Bracket Projection – February 29

Interesting weekend.  It is becoming abundantly clear that the top 8 teams (KU, MSU, OU, Nova, Xavier, UVa, Miami, UNC) have separated themselves from the rest of the field.  All the talk about who is a #1 seed right now does not matter in the least, because on March 13, we will have a much better picture.  Using the eye test, the four best teams are KU, MSU, Virginia and Xavier (despite their loss to Seton Hall).  Because I am projecting that those four will win their respective conference tournaments, they are on the 1 line right now.

Some teams that looked to be high seeds a few weeks back are now struggling to the finish like the Honda Pilot with 217,000 miles that I currently am driving.  In the Big 14, Iowa and Maryland look like completely different teams than they did a month ago.  Duke has now lost at Louisville and Pittsburgh in the past ten days.  Arizona lost at Colorado and Utah.  ND has lost at GT and FSU.  Dayton is plummeting down the seed lines after playing just horrible basketball the past two weeks.  It seems like USC hasn’t won in a month.  I could go on and on and on…

Florida and UConn are also in freefall.  We’ve talked about both here in the past couple weeks, about how each team has been savagely overrated in “experts” bracket projections.  UConn is now staring a trip to Dayton straight in the face, and Florida is going to have to beat Kentucky this week just to have a chance to get in the tournament.

It appears I was wrong about Utah, who picked up a big win against Arizona.  The resume is fantastic, so let’s take a deeper look.  They have 16 Top 100 wins, and seven Top 50 wins, including road/neutral wins against Colorado, USC, Duke, Texas Tech, Temple, Washington and UCLA.  They’ve won six in a row and 10 of their last 12 games.  I underestimated Jacob Poeltl and all of the Utes.  Now they get some love, and are up to a 3 seed.

MIDWEST
1 Kansas vs. 16 Wagner/Texas Southern
8 Wichita St vs. 9 Cincinnati
5 Purdue vs. 12 St. Mary’s
4 Duke vs. 13 S. Dakota St.
3 Utah vs. 14 UAB
6 Texas A&M vs. 11 Michigan
7 Texas Tech vs. 10 Monmouth
2 Miami vs. 15 Akron

WEST
1 Xavier vs. 16 Weber State
8 Syracuse vs. 9 S. Carolina
5 Iowa State vs. 12 UALR
4 Indiana vs. 13 Chattanooga
3 Oregon vs. 14 SF Austin
6 Notre Dame vs. 11 Valparaiso
7 Seton Hall vs. 10 USC
2 Oklahoma vs. 15 New Mexico St.

SOUTH
1 Michigan St vs. 16 Lehigh/Hampton
8 Dayton vs. 9 Oregon St
5 Texas vs. 12 Butler/Temple
4 Kentucky vs. 13 Stony Brook
3 WVU vs. 14 Hofstra
6 Arizona vs. 11 Alabama/UConn
7 Wisconsin vs. 10 Providence
2 UNC vs. 15 Winthrop

EAST
1 Virginia vs. 16 N. Florida
8 Colorado vs. 9 St. Joseph’s
5 Iowa vs. 12 San Diego St
4 Baylor vs. 13 Hawaii
3 Maryland vs. 14 Yale
6 California vs. 11 VCU
7 Pittsburgh vs. 10 Vanderbilt
2 Villanova vs. 15 Belmont

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