Bracketology: Selection Sunday is finally here

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Back on Friday, Nov. 9, the 2012-13 college basketball season began. Today, one of the most thrilling and unpredictable campaigns in recent memory reaches the beginning of the end as the Selection Committee will name the 68 teams that will play for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.

As I wrote earlier today, the Committee has its work cut out for it in handing out the four No. 1 seeds, including the top spot overall. Duke's defeat at the hands of Maryland on Friday night put a late blemish on its impeccable profile and, more crucially, deprived the Blue Devils of a chance at an ACC championship. Big Ten regular season champ Indiana lost to Wisconsin -- for the 12th-consecutive meeting -- in the first of that conference's semifinals in Chicago. Conversely, Kansas closed its profile out with a resounding win over archrival Kansas State in the Big 12 final, while Louisville came back from a 15-point deficit to crush Syracuse in the Big East final. Those were two convincing closing arguments


With that in mind, Louisville, Indiana, Kansas and Gonzaga are my four No. 1s for the final two projections. Sure Miami will try to stake its own claim by completing an ACC regular season/tournament double in Greensboro, but no team under consideration has two bad late losses like the Hurricanes. Mountain West regular season and tournament champ New Mexico also has a case, but I'm not sure the Selection Committee will give the Mountain West enough respect for the Lobos to be tabbed. Duke's lack of a title, despite the No. 1 RPI and strength of schedule, will cost them, which is not an unprecedented move.

Ten other teams joined Kansas, Louisville and New Mexico in clinching bids on Saturday -- Akron (MAC), Albany (America East), Memphis (Conference USA), Montana (Big Sky), New Mexico State (WAC), North Carolina A&T (MEAC), Northwestern State (Southland), Oregon (Pac-12), Pacific (Big West) and Southern U. (SWAC).

As for the bubble, Mississippi, which could not afford a late bad loss to Vanderbilt in the SEC semifinals, knocked off the Commodores. The Rebels did what they needed to do, but they might just want to clinch the auto bid by beating Florida in this afternoon's SEC final to be safe.

Conversely, Alabama really needed to beat Florida and Southern Mississippi's most realistic hope was to win the C-USA auto bid, a dream Memphis ended. The same went for Maryland, defeated by North Carolina in the ACC semifinals, and UMass, which fell to VCU in the Atlantic 10. For more on the bubble situation, take a look at last night's Last Four In/First Four Out post.

After my penultimate bracket and rundown of the season, I'll take a quick look at the four remaining games of Championship Week 2013.

