The Month of Madness has finally arrived!
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 Sunday February 26th.
NCAA Tourney Field:
1-seeds: Kansas, Villanova, Oregon, North Carolina
2-seeds: Baylor, Butler, Gonzaga, Louisville
3-seeds: Arizona, UCLA, Kentucky, Duke
4-seeds: Florida State, Florida, West Virginia, Virginia
5-seeds: Notre Dame, SMU, Minnesota, Purdue
6-seeds: Cincinnati, St. Mary’s, Creighton, Maryland
7-seeds: Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Dayton, Virginia Tech
8-seeds: Wisconsin, Miami-FL, South Carolina, VCU
9-seeds: Arkansas, Xavier, Southern California, Michigan State
10-seeds: Northwestern, Michigan, Seton Hall, Middle Tennessee
11-seeds: Providence, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Marquette, Wake Forest, Rhode Island
12-seeds: Illinois State, UT-Arlington, Nevada, UNC Wilmington
13-seeds: Monmouth, Vermont, Princeton, Belmont
14-seeds: Akron, Bucknell, Winthrop, Cal State Bakersfield
15-seeds: Florida Gulf Coast, Oakland, UNC Greensboro, South Dakota
16-seeds: Texas Southern, UC Irvine, North Dakota, Mount St. Mary’s, New Orleans, , North Carolina Central
NIT Tourney Field:
1-seeds: Kansas State, Illinois State, Wichita State, Syracuse
2-seeds: California, TCU, Clemson, Pittsburgh
3-seeds: Ohio State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, UT-Arlington,
4-seeds: Nevada, UNC Wilmington, Houston, Monmouth
5-seeds: Vermont, Charleston, Ole Miss, Brigham Young
6-seeds: Boise State, Alabama, Utah, Indiana
7-seeds: Iowa, Tennessee, Texas A & M, UCF
8-seeds: Princeton, Richmond, Belmont, Auburn
Ranking of Other Postseason Contenders: Colorado State, Texas Tech, New Mexico, St. Bonaventure
You have Illinois State in the NCAA bracket and the NIT bracket.
For all the conference champs who would also receive at-large NIT bids I go ahead and put what seed they currently are in the NIT bracket. Several reasons for doing this actually. First of all, you can monitor how closely those teams are to actually getting NCAA at-large bids if they were to lose in their conference tournaments and the NIT always has about 8 teams get automatic bids to it when small conference regular season champs lose in their conference tournaments. By going ahead and putting 8-12 conference champs on the NIT s-curve you already get to see where the NIT cutline is most likely to end up.