March Madness: NCAA Tournament picks, bracketology


PLANTING THE SEEDS

American-Statesman staff writer Kevin Lyttle, a veteran Associated Press Top 25 voter, projects the 68-team NCAA Tournament field leading up to Selection Sunday.

Overview: North Carolina and Kansas did enough over the four-month regular season, winning the best two leagues in the country, to outweigh one misstep in their league tournaments. They’ll stay No. 1 seeds. Defending national champion Villanova is set for the top spot in the East. The one question is in the West: Will Gonzaga hold off the Pac-12 Tournament champion, if it’s Oregon, for the top seed? Duke still could rock the boat as well.

Big 12 outlook: Kansas State is on shaky ground as a sixth conference team, but we’re guessing the Wildcats’ road success in the No. 2 RPI league will carry the day. Baylor and West Virginia have fallen on the seed lines into the 3/4 category. Iowa State is making quite a late charge.

Late bid stealers: Middle Tennessee and Nevada are the teams to watch out for, if they didn’t win their tournament title games late Saturday. They could knock out a Big East team such as Providence or Marquette or the Pac-12’s USC.

How to read: Teams listed first on each seed line go to the East Regional, second teams to the Midwest, third teams to the South and fourth teams to the West. The last two teams on lines 11 and 12 and the last four on line 16 are assigned to First Four games Tuesday-Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio.

Regional sites: East (New York), Midwest (Kansas City, Mo.), South (Memphis, Tenn.), West (San Jose, Calif.)

Note: Records, seedings through Saturday afternoon games.

*indicates projected conference champion/automatic qualifier

1 — *Villanova (30-3), Kansas (28-4), North Carolina (27-7), *Gonzaga (32-1)

2 — *Duke (26-8), Arizona (29-4), *Kentucky (28-5), *Oregon (29-4)

3 — Baylor (25-7), Florida State (25-8), UCLA (29-4), Louisville (24-8)

4 — Purdue (25-7), Notre Dame (25-8), Butler (23-8), *West Virginia (26-7)

5 — Virginia (22-10), *SMU (29-4), Cincinnati (28-4), Florida (24-8)

6 — Creighton (25-8), Iowa State (22-10), Saint Mary’s (28-4), *Wichita State (30-4)

7 — *Wisconsin (25-8), Oklahoma State (20-12), Michigan (23-11), Minnesota (24-9)

8 — Miami (21-11), Arkansas (25-8), *VCU (26-7), Maryland (24-8)

9 — Dayton (24-7), Northwestern (23-11), South Carolina (22-10), Wake Forest (19-13)

10 — Kansas State (20-13), Michigan State (19-14), Virginia Tech (22-10), Xavier (21-13)

11 — *Middle Tennessee (29-4), Vanderbilt (19-15), Seton Hall (21-11), Marquette (19-12), Southern Cal (24-9)

12 — *Nevada (27-6), *UNC Wilmington (29-5), *Princeton (22-6), Rhode Island (23-9), Providence (20-12)

13 — *Akron (26-7), *Vermont (29-5), *East Tennessee (27-7), *Bucknell (26-8)

14 — *CSU Bakersfield (22-8), *Iona (22-12), *Winthrop (26-6), *Florida Gulf Coast (26-7)

15 — *Northern Kentucky (24-10), *Texas Southern (22-11), *UC Irvine (21-13), *North Dakota (21-9)

16 — *Texas State (20-12), *Jacksonville State (20-14), *North Carolina Central (25-8), *South Dakota State (18-16), *New Orleans (19-11), *Mount St. Mary’s (19-15)

———————

Last four in: Marquette (19-12), Southern Cal (24-9), Rhode Island (22-9), Providence (20-12)

First four out: Illinois State (27-6), Syracuse (18-14), California (21-12), Monmouth (27-6)

Multi-bid conferences: ACC (9), Big Ten (7), Big East (7), Big 12 (6), SEC (5), Pac-12 (4), Atlantic 10 (3), American (2), West Coast (2)



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had a rough time recovering from jaw injury he received against Cardinals
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had a rough time recovering from jaw injury he received against Cardinals

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had to admit that the shot he took in Week 1o from Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby set him back for a few days. There was some controversy after that hit, when Wilson was forced off of the field to be examined for concussion symptoms. He went into the injury tent, and emerged...
Louisville football: Former Georgia coach Jim Donnan thinks Tennessee should hire Bobby Petrino
Louisville football: Former Georgia coach Jim Donnan thinks Tennessee should hire Bobby Petrino

The college football regular season hasn’t even ended yet, and already the coaching carousel is in full swing. The most talked-about current openings are at Tennessee and Florida. Friday, ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum and former Georgia football coach Jim Donnan discussed who they believe the Volunteers will hire. Donnan...
Tennessee SEC Country picks: No one believes in Vols or Vanderbilt
Tennessee SEC Country picks: No one believes in Vols or Vanderbilt

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The close of college football’s regular season is fast approaching, and the reality for Tennessee is there likely won’t be any more opportunities for the Vols. Tennessee (4-6, 0-6 SEC) is a two-touchdown underdog to LSU (7-3, 4-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday under the lights at Neyland Stadium. The Vols&rsquo...
Baker Mayfield seeking Big 12 record 37th straight game with TD pass at Kansas
Baker Mayfield seeking Big 12 record 37th straight game with TD pass at Kansas

Baker Mayfield is on the verge of finishing a perfect 14-0 in true road games as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback when the Sooners face Kansas on Saturday. That’s not the only feat that is in reach for the senior this weekend. Mayfield can set a new Big 12 record at Kansas for the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass...
Question of the Day: Will any of LSU’s star juniors return next season?
Question of the Day: Will any of LSU’s star juniors return next season?

SEC Country reporter Alex Hickey will answer your LSU Tigers sports queries each weekday in our LSU Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryLSU, @bigahickey or by email to Alex at alex.hickey@coxinc.com. Today’s question comes from Tyler Mann via this week’s Facebook...
More Stories