(1) MIDWEST
Indianapolis (Fri/Sun)
(2) EAST
Washington (Thu/Sat)
Lexington (Thu/Sat) Dayton (Fri/Sun)
1 LOUISVILLE (Big East) 1 Indiana
16 JAMES MADISON or LIBERTY 16 LONG ISLAND U. or N.C. A&T
8 UCLA 8 N.C. State
9 Iowa State 9 Missouri
San Jose (Thu/Sat) San Jose (Thu/Sat)
55 5 UNLV 5 Syracuse
12 AKRON (MAC) 12 Boise State
4 Wisconsin 4 Kansas State
13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (Summit) 13 VALPARAISO (Horizon)
Auburn Hills (Thu/Sat) Auburn Hills (Thu/Sat)
6 MEMPHIS (C-USA) 6 Butler
11 La Salle or Tennessee 11 Oklahoma
3 Michigan State 3 Michigan
14 MONTANA (Big Sky) 14 HARVARD (Ivy)
Lexington (Thu/Sat) Philadelphia (Fri/Sun)
7 Pittsburgh 7 Colorado State
10 Colorado 10 Cincinnati
2 Miami (ACC) 2 Duke
15 IONA (MAAC) *15 ALBANY (AmEast)
(4) WEST
Los Angeles (Thu/Sat)
(3) SOUTH
Arlington (Fri/Sun)
Salt Lake City (Thu/Sat) Kansas City (Fri/Sun)
1 GONZAGA (WCC) 1 KANSAS (Big 12)
16 SOUTHERN (SWAC) 16 WESTERN KENTUCKY (Sun Belt)
8 Notre Dame 8 San Diego State
9 BELMONT (OVC) 9 Illinois
Austin (Fri/Sun) Kansas City (Fri/Sun)
5 Oklahoma State 5 Saint Louis (A10)
12 Minnesota 12 Mississippi or St. Mary's
4 Arizona 4 Marquette
13 NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC) 13 BUCKNELL (Patriot)
Philadelphia (Fri/Sun) Austin (Fri/Sun)
6 VCU 6 CREIGHTON (MVC)
11 California 11 Villanova
3 Georgetown 3 Florida (SEC)
14 DAVIDSON (Southern) *14 NORTHWESTERN STATE (Southland)
Salt Lake City (Thu/Sat) Dayton (Fri/Sun)
7 North Carolina 7 OREGON (Pac-12)
10 Wichita State 10 Temple
2 NEW MEXICO (MWC) 2 Ohio State (Big Ten)
15 PACIFIC (Big West) 15 FLORIDA GULF COAST (A-Sun)
FIRST FOUR (Dayton)
Tuesday: To Lexington Tuesday: To Auburn Hills
16 JAMES MADISON (CAA) 11 La Salle
16 LIBERTY (Big South) 11 Tennessee
Wednesday: To Dayton Wednesday: To Austin
16 LONG ISLAND U. (NEC) *12 Mississippi
*16 NORTH CAROLINA A&T (MEAC) 12 St. Mary's

BIDS BY CONFERENCE AVOIDING DAYTON ARRIVALS DEPARTURES
Big East: 8 Villanova Albany Middle Tennessee
Big Ten: 7 Boise State Mississippi Morgan State
A-10: 5 Oklahoma North Carolina A&T Stephen F. Austin
Big 12: 5 California Northwestern State Vermont
MWC: 5
LAST FOUR IN

Pac-12: 5
La Salle

ACC: 4 St. Mary's

SEC: 4 Tennessee

MVC: 2 Mississippi PROCEDURAL MOVES
WCC: 2 FIRST FOUR OUT Notre Dame 7 down to 8
1-Bid Conferences: 21 Middle Tennessee North Carolina 8 up to 7

Virginia Boise State 11 down to 12

Kentucky La Salle, Tennessee 12 up to 11

Southern Mississippi Minnesota 11 down to 12

NEXT FOUR OUT California 12 up to 11

UMass


Alabama


Maryland


Baylor

Also considered (in order): Iowa, Arizona State, Louisiana Tech, Stephen F. Austin

ACC Final

North Carolina vs. Miami, 1 p.m. ET (ACC Network or ESPN and ESPN3D, Check Your Local Listings)
The Tar Heels burst Maryland's bubble on Saturday and now will try to send the Hurricanes down the seed list.

A-10 Final

VCU vs. Saint Louis, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
You might very well want to watch this one, as both of these teams will make noise over the next few weekends. The Billikens have a shot at a four seed with a win.

SEC Final

Mississippi vs. Florida, 1 p.m. ET (ABC)
The Rebels will attempt to make it easy on the Selection Committee, while the Gators are trying to crack the No. 2 line, an unlikely possibility given how the weak SEC limited the Gators' Top-50 win chances.

Big Ten Final

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Buckeyes will be looking to wrap up a No. 2 seed, while the Badgers could sneak up to the a three line with a win. However, with the lateness of that particular game, who knows where these two teams end up.

The Selection Show

6 p.m. ET (CBS)
About 45 or so minutes after action wraps up in Chicago, the moment of reckoning arrives.

I'll have my final bracket at around 5 p.m. Eastern. Expect several changes as I'll wipe the seed list clean one final time.

Get your printable NCAA Tournament bracket

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