Predicting the NCAA tournament bracket

BY foxsports • March 5, 2012

Through Sunday, March 11 (updated 3:45 p.m. ET).



Seed Team Comment
at Pittsburgh | Buy tickets
1  Syracuse Despite 28 points from Dion Waiters, the Orange fell to Cincinnati in the Big East semifinals. But they remain locked in as the second overall seed behind Kentucky.
16 Lamar The Cardinals responded to Pat Knight's postgame tirade two weeks ago by winning six straight, including a 21-point win over McNeese State in the Southland Conference Championship.
8 Gonzaga The Bulldogs’ regular-season run of supremacy in the West Coast Conference came to an end this season, and they came up short against Saint Mary's in overtime in the WCC championship game on Monday night.
9 Purdue The Boilers allowed Ohio State to shoot more than 60 percent from the field in Friday's Big Ten tournament loss, but Robbie Hummel and Purdue are safe.
at Albuquerque | Buy tickets
5   Vanderbilt The Commodores picked up the biggest win of the Kevin Stallings era by knocking off top-ranked Kentucky in the SEC Championship.
12 Long Beach State Casper Ware went off for 33 points to lead the 49ers to the Big West Championship on Saturday night.
4   Florida State Behind 18 points from Michael Snaer and 13 assists from Luke Loucks, the Seminoles finished off North Carolina to win the ACC Championship.
13 Drexel / Iona The Dragons are firmly on the bubble after losing to VCU in the Colonial Athletic Association championship game on Monday night, while the Gaels have benefitted from the losses suffered by other bubble teams.
at Columbus | Buy tickets
6 San Diego State Chase Tapley’s 25 points weren’t enough as the Aztecs lost in the Mountain West championship on Saturday night.
11 Southern Mississippi The Golden Eagles continued their late-season swoon with a loss to Marshall. But with nine top-100 wins, it's tough to imagine them getting left out.
3   Michigan The Wolverines went ice cold from the perimeter in a blowout loss to Ohio State on Saturday.
14   Montana Led by the long-range shooting of Kareem Jamar, the Grizzlies scored 54 points in the second half to win the Big Sky championship on Wednesday night.
at Omaha | Buy tickets
7 Cincinnati The Bearcats came up short against Louisville in the Big East title game, but no team improved its seed more than Cincinnati this week.
10   Virginia The Cavaliers boast All-ACC forward Mike Scott, but they haven’t beaten a team safely in the field since late November.
2 Missouri Led by 19 points from Kim English, the Tigers beat Baylor for the third time this season to claim the Big 12 title.
15   Loyola (MD) The Greyhounds earned the school's second NCAA tournament bid with a win over Fairfield on Monday night.




Seed Team Comment
at Louisville
1 Kentucky Those saying the Wildcats "needed" a loss before the tournament got their wish on Sunday, but Kentucky remains the top overall seed.
16 UNC-Asheville UNC-Asheville was the first team to punch its ticket after winning the Big South.
8 Kansas State The Wildcats lost to Baylor on Thursday despite 22 points and 14 rebounds from Jordan Henriquez, giving them some rest before Selection Sunday.
9 Connecticut Even though the Huskies couldn't hang on to beat Syracuse on Thursday, they still have nine top-100 victories, which should be enough to keep them in the field.
at Portland
5   Wichita State The Shockers won 16 of their last 17 regular season games, but slipped up in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament semifinals against Illinois State. They’re still arguably the best mid-major this year.
12   California /   Seton Hall The Golden Bears have no top-50 wins, but nine victories versus the top 100 allowed them to sneak in, while the Pirates made the field largely based on their seven top-100 wins.
4   Wisconsin The Badgers were unable to dig themselves out of an early hole against Michigan State in the Big Ten semifinals.
13 Ohio Guard D.J. Cooper’s 23 points and six assists propelled the Bobcats to a one-point win over Akron in the MAC Championship on Saturday night.
at Albuquerque | Buy tickets
6 Temple The Owls allowed 46 second-half points to UMass to lose in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
11 Colorado State Even with Friday's loss to San Diego State, the Rams should be safe based on wins over UNLV, New Mexico and SDSU.
3 Baylor Perry Jones III had another double-double, but the Bears came up short against Missouri in the Big 12 final on Saturday night.
14   New Mexico State The Aggies steamrolled Louisiana Tech to win the WAC Championship.
at Greensboro | Buy tickets
7 Memphis The Tigers crushed Marshall to win the Conference USA tournament and are playing their best basketball of the season heading into the Big Dance.
10 West Virginia After blowing an 11-point lead and losing to Connecticut in the Big East tournament on Wednesday, the Mountaineers dropped one seed line but are still in relatively good shape.
2   Duke The Blue Devils shot poorly and turned the ball over 16 times in Saturday’s loss to Florida State.
15 Detroit The Titans outscored Valparaiso 44-23 in the second half to win the Horizon League tournament and will be dancing for the first time since 1999.




