Bracket Projection – March 5

Interesting Saturday for the bubble.  Seton Hall, Marquette and Providence should be safe, with Xavier amazingly the lone question mark.  Wake Forest picked up a huge road win at Virginia Tech, while USC, Kansas State, and Rhode Island picked up necessary wins.

On the other hand, Illinois incredibly lost at Rutgers.  The Illini have been all over the board in the last week, but their first sub-100 loss of the season could be the one that pops their bubble.

The most interesting case continues to be Vanderbilt.  The ‘Dores picked up a necessary sweep of Florida, and could become the first 15 loss at-large recipient.  Just compare them with Kansas State, for example:

Vandy:  Non-Conf SOS – 1, Top 50: 5-8, Top 100: 10-13
KSU:  Non-Conf SOS – 230, Top 50: 3-8, Top 100: 5-10

Vandy is in, for now, but as always, the conference tournaments will provide significant clarity on the bubble.

SUNDAY

The Wichita State/Illinois State game should be fantastic.  The Shockers are favored by 9, which I think is easy money on the Redbirds.  More significant will be the bubble implications for the loser of this game.  In my opinion, Wichita State can absorb a loss better than Illinois State, who is currently the last team in the field.

Last Four In:  Xavier, Vanderbilt, USC, Illinois State

Next Eight:  Kansas State, Rhode Island, Illinois, Georgia Tech, Iowa, California, Clemson, Indiana

MIDWEST

1 Kansas vs. 16 NC Central/New Orleans – Tulsa
8 Creighton vs. 9 VCU
5 Virginia vs. 12 UNC Wilmington
4 Purdue vs. 13 UT-Arlington – Milwaukee
3 Arizona vs. 14 E. Tennessee St – Salt Lake City
6 St. Mary’s vs. 11 Wake Forest
7 Oklahoma St vs. 10 Michigan St
2 Louisville vs. 15 N. Kentucky – Indianapolis

WEST

1 Oregon vs. 16 Fort Wayne – Sacramento
8 S. Carolina vs. 9 Michigan
5 Notre Dame vs. 12 Nevada
4 Butler vs. 13 Akron – Milwaukee
3 Duke vs. 14 Winthrop – Greenville
6 Iowa State vs. 11 Xavier/Vanderbilt
7 Wisconsin vs. 10 Seton Hall
2 Gonzaga vs. 15 E. Washington – Salt Lake City

EAST

1 Villanova vs. 16 Jacksonville St – Buffalo
8 Dayton vs. 9 Wichita St
5 Minnesota vs. 12 USC/Illinois St
4 Florida vs. 13 Princeton – Orlando
3 Florida State vs. 14 Florida Gulf Coast – Orlando
6 SMU vs. 11 Mid Tennessee St
7 Virginia Tech vs. 10 Arkansas
2 Baylor vs. 15 Texas Southern – Tulsa

SOUTH

1 UNC vs. 16 UC Irvine/Mt. St. Mary’s – Greenville
8 Northwestern vs. 9 Providence
5 Cincinnati vs. 12 Monmouth
4 WVU vs. 13 Vermont – Buffalo
3 Kentucky vs. 14 Bucknell – Indianapolis
6 Maryland vs. 11 Syracuse
7 Miami vs. 10 Marquette
2 UCLA vs. 15 CSU Bakersfield – Sacramento

 

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