NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections: January 22nd

We’re now less than two months from Selection Sunday, so it’s time for another set of bracket projections.

I hope to start doing these weekly soon, because the landscape can change pretty quickly as conference play continues.

The projections below take into account all games played through Monday, January 21st.

Philadelphia – March 22nd/24th Kansas City – March 22nd/24th
1) Duke (16-1) 1) Kansas (16-1)
16) NC Central (11-7)/Mercer (12-8) 16) Southern (14-6)/Charleston So. (10-6)
8) Oklahoma (13-4) 8) Illinois (14-5)
9) Colorado State (15-3) 9) Pittsburgh (15-4)
San Jose – March 21st/23rd Austin – March 22nd/24th
5) Wichita State (17-2) 5) Cincinnati (16-4)
12) Middle Tennessee (16-4) 12) Indiana State (12-6)/Iowa (13-5)
4) Oregon (16-2) 4) North Carolina State (15-3)
13) Bucknell (16-3) 13) Stephen F. Austin (16-1)
Dayton – March 22nd/24th Auburn Hills – March 21st/23rd
6) San Diego State (14-4) 6) UNLV (15-4)
11) Memphis (14-3) 11) Temple (12-5)
3) Indiana (16-2) 3) Minnesota (15-3)
14) Davidson (11-7) 14) Valparaiso (15-5)
Dayton – March 22nd/24th Lexington – March 21st/23rd
7) Missouri (13-4) 7) UCLA (15-4)
10) Georgetown (13-4) 10) Oklahoma State (12-5)
2) Butler (16-2) 2) Florida (14-2)
15) Stony Brook (13-5) 15) Long Beach State (10-8)
Auburn Hills – March 21st/23rd Philadelphia – March 22nd/24th
1) Michigan (17-1) 1) Syracuse (18-1)
16) Niagara (11-8) 16) Bryant (13-4)
8) Notre Dame (15-4) 8) Mississippi (15-2)
9) Baylor (13-5) 9) Colorado (12-6)
Austin – March 22nd/24th San Jose – March 21st/23rd
5) Miami, FL (13-3) 5) Kansas State (15-2)
12) Iowa State (13-4)/Kentucky (12-5) 12) Belmont (15-4)
4) Creighton (17-2) 4) New Mexico (16-2)
13) Louisiana Tech (16-3) 13) Ohio (13-5)
Salt Lake City – March 21st/23rd Kansas City – March 22nd/24th
6) Ohio State (13-4) 6) VCU (16-3)
11) North Carolina (12-5) 11) Maryland (14-4)
3) Gonzaga (17-2) 3) Michigan State (16-3)
14) Harvard (9-6) 14) North Dakota State (16-4)
Lexington – March 21st/23rd Salt Lake City – March 21st/23rd
7) Wisconsin (13-5) 7) Marquette (13-4)
10) Boise State (13-4) 10) Wyoming (15-2)
2) Louisville (16-2) 2) Arizona (16-1)
15) Montana (12-4) 15) Northeastern (11-7)












































Last Four In

Indiana State

The Sycamores are hanging on thanks to nonconference wins over Ole Miss and Miami. Losses to Morehead State and Southern Illinois don’t help their case, but they are still just inside the RPI top 50. ISU already has lost at Creighton in the Valley, and it can’t afford to get swept by both Creighton and Wichita State.


After beating Wisconsin on Saturday, the Hawkeyes are barely in the field. They also have a win over Iowa State, but the loss at Virginia Tech looks worse by the week. Iowa has two chances to pick up a key league road win with games at Ohio State and Purdue this week.

Iowa State

The Cyclones let one slip away at Kansas but have bounced back to win three straight (albeit against some of the worst teams in the Big 12). ISU’s RPI is solid, and the win over BYU helps for bubble purposes. But the Cyclones have to start putting some meat on their profile in the Big 12, and the next chance to do that comes on Saturday against Kansas State.


The season-opening win over Maryland is UK’s only RPI top-100 victory so far, but the Wildcats have managed to maintain a respectable RPI. Outside of the home loss to Texas A&M, the Wildcats’ losses aren’t egregious, but they have to start winning games against decent opponents. Unfortunately, those are few and far between in a down SEC.

First Four Out

Saint Mary’s

The Gaels have three top-100 wins, and they just picked up a key road victory at fellow bubble-dweller BYU. They do have a couple of bad losses, and the WCC doesn’t provide many more chances to improve their profile. The good news is that their toughest remaining games are all at home.

