Welcome back to Barnes Bracketology, coming live from Norcross, GA. Why am I in Norcross? Well, I am in transit from Gwinnett, GA to Macon, GA as I cover the high school basketball playoffs in the Peach State. Don't worry, I'm not doing this as I drive. I'm safely at a Starbucks (free plug) doing my work. Now why am I telling you all of this? Because it is further proof just how serious I am about this "March hobby" of mine. Even when I'm not home, I'm thinking brackets!
MY PROJECTED FIELD OF 65
(changes in italics)
LOCKS: Call me crazy but I'm putting Notre Dame in this category. Their 5-game win streak has been too impressive to not have them in this category. Seton Hall had their chance to possibly take away the Irish's bid but ND did what they had to. So congrats Notre Dame, you are officially in the tournament.
LOCKS (36): Duke, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Villanova, West Virginia, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Texas A+M, Texas, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, New Mexico, BYU, Temple, Xavier, Gonzaga, Butler, Northern Iowa, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Richmond, Clemson, Marquette, Missouri, Florida State, Louisville, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame
AUTOS: 2 more teams are in the field officially, thanks to conference tournament victories. But unlike yesterday, I got both of them wrong. In the Big Sky, Montana upset Weber State and in the Northeast, Robert Morris beat Quinnipiac. I'd say I'm disappointed in my predictions but I'm not at all.
Teams that have clinched their automatic bid will appear in bold.
AUTOS (22): America East - Vermont, Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State, Big Sky - Montana, Big South - Winthrop, Big West - UC Santa Barbara, Colonial - Old Dominion, Conference USA - UTEP, Ivy - Cornell, MAAC - Siena, MAC - Kent State, MEAC - Morgan State, Northeast - Robert Morris, Ohio Valley - Murray State, Pac-10 - California, Patriot - Lehigh, Southern - Wofford, Southland - Sam Houston State, SWAC - Jackson State, Summit - Oakland, Sun Belt - North Texas, WAC - Utah State, WCC - St. Mary's
AT-LARGE: Because of Notre Dame, we're down to just 7 spots left in this category, and UNLV is pretty safe too. Many of these teams are in action starting today or tomorrow so pay close attention to this category.
AT-LARGE (7): UNLV, Washington, San Diego State, Florida, Memphis, Georgia Tech, and Illinois.
BUBBLE WATCHBUBBLE (19):
Remember how excited you were as a kid when you blew bubbles and then they burst? Well, that's the kind of excitement I have when I see the bubbles burst for these basketball teams. That just means one less team I have to agonize about when it comes to the final at-large spots. Becuase of yesterday's losses, you can say goodbye to Seton Hall and South Florida. With 8 Big East teams already in, their chances are done. However, because it just seems right, I am adding Cincinnati back into the bubble mix. Their win over Louisville is just the start though of a 3-game win streak they need to really be considered strongly.
UTEP, California, Notre Dame, UNLV, Utah State, Washington, San Diego State, Florida, Memphis, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Arizona State, Ole Miss, Rhode Island, Saint Louis, UAB, Dayton, and Mississippi State
That's the field. What about the seeding?
There weren't too many games involving projected tournament teams but of the ones there were, they managed to shift the seeding a bit. Notre Dame's win moved them from a 12 to a 9 seed. The win wasn't THAT impressive but considering I had them on my 10 seed line but was forced to put them at a 12, it seemed right to move them to a 9 seed now. Marquette (who won) and Louisville (who lost) switched spots/seeds. FSU, VT, and Washington all dropped a spot to make room for ND's ascent. More changes tomorrow for sure.
**NOTE** Because I am using a different computer and forgot to save my brackat template on my jump drive, I was unable to make a new bracket. I will have one tomorrow when I am back in Augusta. However, the changes are reflected below in list form.CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN
Big East (8), ACC (7), Big 12 (7), Big Ten (5), MWC (4), SEC (4), A-10 (3), C-USA (2), Pac-10 (2), WCC (2)
MIDWEST vs. WEST
SOUTH vs. EASTMIDWEST REGION - St. Louis
#1 Kansas* (29-2) vs. #16 Vermont (24-9) - Oklahoma City
#2 Purdue (26-4) vs. #15 UC-Santa Barbara (18-9) - Milwaukee
#3 Villanova (24-6) vs. #14 Sam Houston State (23-7) - Providence
#4 Maryland (23-7) vs. #13 Siena (27-6) - Spokane
#5 Vanderbilt (23-7) vs. #12 Memphis (23-8) - Spokane
#6 Gonzaga (26-6) vs. #11 Virginia Tech (23-7) - Providence
#7 Northern Iowa (28-4) vs. #10 UNLV (23-7) - Milwaukee
#8 Marquette (21-10) vs. #9 Utah State (25-6) - Oklahoma City
SOUTH REGION - Houston
#1 Syracuse (28-3) vs. #16 Lehigh (21-10)/Jackson State (19-11) - Buffalo
#2 Kansas State (24-6) vs. #15 Morgan State (25-9) - Oklahoma City
