matchups will take place in the state of California.
On Thursday, Oregon visits UCLA in a key Pac-12 contest. The Ducks (21-3) rose up to a No. 2 seed here following their impressive rout of Arizona. UCLA (21-3), for all its hype, is just a No. 4 seed due to the fact it boasts just two RPI Top 50 wins all season. Beating Oregon would be a big resume-builder.
On Saturday, undefeated Gonzaga (24-0) visits archrival Saint Mary’s (21-2) in what may be the only game left the ‘Zags have a realistic chance of losing. If Gonzaga makes it to Selection Sunday undefeated, there’s no question it will remain a No. 1 seed. One loss, however, could be enough to put that in question given the ‘Zags’ weak schedule strength relative to the other contenders.
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.
|16||Texas Southern*/New Orleans*|
|6||Saint Mary’s||at Buffalo|
|1||Gonzaga*||at Salt Lake City|
|6||Maryland||at Greenville, S.C.|
|7||Virginia Tech||at Sacramento|
|15||North Dakota State*|
|13||New Mexico State*|
|6||Notre Dame||at Indianapolis|
|15||Florida Gulf Coast*|
|16||UC Davis*/Mount St. Mary’s*|
|6||South Carolina*||at Salt Lake City|
|7||Northwestern||at Greenville, S.C.|
LAST FOUR IN: Michigan, Wake Forest, Seton Hall, Miami
FIRST FOUR OUT: Syracuse, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Cal
NEXT FOUR OUT: Illinois State, Ohio State, Georgetown, Texas Tech
MULTIPLE BID CONFERENCES: ACC (10), Big Ten (8), Big 12 (7), Big East (6), SEC (4), Pac-12 (4), A-10 (2), American (2), WCC (2)