Seed Team Comment
at Omaha | Buy tickets
1   Michigan State The Spartans got 21 points from Brandon Wood and won a hard-fought game against Ohio State for the Big Ten championship.
16   Vermont/  Mississippi Valley State The Catamounts rode a hot start to the America East title, while Mississippi Valley State finished the season by winning 20 of 21 after a 1-11 start.
8 Iowa State The Cyclones missed out on a chance to improve their seeding when they lost to Texas in their Big 12 tournament opener Thursday, and seem like a virtual lock to be an 8 or 9 seed.
9   Alabama The Crimson Tide got 21 points and 10 rebounds from JaMychal Green, but they still came up short against Florida in the SEC quarterfinals.
at Portland
5 New Mexico The Lobos tied San Diego State for the regular season title in the Mountain West, but they settled it on the floor by winning the MWC Tournament Championship.
12 Colorado The Buffs won four games in four days to claim the Pac-12 automatic bid.
4   Louisville The Cardinals improved their seed by winning four games in four days to take home the Big East tournament title.
13 St. Bonaventure Andrew Nicholson capped a phenomenal Atlantic 10 Tournament with 26 points, 14 boards, and eight blocks, as the Bonnies captured the automatic bid.
at Louisville
6 Creighton The Bluejays claimed the Missouri Valley tournament championship behind 33 points from star Doug McDermott, who will be a matchup problem for anyone they face in the Big Dance.
11 BYU The Cougars are clinging to one of the final at-large bids in the first year of the post-Jimmer era.
3   Marquette The Golden Eagles turned the ball over 26 times and allowed 23 offensive rebounds in Thursday's loss to Louisville, but they remain safely on the 3 line.
14   South Dakota State The Jackrabbits trailed by double-digits in the second half, but they came back to eventually win in overtime and secure the first NCAA tournament bid in school history.
at Omaha | Buy tickets
7   Florida The Gators played some of their best basketball against Kentucky but still came up short in the SEC semifinals.
10 Harvard The Crimson are going dancing for the first time since 1946 after rival Princeton knocked off Penn in the Ivy League finale on Tuesday, which clinched the outright title and the automatic bid for Tommy Amaker's squad.
2   Kansas The Jayhawks are still hoping for a No. 1 seed, but a semifinal loss in the Big 12 tournament, coupled with the play of Michigan State and Ohio State, will likely prevent that.
15   LIU Brooklyn Five players scored in double figures to lead the Blackbirds to a 17-point victory in the Northeast Conference championship on Wednesday night.




Seed Team Comment
at Greensboro | Buy tickets
1   North Carolina The Tar Heels will likely get a pass for Sunday's loss to Florida State since they played without the injured John Henson.
16 Western Kentucky / Norfolk State Despite finishing the season with a losing record, the Hilltoppers reeled off four wins in as many days to grab the automatic bid from the Sun Belt, while Norfolk State earned its first tournament bid by beating Bethune-Cookman on Saturday.
8 Notre Dame The Irish struggled from 3-point range in a semifinal loss to Louisville, and finished the regular season with losses in three of their final five games.
9   Saint Louis The Billikens fell to Xavier in the Atlantic 10 semifinals, but Rick Majerus’ club will be tough to play against in the Big Dance.
at Nashville | Buy tickets
5 Murray State It’s been a magical season for the Racers, who finished 30-1 and punched their ticket with a last-second Ohio Valley Conference tournament victory on Saturday.
12 Texas The Longhorns were unable to pull off a second straight upset, as they lost by 14 points against Missouri in the Big 12 semifinals.
4   Indiana The Hoosiers lost guard Verdell Jones III to a torn ACL in their first Big Ten tournament game and lost to Wisconsin in their second.
13 Davidson The glory days of Steph Curry are long gone, but these Wildcats have a non-conference win over Kansas and won a double-overtime thriller to earn the automatic bid.
at Nashville | Buy tickets
6   UNLV The Rebels were unable to make it to the finals of the Mountain West tournament despite hosting the event, but they have the potential for a deep NCAA run.
11 VCU Last year's Cinderella team is dancing again after the Rams knocked off Drexel to claim the CAA auto-bid.
3   Georgetown The Hoyas lost a double-overtime thriller to Cincinnati in the Big East quarterfinals Thursday, and they could drop to a 4 seed depending on what happens in other tournaments.
14   Belmont The Bruins won their final 14 games and are dancing for the fifth time in the last seven years after winning the Atlantic Sun tournament on Saturday
at Pittsburgh | Buy tickets
7 Saint Mary's The Gaels followed up a regular-season West Coast Conference title with an overtime win over rival Gonzaga to claim the tournament crown, as well.
10   Xavier The Musketeers solidified their bid with a run to the Atlantic 10 Finals, but they ran into a buzzsaw named Andrew Nicholson on Sunday.
2   Ohio State The Buckeyes played well in the Big Ten tournament, but they came up short against Michigan State in the championship game.
15   Lehigh The Mountain Hawks won the Patriot League championship Wednesday behind 29 points from star guard C.J. McCollum.
The last schools in: Seton Hall, Drexel, Iona, California
The first schools out: North Carolina State, Marshall, Tennessee, Washington, Mississippi State, South Florida, Miami (FL), Mississippi, Northwestern, Nevada, Oral Roberts




2012 NCAA Tournament schedule

First Four
March 13-14
Dayton, Ohio | Buy tickets

Second and third rounds
March 15 & 17
Albuquerque, N.M. | Buy tickets
Pittsburgh | Buy tickets
Portland, Ore.
Louisville, Ky.

March 16 & 18
Columbus, Ohio | Buy tickets
Greensboro, N.C. | Buy tickets
Nashville, Tenn. | Buy tickets
Omaha, Neb. | Buy tickets

Regional finals
March 22 & 24
East: Boston | Buy tickets
West: Phoenix | Buy tickets

March 23 & 25
Midwest: St. Louis | Buy tickets
South: Atlanta | Buy tickets

Final Four
March 31 & April 2
New Orleans | Buy tickets

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