Bracketology 2013: The final NCAA bracket projection

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The moment of truth has almost arrived. Here's our bracketologist's last attempt at projecting the NCAA Tournament field of 68.

Before I get to today's bracket, here's a rundown of the final results that impacted it.

  • Mississippi took its NCAA future into out of the Selection Committee's hands by defeating SEC regular-season champion Florida in the conference final in Nashville. The loss means the Gators are the lowest-ranked third seed in this bracket.
  • Miami withstood a barrage of North Carolina threes to claim the ACC Tournament title. The Hurricanes have a case for a No. 1 seed thanks to their ACC regular-season title, but ultimately I think two bad late losses to Georgia Tech in Coral Gables and at Wake Forest keep them on the second line.
  • Saint Louis defeated VCU to add the Atlantic 10 Tournament title to the regular season crown it earned a little more than a week ago. That double title bumps the Billikens to the No. 4 seed line.
  • In the final game before the Tournament tips off, Ohio State topped Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game to lock up a two seed. The Badgers are now on the five line, though they could be a four-seed if the Committee decided to not make changes in the limited time postgame.

With those out of the way, here's my final projection of the season. Check out my previous posts for my reasoning for the top four seeds and the last four in and first four out.

(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 San Diego State 8 Missouri
9 BELMONT (OVC) 9 Iowa State
Kansas City (Fri/Sun) Austin (Fri/Sun)
55 5 Wisconsin 5 Butler
12 BUCKNELL (Patriot) 12 California or St. Mary's
4 Kansas State 4 Syracuse
13 AKRON (MAC) 13 VALPARAISO (Horizon)
Austin (Fri/Sun) Auburn Hills (Thu/Sat)
6 UNLV 6 Notre Dame
11 Villanova 11 Oklahoma
3 Florida 3 Michigan
14 MONTANA (Big Sky) 14 NORTHWESTERN STATE (Southland)
Dayton (Fri/Sun) Philadelphia (Fri/Sun)
7 North Carolina 7 OREGON (Pac-12)
10 Wichita State 10 Boise State
2 OHIO STATE (Big Ten) 2 Duke
15 FLORIDA GULF COAST (A-Sun) 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 CREIGHTON (MVC) 8 Colorado State
9 N.C. State 9 Illinois
San Jose (Thu/Sat) San Jose (Thu/Sat)
5 Oklahoma State 5 Arizona
12 Cincinnati 12 MISSISSIPPI (SEC)
4 SAINT LOUIS (A-10) 4 Marquette
13 NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC) 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (Summit)
Auburn Hills (Thu/Sat) Philadelphia (Fri/Sun)
6 Pittsburgh 6 VCU
11 La Salle or Tennessee 11 Minnesota
3 Michigan State 3 Georgetown
14 HARVARD (Ivy) 14 DAVIDSON (Southern)
Salt Lake City (Thu/Sat) Lexington (Thu/Sat)
7 UCLA 7 MEMPHIS (C-USA)
10 Temple 10 Colorado
2 NEW MEXICO (MWC) 2 MIAMI (ACC)
15 PACIFIC (Big West) 15 IONA (MAAC)
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 California
16 NORTH CAROLINA A&T (MEAC) 12 St. Mary's

BIDS BY CONFERENCE AVOIDING DAYTON ARRIVALS DEPARTURES
Big East: 8 Cincinnati None None
Big Ten: 7 Boise State

A-10: 5 Wichita State
Big 12: 5 Oklahoma

MWC: 5
LAST FOUR IN

Pac-12: 5
California

ACC: 4 La Salle

SEC: 4 Tennessee

MVC: 2 St. Mary's PROCEDURAL MOVES
WCC: 2 FIRST FOUR OUT Minnesota 10 down to 11
1-Bid Conferences: 21 Middle Tennessee Boise State 11 up to 10

Virginia Villanova 10 down to 11

Kentucky Wichita State 11 up to 10

Southern Mississippi Cincinnati 11 down to 12

NEXT FOUR OUT Oklahoma 12 up to 11

UMass Mississippi 11 down to 12

Alabama La Salle, Tennessee 12 up to 11

Maryland


Baylor

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

Later this evening, I'll have my reaction to the Selection Committee's bracket along with some final general thoughts. As I've said before, I don't envy the Selection Committee's task this season. The debates over the top seed line and the last couple of spots have surely been spirited, while I'd imagine the group will all sleep well tonight after racking their brains trying to seed and place the teams outside of the top four lines. There was a confounding level of similarity -- and mediocrity -- in this season's profiles. I doubt that I'll have all that much to critique about their choices.

More in College Basketball:

Printable bracket for March Madness

Full coverage of March Madness

Full NCAA Tournament seeding, from 1 to 68

Everything you need to know about the NCAA bracket

The life and death of Earl Badu

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