2016 NCAA Tournament Projections – Updated March 7

NCAA basketball tournament bracket MM365

Teams on the 1 and 2 seeds lines listed according to S-curve, so Michigan State would be the fourth-ranked #1 seed, and Oregon the fourth #2.

Michigan State moves up to the final #1 seed after Miami’s loss at Virginia Tech.  North Carolina slides back into a 2 seed after a huge win at Duke, avenging its loss at home to the Blue Devils a couple weeks prior.  UNC’s big win, combined with Virginia beating Louisville a second time, pushes Miami down to the first #3 seed (9th overall) for the time being.  The Hurricanes would most likely slide up to a 2 seed with a win over Virginia in the ACC Semifinals.

Four teams became locks in my projections, with wins over the weekend:  California, Notre Dame, Butler and Providence.  The latter two–which each finished at 10-8 in the Big East after wins Saturday afternoon–are slated to match up in the 4-5 game of the Big East Quarterfinals.  Therefore, a bad loss for either of them isn’t possible at this point, and thus solidifying both teams in the NCAA field.

Texas Tech is a near lock after beating Kansas State at home Saturday.  However, the Red Raiders must face last-place TCU on Wednesday in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament.  A loss there would make things a bit hairy.

At-Large locks and Automatic bids earned below in bold

(Teams projecting as Automatic bids are listed with conference in parentheses)

1 Kansas Villanova Xavier Michigan State
2 Oregon North Carolina Virginia Oklahoma
3 Miami FL Indiana West Virginia Utah
4 Texas A&M Iowa State Maryland Duke
5 Iowa Purdue Arizona Dayton
6 Baylor Texas Seton Hall Kentucky
7 Providence California Wisconsin Notre Dame
8 USC Cincinnati St Joseph’s Butler
9 Syracuse Colorado Texas Tech Connecticut
10 VCU (A-10) St Bonaventure Oregon State San Diego State (MWC)
11 Tulsa / St Mary’s Gonzaga (WCC) South Carolina / Michigan Temple (AAC)
12 Monmouth (MAAC) Hofstra (CAA) Northern Iowa (MVC) Valparaiso (Horizon)
13 Hawaii (Big West) Arkansas-Little Rock (Sun Belt) Chattanooga (SoCon) Stony Brook (America East)
14 IPFW (Summit) UAB (C-USA) Yale (Ivy) Akron (MAC)
15 New Mexico State (Big West) Stephen F Austin (Southland) UNC-Asheville (Big South)  Weber State (Big Sky)
16 Austin Peay (OVC) / Texas Southern (SWAC) FGCU (A-Sun) / Hampton (MEAC) Wagner (NEC) Lehigh (Patriot)

Currently projecting Temple (AAC) and Gonzaga (WCC) as conference champions from leagues with at-large worthy teams, despite not being at-large worthy themselves at this time.  These two would potentially steal a bid from another at-large-worthy team.

LAST FOUR BYES:  Colorado, Oregon State, St Bonaventure, Syracuse

LAST FOUR IN:  St Mary’s, Tulsa, South Carolina, Michigan (very last in)

NEXT IN LINE (in order of closest to being IN):  Houston, Wichita State, Florida State, Pittsburgh, George Washington, Marquette, Georgia Tech, BYU, Evansville, Virginia Tech


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