College Basketball

Bracket Forecast: Michigan State falls, Houston a team to watch

March 6

The Madness is just around the corner.

With less than two weeks before the start of the NCAA Tournament, the picture is becoming clearer with each passing day.

It was a relatively quiet week, with limited movement, according to FOX Sports bracket forecaster Mike DeCourcy.

No. 12 seed Michigan State dropped to the "Last Four In" the field of 68 after losing 69-50 at No. 1 seed Michigan.

The Spartans will have a shot at redemption on Sunday at the Wolverines' house. A loss for Michigan State wouldn't necessarily rule them out of the NCAA Tournament, but a victory would definitely help their case.

Plus, the strength of the Big Ten — with nine teams projected to earn bids in the tournament — could give Michigan State the extra push it needs to make the tournament field.

Let's take a look at DeCourcy's projected bracket.

One league that hasn't garnered much attention this season is the Mountain West, but it has two teams already in (15-seed San Diego State and 11-seed Colorado State), and Boise State and Utah State are the next two in line for an at-large bid out of the conference. They're currently among the "Next Four Out," according to DeCourcy.

No. 3 seed Houston has been the hottest non-power-conference team besides No. 1 seed Gonzaga, and strong play in the American has the Cougars rising in the tournament.

No. 12-seeded Wichita State joins Houston in the bracket — but just barely, as Memphis sits right behind on the bubble. The Shockers boast a win over the Cougars, but the Tigers get a chance to pull an upset this weekend. The Cougars already have three losses in AAC play, which could bode well for the duo looking for a chance.

After a three-game losing skid, Seton Hall will look to bounce back against St. John's. The Pirates were sitting as a No. 12 seed heading into the week but now are among the "First Four Out."

No. 3 seed Villanova received tough news Thursday, as guard Collin Gillespie suffered a season-ending MCL injury against 5-seed Creighton. In Gillespie's absence, the Wildcats beat the Bluejays 72-60 to clinch the Big East regular-season title, but now Villanova will be tasked with continuing to perform without its leader.

The Big Ten continues to leads the way with nine teams, followed by the Big 12 and ACC with seven apiece. By DeCourcy's count, the SEC has six teams, and the Big East and Pac-12 each have four.

The A-10 has a trio, while the WCCMissouri Valley Conference and AAC are all tied with two teams apiece.


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