#3 Michigan State (24-7) vs. #14 Montana (22-9) - Providence
#4 Texas A+M (22-8) vs. #13 Kent State (23-8) - San Jose
#5 Tennessee (23-7) vs. #12 Illinois (18-13) - San Jose
#6 Georgetown (21-9) vs. #11 San Diego State (22-8) - Providence
#7 Richmond (24-7) vs. #10 Florida State (22-8) - Oklahoma City
#8 Wake Forest (19-9) vs. #9 UTEP (24-5) - Buffalo
EAST REGION - Syracuse
#1 Kentucky (29-2) vs. #16 Winthrop (19-13) - New Orleans
#2 West Virginia (24-6) vs. #15 East Tennessee State (20-14) - Buffalo
#3 New Mexico (28-3) vs. #14 Wofford (26-8) - San Jose
#4 Wisconsin (23-7) vs. #13 Cornell (27-4) - Spokane
#5 Temple (26-5) vs. #12 Washington (21-9) - Spokane
#6 Butler (28-4) vs. #11 Georgia Tech (19-11) - San Jose
#7 Texas (24-8) vs. #10 Old Dominion (26-8) - Buffalo
#8 Oklahoma State (22-9) vs. #9 Notre Dame (22-10) - New Orleans
WEST REGION - Salt Lake City
#1 Duke (26-5) vs. #16 Robert Morris (23-11) - Jacksonville
#2 Ohio State (24-7) vs. #15 North Texas (24-8) - Milwaukee
#3 Pittsburgh (24-7) vs. #14 Oakland (26-8) - Jacksonville
#4 Baylor (24-6) vs. #13 Murray State (30-4) - New Orleans
#5 BYU (28-4) vs. #12 Florida (20-11) - New Orleans
#6 Xavier (23-7) vs. #11 St. Mary's (26-5) - Jacksonville
#7 Clemson (21-9) vs. #10 Missouri (22-10) - Milwaukee
#8 California (21-9) vs. #9 Louisville (20-12) - Jacksonville
*Top overall seed
THURSDAY'S GAMES TO WATCHTexas Tech vs. Kansas (Big 12 Quarterfinals)
- Only thing possibly on the line here is Kansas' top overall seed spot. The 1 seed is locked up.Georgetown vs. Syracuse (Big East Quarterfinals)
- The Hoyas could really improve their seeding with a good run in the Big East tourney. Syracuse is a 1 seed no matter what.Cincinnati vs. West Virginia (Big East Quarterfinals)
- Cincy just has to keep winning to stay in the bubble mix. WVU could be a 1 seed if they win the Big East tourney.Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State (Big 12 Quarterfinals)
- KSU can't afford to lose another game, especially if they like that 2 seed.Marquette vs. Villanova (Big East Quarterfinals)
- Both tteams could improve their seeding with victories. Plus, Marquette would like some revenge on Nova.LSU vs. Tennessee (SEC First Round)
- Tennessee can move up to a 4 seed with a semifinal appearance probably in the SEC tournament, though I know they have higher aspirations.Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh (Big East Quarterfinals)
- A loss by Pitt or ND could see their seeds fall. Wins though keep them right where they are.Texas vs. Baylor (Big 12 Quarterfinals)
- These teams played just less than a week ago in Waco and Baylor won. If the Bears win again, they'll find themselves a solid 4 seed.UCF vs. UTEP (Conference USA Quarterfinals)
- Pretty simple for UTEP. Beat UCF and become a lock for the tournament.Nebraska vs. Texas A+M (Big 12 Quarterfinals)
- Nebraska upset Mizzou yesterday so A+M better be ready. A loss may have them a lower seed come tomorrow.Houston vs. Memphis (Conference USA Quarterfinals)
- A must-win for the Tigers if they want to stay in the at-large category.Boise State vs. Utah State (WAC Quarterfinals)
- Utah State may be an at-large even if with a loss in the conference tournament but why chance it?Southern Miss vs. UAB (Conference USA Quarterfinals)
- A Memphis loss and a UAB win helps their chances, though the Blazers need to probably get to the tournament final.Colorado State vs. San Diego State (Mountain West Quarterfinals)
- Now would not be the time for San Diego State to slip up. They've been steady all year and avoided the bad loss.Oregon vs. California (Pac-10 Quarterfinals)
- Losing in this round would not be good for the Bears, who are pretty safe. A semifinal appearance and loss wouldn't be that awful.North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech (ACC First Round)
- Tricky first round matchup for GT but one they have to win. They are the last team in for a reason. They are way too inconsistent.Ohio vs. Kent State (MAC Quarterfinals)
- GO BOBCATS! (Sorry, but gotta root for the alma mater)Auburn vs. Florida (SEC First Round)
- Auburn is capable of winning this game and if they do, the Gators will be in deep trouble. They're riding a 3-game losing streak right now.Stanford vs. Arizona State (Pac-10 Quarterfinals)
- The mission for ASU is to simply avoid the upset here and then take down Washington in the semifinals. That should be enough for an at-large.Oregon vs. Washington (Pac-10 Quarterfinals)
- The mission for Washington is to simply avoid the upset here and then take down ASU in the semifinals. That should be enough for an at-large.Utah vs. UNLV (Mountain West Quarterfinals)
- UNLV is in good shape. Losing to lowly Utah though may put some doubts in the committee's mind...and mine.
Sorry again about the lack of a bracket but it'll be back tomorrow. Hopefully, you will be too as we get that much closer to Selection Sunday. Don't forget you can share your opinion in the comments section below, on Twitter @MattBarnesWRDW
, or my Facebook page.