Bracket Watch: Can Duke, Florida State improve their position in the field?

Every day through Selection Sunday we’ll update our Bracket Watch, giving you an up-to-date field of 68. Each of those columns will begin with a look at the games that night relevant to seeding at the top and in the middle of the field. While the Bubble Watch covers the back end of the field, the Bracket Watch will focus on the teams that are safely in the dance, and what they stand to gain—or lose—every time they take the floor.

Tuesday’s seeding games (all times Eastern, locks are italicized)

Florida State at Duke, 7 pm

The Blue Devils still have plenty of time to work their way up the field, especially with a trip to North Carolina looming this weekend, but this could be a real prize for Florida State. The Seminoles own six top-25 wins, and a 9-2 record against the top 50. If they win out, and Duke beats North Carolina on Saturday, the Seminoles will earn a share of the ACC regular season championship. If they do that and go on to win the ACC tournament, they could sneak onto the top line.

Indiana at Purdue, 7 pm

Purdue can’t increase its tournament profile on Tuesday, but a loss would certainly indict its case for one of the top-16 seeds. If any Big Ten team is likely to be seeded fourth or better in a region, it’s the Boilermakers, but even they might be a longshot. While they’re 6-4 against the RPI top 50, just one of those wins came against a top-25 team (Notre Dame). Given that we already know the committee is down on the Big Ten, as indicated by the absence of the conference in the midseason reveal three weeks ago, Purdue still may have work to do to be among the field’s top-16 teams.

Vanderbilt at Kentucky, 9 pm

Vanderbilt fans should jump over to the Bubble Watch to see what’s at stake for the Commodores. Kentucky has its sights set on a No. 2 seed, with the top line likely out of reach. If the Wildcats move up to a 2-seed, they’d have a shot at staying as close to home as possible, which, this season, is the South Region, hosted in Memphis. Vanderbilt gave Kentucky all it could handle the first time the teams met, with the Wildcats pulling out an 87-81 win in Nashville. If Kentucky is going to reach its seed ceiling, it likely cannot lose the rest of the way, including in the SEC tournament.

Last Four In

Seton Hall
Illinois State
California
Georgia Tech

First Four Out

Rhode Island
Vanderbilt
Kansas State
Wake Forest

Next Four Out

Illinois
TCU
Houston
Indiana

Bracket Watch
2017 NCAA Tournament
Midwest East
1 Kansas Villanova 1
VS. VS.
16 North Dakota/Mount St. Mary’s New Orleans/Texas Southern16
 
8 Dayton Michigan 8
VS. VS.
9 Xavier Arkansas9
 
5 Purdue Notre Dame 5
VS. VS.
12 East Tennessee State UNC-Wilmington12
 
4 Virginia West Virginia4
VS. VS.
13 Belmont Nevada 13
 
6 Iowa State Southern Methodist 6
VS. VS.
11 Marquette Seton Hall/Illinois State11
 
3 Florida State Arizona 3
VS. VS.
14 UNC-Asheville Monmouth 14
 
7 South Carolina Saint Mary's 7
VS. VS.
10 Michigan State VCU 10
 
2 UCLA Louisville2
VS. VS.
15 South Dakota Akron 15
 
 
West South
1 Gonzaga North Carolina1
VS. VS.
16 NC Central UC-Irvine16
 
8 Virginia Tech Oklahoma State8
VS. VS.
9 Wichita State Northwestern 9
 
5 Minnesota Cincinnati5
VS. VS.
12 Princeton California/Georgia Tech 12
 
4 Duke Florida 4
VS. VS.
13 UT-Arlington Vermont 13
 
6 Creighton Wisconsin 6
VS. VS.
11 Syracuse Middle Tennessee11
 
3Kentucky Butler3
VS. VS.
14 Valparaiso Bucknell 14
 
7 Maryland Miami 7
VS. VS.
10 Providence USC 10
 
2 Oregon Baylor 2
VS. VS.
15 Florida Gulf Coast Cal State Bakersfield15

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