The teams below are displayed below on an S-curve, so they are ranked from left to right within each seeding line. The italicized teams are ones predicted to win their conference tourney and gain an automatic bid to the dance, and the bolded teams are squads who have already clinched automatic bids to either the NCAA or NIT. For the conferences who currently have NCAA tourney teams, it is assumed that one of those teams will win their conference tourney. If not, then a stolen bid would result, and the number of at-large bids would drop.
Also, just to clarify, my bracket projection is intended to project the NCAA Tournament field if it was chosen today. Unlike some bracketologists, I am not trying to predict how each team will finish the season and then seed the teams based on that. There is one slight exception to this rule, however, and that is that I have always chosen to award the projected automatic bid for each conference to my projected best team in that conference, and not the team who is currently leading the conference standings. Given how unbalanced conference schedules are, it just seems like common sense to project that the best team in a conference will win the league championship, not the squad currently in first place.
Brad-ketology columns will be published at least twice a week (typically on Mondays and Fridays). This bracket projection has been updated through all games played on Thursday January 26th.
NCAA Tourney Field:
1-seeds: Baylor, Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga
- Huge matchup between Kentucky/Kansas this Saturday night. Winner gets a # 1 seed and loser is a 2.
2-seeds: Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, Butler
- The top ACC teams are currently bunched together pretty tight.
3-seeds: Arizona, Florida State, Virginia, Creighton
- Arizona has emerged out of nowhere to lead the Pac-12 and challege for a top seed.
4-seeds: West Virginia, Florida, Notre Dame, UCLA
5-seeds: Oregon, Duke, Wisconsin, Cincinnati
- It’s weird to seed the projected Big 10 Champ this low but that conference appears to lack a legitimate title contender this season.
6-seeds: Purdue, Maryland, South Carolina, Saint Mary’s
- The Terps are a very quiet 18-2 this season.
7-seeds: Xavier, SMU, Southern California, Minnesota
8-seeds: Northwestern, Dayton, Marquette, VCU
- Can the Wildcats earn their first ever tourney bid? Right now they are well in but will it hold?
9-seeds: Middle Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan State, Seton Hall
- Sparty is much improved after looking like an NIT team during the first month of their season.
10-seeds: Virginia Tech, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Arkansas
11-seeds: Iowa State, Miami-FL, Kansas State, TCU, California, Texas Tech
12-seeds: UNC-Wilmington, Illinois State, Valpo, Akron
- The Seahawks are my local team so I’ve followed them closely all season. They are going to be a dangerous NCAA tourney out depending on their matchup, assuming they can repeat as CAA champions.
13-seeds: Nevada, Monmouth, Chattanooga, New Mexico State
- Monmouth and its lovable bench are back and hopefully they won’t choke away a tourney bid like they did last season.
14-seeds: Vermont, Belmont, Winthrop, North Dakota State
- The Catamounts are rocking a surprisingly high RPI.
15-seeds: Bucknell, Georgia Southern, Florida Gulf Coast, Princeton
16-seeds: Texas Southern, UC Irvine, New Orleans, Weber State, Mount St. Mary’s, North Carolina Central
NIT Tourney Field:
1-seeds: Michigan, Wake Forest, Illinois, NC State
2-seeds: Georgia, UNC Wilmington, Providence, Rhode Island
3-seeds: Houston, Illinois State, Stanford, Valpo
4-seeds: Georgia Tech, Akron, Wichita State, Nevada
5-seeds: Tennessee, Ohio State, Monmouth, Alabama
6-seeds: Utah, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Memphis
7-seeds: Texas A & M, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Auburn
8-seeds: La Salle, Boise State, Georgetown, Temple
Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: New Mexico, Chattanooga, New Mexico State, Fresno State, UCF