NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections: January 8th

With a seemingly never-ending cloud of illness hanging over my home, I haven’t had much time to sit down and put together a set of bracket projections so far this season.

But luckily, we also haven’t been healthy enough to leave the house with much regularity, which has allowed me plenty of time to watch college hoops.

Before I unveil my first set of projections this year, please note a couple things:

  1. For single-bid leagues, I pay some attention to who is currently atop the standings as well as the current RPI, but at this point in the season that can be misleading. Consequently, I placed the team I expect to win in the field.
  2. The projection below takes into account all games played through Monday, January 8th.
  3. You may think I don’t know what I’m talking about. You may be right. But it’s worth pointing out that I did finish second last season according to the Bracket Project.  I fully plan on living off of that for the remainder of the year, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Philadelphia Lexington
1) Duke 1) Louisville
16) FLA Gulf Coast / NC Central 16) Southern / Stony Brook
8) UCLA 8) Oklahoma State
9) Baylor 9) Oregon
San Jose Dayton
5) Michigan State 5) Kansas State
12) Belmont 12) Pittsburgh / Virginia
4) Butler 4) Illinois
13) North Dakota State 13) Davidson
Salt Lake City Austin
6) San Diego State 6) Cincinnati
11) Memphis 11) Arizona State
3) Gonzaga 3) Missouri
14) Harvard 14) Louisiana Tech
Auburn Hills Kansas City
7) Colorado 7) Miami, FL
10) Maryland 10) Boise State
2) Minnesota 2) Kansas
15) Iona 15) Cal State Fullerton
Auburn Hills Salt Lake City
1) Michigan 1) Arizona
16) Wagner 16) UNC Asheville
8) Temple 8) Wyoming
9) Kentucky 9) Marquette
Austin San Jose
5) New Mexico 5) Wichita State
12) Indiana State / Iowa State 12) Bucknell
4) Notre Dame 4) North Carolina State
13) Middle Tennessee State 13) Stephen F. Austin
Dayton Kansas City
6) UNLV 6) Georgetown
11) Saint Louis 11) North Carolina
3) Florida 3) Creighton
14) Ohio 14) Detroit
Philadelphia Lexington
7) Ohio State 7) VCU
10) Colorado State 10) Oklahoma
2) Syracuse 2) Indiana
15) Montana 15) George Mason















































NCAA Tournament Bracket Last Four In:

  • Indiana State  – The Sycamores have a high RPI and neutral court wins over Ole Miss and Miami, but an ugly road loss at Morehead State is a definite blemish on their profile.
  • Iowa State – A win over fellow bubble dweller BYU was the difference here, but the Cyclones need to add some meat to their resume in Big 12 play.
  • Pittsburgh – The Panthers are pounding Georgetown as I write this, but through Monday quality wins are hard to find on their schedule.  I do think they’re a tournament team at this point, but they’ll need to prove it in the First Four.
  • Virginia – Unlike Pitt, the Cavaliers have some solid wins over other bubble-esque teams like Tennessee, North Carolina, and on the road against Wisconsin.  However, their RPI is brutal thanks to three losses to Colonial teams.

NCAA Tournament First Four Out:

  • BYU – The Cougars have a solid RPI but haven’t really beaten anyone.  The four best teams on their schedule have beat them by double digits, and with the WCC not looking as tough, BYU is probably in trouble.
  • California – Wins over Denver and Georgia Tech are better than people might think, and while the Bears don’t have any horrible losses, they need to pick up some quality wins in an improved Pac-12.
  • Tennessee – The injury to Jeronne Maymon hurts, as does a down year for the SEC.  The good news for the Vols is that they have a win over Wichita State, but the team has had some brutal offensive stretches this season, an issue which will plague them the rest of the year.
  • Wisconsin – It’s hard to fathom the Badgers being left out, but outside of crushing Cal, what have they done?  The answer: not much.



Here is how the bids broke out by conference:

Big East (7): Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse

ACC (6): Duke, Maryland, Miami (FL), North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia

Big 12 (6): Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State

Big Ten (6): Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State

Mountain West (6): Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Wyoming

Pac-12 (5): Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, UCLA

Atlantic 10 (4): Butler, Saint Louis, Temple, VCU

Missouri Valley (3): Creighton, Indiana State, Wichita State

SEC (3): Florida, Kentucky, Missouri

America East: Stony Brook

Atlantic Sun: Florida Gulf Coast

Big Sky: Montana

Big South: UNC-Asheville

Big West: Cal State Fullerton

Colonial: George Mason

Conference USA: Memphis

Horizon: Detroit

Ivy: Harvard

MAAC: Iona

MAC: Ohio

MEAC: North Carolina Central

Northeast: Wagner

Ohio Valley: Belmont

Patriot: Bucknell

Southern: Davidson

Southland: Stephen F. Austin

Summit: North Dakota State

Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee State

SWAC: Southern

WAC: Louisiana Tech

West Coast: Gonzaga


Follow me on Twitter (@andybottoms) for more thoughts on college hoops, and check out the latest edition of the Bottoms Line podcast.

About Andy Bottoms

While Andy was born and raised in Indiana, he would like to point out that he grew up shooting hoops in his driveway and not against the side of a barn like you see in all the March Madness promos or in the middle of a field like Jimmy Chitwood. Andy ranks among the top bracketologists according to the Bracket Matrix and has provided his projections to Fox Sports for the past three seasons. When not compiling excuses for missing work during the NCAA Tournament, Andy enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He is a proud IU graduate and co-hosts The Assembly Call postgame show following every IU game. Twitter: @AndyBottoms


  1. You show 5 Big 12 teams in your league summary, but have 6 in your brackets. Okst is not listed in your summary.

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