NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections: Final

The projections below are FINAL after all of Sunday’s games.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time today going back over teams, seeds, and profiles, and all that thinking and over-thinking has led to a handful of changes. Most notably, I am putting Green Bay in the field in place of SMU. The Mustangs played an incredibly weak non-conference schedule (ranked 296th to be exact), and while they have four great wins in the AAC, they also have three sub-100 losses and no other wins against the Top 100. In fact, SMU has just five wins against the Top 130 teams in the RPI.

As for the Phoenix, I keep coming back to the fact that the committee has rewarded a mid-major team that was upended in its conference tournament – Iona two years ago and Middle Tennessee last season. In my estimation, Green Bay’s win over Virginia and the fact that it played Wisconsin down to the wire give them the best chance to steal a bid this year. Louisiana Tech was the other team I considered given their win at Oklahoma.

Even though Michigan lost the Big Ten Championship, I left the Wolverines on the one line instead of moving Virginia or Villanova up. While the Cavaliers won the ACC regular season and tournament titles, Michigan has more Top 25 and Top 50 victories and significantly more Top 50 road wins. As for ‘Nova, the Wildcats have a November win over Kansas, but they have zero wins over other teams I have as an eight seed or better. They have had a great season and avoided a bad loss until the Big East Tournament, but their body of work doesn’t stack up to Michigan’s.

SOUTH (MEMPHIS) WEST (ANAHEIM)
Orlando San Diego
1) Florida (31-2) 1) Arizona (29-4)
16) Coastal Carolina (21-12)/Texas So. (18-14) 16) Albany (18-14)
8) George Washington (24-8) 8) Gonzaga (28-6)
9) Oklahoma St. (21-12)
9) Saint Joseph’s (24-9)
Spokane Spokane
5) UCLA (26-8)
5) Connecticut (26-8)
12) North Dakota St. (25-6) 12) Stephen F. Austin (31-2)
4) Creighton (26-7) 4) San Diego St. (29-5)
13) Manhattan (25-7) 13) Delaware (25-9)
Buffalo Raleigh
6) Baylor (24-11)
6) VCU (26-8)
11) Providence (23-11)
11) Nebraska (19-12)/Tennessee (21-12)
3) Michigan St. (27-8)
3) Duke (25-8)
14) Eastern Kentucky (24-9) 14) Mercer (26-8)
St. Louis Buffalo
7) Massachusetts (24-8)
7) Texas (23-10)
10) Stanford (21-12)
10) Arizona St. (21-11)
2) Kansas (24-9) 2) Villanova (28-4)
15) NC Central (28-5) 15) American (20-12)
EAST (NEW YORK) MIDWEST (INDIANAPOLIS)
Milwaukee St. Louis
1) Michigan (25-8) 1) Wichita St. (34-0)
16) Weber St. (19-11) 16) Cal Poly (13-19)/Mount St. Mary’s (16-16)
8) Memphis (23-9) 8) Oregon (23-9)
9) Colorado (23-11) 9) Kansas St. (20-12)
Orlando San Diego
5) North Carolina (23-9) 5) Ohio St. (25-9)
12) BYU (23-11)/Green Bay (24-6) 12) Harvard (26-4)
4) Cincinnati (27-6) 4) Syracuse (27-5)
13) Western Michigan (24-9) 13) Tulsa (21-12)
San Antonio San Antonio
6) New Mexico (27-6) 6) Oklahoma (23-9)
11) Dayton (23-10)
11) Xavier (21-12)
3) Iowa St. (26-7) 3) Louisville (29-5)
14) LA-Lafayette (23-11) 14) New Mexico St. (26-9)
Raleigh Milwaukee
7) Kentucky (24-10) 7) Saint Louis (26-6)
10) Iowa (20-12) 10) Pittsburgh (25-9)
2) Virginia (28-6) 2) Wisconsin (26-7)
15) Milwaukee (21-13) 15) Wofford (20-12)

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Last Four In

Nebraska (19-12)

Tennessee (21-12)

BYU (23-11)

Green Bay (24-6)

Other Teams Considered

SMU (23-9)

Louisiana Tech (27-7)

California (19-13)

Minnesota (20-13)

Arkansas (21-11)

North Carolina State (21-13)

Florida St. (19-13)

Southern Miss (27-6)

*******

Here is how the bids broke down by conference.  Teams denoted with a * have clinched their conference’s automatic bid.

Big 12 (7): Baylor, Iowa State*, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas

Atlantic 10 (6): Dayton, George Washington, Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s*, Saint Louis, VCU

Big Ten (6): Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State*, Nebraska, Ohio State, Wisconsin

Pac-12 (6): Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA*

ACC (5): Duke, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia*

American (4): Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville*, Memphis

Big East (4): Creighton, Providence*, Villanova, Xavier

SEC (3): Florida*, Kentucky, Tennessee

Horizon (2): Green Bay, Milwaukee*

Mountain West (2): New Mexico*, San Diego State

West Coast (2): BYU, Gonzaga*

America East: Albany*

Atlantic Sun: Mercer*

Big Sky: Weber State*

Big South: Coastal Carolina*

Big West: Cal Poly*

Colonial: Delaware*

Conference USA: Tulsa*

Ivy: Harvard*

MAAC: Manhattan*

MAC: Western Michigan*

MEAC: North Carolina Central*

Missouri Valley: Wichita State*

Northeast: Mount St. Mary’s*

Ohio Valley: Eastern Kentucky*

Patriot: American*

Southern: Wofford*

Southland: Stephen F. Austin*

Summit: North Dakota State*

Sun Belt: LA-Lafayette*

SWAC: Texas Southern*

WAC: New Mexico State*

**********

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

About the Author

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