Texas A&M

Elston Turner blew up for 40 points in a win at Kentucky, but the Aggies lost twice last week, one in blowout fashion to Florida and the other on the road at struggling Alabama. At this point, A&M has no top-50 wins, and it needs to hold serve in the SEC leading up to a key early February stretch when it hosts Kentucky, Missouri and Ole Miss in a four-game span.


Their RPI is still in the top 50, but at this point the Cougars’ best RPI wins are against Santa Clara and Tennessee State. That just isn’t going to get it done, which means BYU needs to take two of its remaining three games against Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s to move the needle.


Aside from a season-opening loss to Saint Peter’s, the Scarlet Knights don’t have a bad loss, and they’ve picked up wins over Pitt and St. John’s in Big East play. Their RPI is just inside the top 50, but the next five games are critical as they play St. John’s, at Connecticut, at Cincinnati, Louisville and Georgetown.



Here is how the bids broke out by conference:

Big Ten (8): Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Wisconsin

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

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

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

ACC (5): Duke, Maryland, Miami (FL), North Carolina, North Carolina State

Pac-12 (4): Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, UCLA

SEC (4): Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri

Atlantic 10 (3): Butler, Temple, VCU

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

America East: Stony Brook

Atlantic Sun: Mercer

Big Sky: Montana

Big South: Charleston Southern

Big West: Long Beach State

Colonial: Northeastern

Conference USA: Memphis

Horizon: Valparaiso

Ivy: Harvard

MAAC: Niagara

MAC: Ohio

MEAC: North Carolina Central

Northeast: Bryant

Ohio Valley: Belmont

Patriot: Bucknell

Southern: Davidson

Southland: Stephen F. Austin

Summit: North Dakota State

Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee

SWAC: Southern

WAC: Louisiana Tech

West Coast: Gonzaga


Follow me on Twitter (@andybottoms) for more thoughts on college hoops.

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. Dave / New Mexico says:

    As much as I hate to say it…Unless UK wins the SEC Tourney, looks like they are OUT

    • Andy Bottoms says:

      After last night, UK is in some serious trouble. At this point they have four games left that might move the needle – @ Ole Miss, @ Florida, Missouri, and Florida at home. Probably have to go 3-1 in those at a minimum and avoid other slip-ups.

  2. UK has at least 5 more losses in their pocket , they are NIT bound . Wow how that hurts to say .

  3. Louisville just lost to Villanova so with 3 loses they should be a 3 seed now. AZ will be a one seed. Look at the RPI. AZ is 2nd. Looks like Yardbarker is becoming like ESPN. Bottoms is picking at the bottom.

    • Andy Bottoms says:

      Obviously these can become outdated fairly quickly, but the projections above are through Monday’s games and don’t reflect last night’s Louisville loss.

      As to your other point, I can’t deny the RPI argument, but I try to factor in more than just that when I do these. They lost what I would call their only tough road game to date, but they do have five Top 100 wins. But outside of the Florida game (which was a great comeback), they beat Miami without Reggie Johnson, SDSU (thanks to a huge defensive play at the end which they deserve credit for), Southern Miss who is vastly overrated in the RPI, and Colorado on a very controversial ending. So when I merge the numbers with the “eye test,” they were fifth in my S-Curve.

      And well played on the Bottoms joke, never heard those before.

  4. Eric Edmonds says:

    How can Indiana not be a 2 seed never being ranked under 7th

    • Andy Bottoms says:

      At least since I am an IU grad, I am not being accused of being biased toward the Hoosiers.

      At any rate, the rankings have nothing to do with what the selection committee will do. The reality is that IU has a poor non-conf strength of schedule and has one win over a team in the RPI Top 30. Outside of the Minnesota game, there isn’t really a marquee win to hang their hat on. For me, it came down to IU and Butler for the last 2 seed. Butler has more Top 50 wins, more Top 100 wins, and a head-to-head win over IU.

  5. AJ Kaufman says:

    Good call on ISU. After they beat Ole Miss & Miami, I said that could help them if on the bubble. I was at the game they lost in Omaha to CU. Sycamore played with them for 35 minutes. Good squad.

  6. Dave / New Mexico says:

    SEC could be the PAC-12 of 2013…reckon?

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