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Bracketology: Wisconsin's stumble aids Kansas' rise

After losing twice in less than a week, the Badgers' run as a No. 1 seed in Chris Dobbertean's projected bracket is over. The surging Jayhawks replace them on the top line for this week, where KU is joined by Arizona, Michigan State and Syracuse.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

A week ago, the Wisconsin Badgers sat at the head of what appeared to be a stable class of No. 1 seeds. Seven days later, thanks to consecutive losses to Indiana (who promptly lost to Northwestern) and Michigan, the Badgers have been sent back to line No. 2. Their replacement is a Kansas squad that is borderline frightening to behold at the moment. Five straight Big 12 wins, along with the lead positions in both the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and Strength of Schedule (SOS) tables, have pushed the Jayhawks to the top spot in the South Region.

Arizona keeps the lead out West -- and moves into the No. 1 overall position, barely ahead of Syracuse, which naturally anchors the East. Michigan State, meanwhile, has top billing in the Midwest.

Creighton and Kentucky move in to group of 16 protected seeds today, while Baylor and Colorado drop out.

This week's bracket winners and losers follow the bracket and rundown. New teams are indicated by an asterisk (*), while teams shifted for bracketing purposes are marked with a caret (^).

(1) WEST
Anaheim (Thu/Sat)
(2) EAST
New York (Fri/Sun)
San Diego (Fri/Sun) Buffalo (Thu/Sat)
1 Arizona (Pac-12) 1 Syracuse (ACC)
16 Northern Colorado (Big Sky) 16 Radford/Savannah State
8 Florida State 8 Connecticut
9 Texas 9 UCLA
Raleigh (Fri/Sun) Orlando (Thu/Sat)
55 5 Cincinnati (AAC) 5 Michigan
12 Dayton/Missouri *12 Toledo (MAC)
4 Duke 4 Kentucky
13 Delaware (CAA) 13 Manhattan (MAAC)
Spokane (Thu/Sat) Raleigh (Fri/Sun)
6 Baylor 6 Colorado
^11 BYU/North Carolina 11 New Mexico
3 San Diego State (MW) 3 Iowa State
14 UC Irvine (Big West) 14 Stephen F. Austin (Southland)
Milwaukee (Thu/Sat) Buffalo (Thu/Sat)
7 Memphis 7 Ohio State
10 VCU 10 Gonzaga (WCC)
2 Wisconsin 2 Villanova
15 Southern (SWAC) 15 Stony Brook (AE)
Memphis (Thu/Sat)
Indianapolis (Fri/Sun)
St. Louis (Fri/Sun) Milwaukee (Thu/Sat)
1 Kansas (Big 12) 1 Michigan State (Big Ten)
16 Chattanooga/South Dakota *16 Old Dominion (C-USA)
8 Oregon 8 California
9 Minnesota 9 Xavier
San Diego (Fri/Sun) Spokane (Thu/Sat)
5 Virginia 5 Pittsburgh
*^12 Stanford ^12 SMU
4 UMass 4 Creighton (Big East)
13 Belmont (OVC) 13 Mercer (A-Sun)
San Antonio (Fri/Sun) San Antonio (Fri/Sun)
6 Louisville 6 Saint Louis (A10)
11 Green Bay (Horizon) *^11 Providence
3 Iowa 3 Oklahoma State
14 Georgia State (Sun Belt) 14 Boston U. (Patriot)
St. Louis (Fri/Sun) Orlando (Thu/Sat)
7 Oklahoma 7 Kansas State
10 George Washington 10 Harvard (Ivy)
2 Wichita State (MVC) 2 Florida (SEC)
*15 Utah Valley (WAC) *15 Robert Morris (NEC)
Tuesday: To Buffalo Tuesday: To Spokane
16 Radford (Big South) *^11 BYU
*16 Savannah State (MEAC) ↓^ 11 North Carolina
Wednesday: To St. Louis Wednesday: To Raleigh
16 Chattanooga (SoCon) 12 Dayton
*16 South Dakota (Summit) 12 Texas

Big 12: 7 New Mexico BYU Buffalo
ACC: 6 Stanford Old Dominion Fort Wayne
Big Ten: 6 SMU Providence Georgetown
Pac-12: 6 Providence Robert Morris Illinois
AAC: 5 LAST FOUR IN Savannah State Louisiana Tech
A10: 5
North Carolina South Dakota Nevada
Big East: 4 Dayton Stanford New Mexico State
SEC: 3 BYU Toledo Norfolk State
MW: 2 Missouri Utah Valley Wagner

1-Bid Conferences: 22 Tennessee





Indiana State

Boise State


Notre Dame

Teams are listed in the conference rundowns in seed list order. This post contains information about how I determine automatic bids before the conference tournaments, and my preseason bracket includes a rundown of the new bracket rules for this season. All RPI and SOS data is courtesy Basketball State ($) and reflects games against Division I opposition only that were completed before Monday, January 20, 2014.

American Athletic

Bids This Week (5): Cincinnati Bearcats (auto bid, in as at-large), Louisville Cardinals, Memphis Tigers, Connecticut Huskies, SMU Mustangs

Team Of The Week: Louisville (16-3, 5-1 AAC, RPI rank: 31, SOS rank: 83)

Thanks to an easy home win over Houston on Thursday and Saturday's second half surge at UConn, the Cardinals sit just a game back of Cincinnati in the standings. With a win at USF on Wednesday night, Louisville will be all set for a potential first-place showdown with the Bearcats -- at home -- on January 30th.

Week To Forget: Memphis (12-4, 3-2 AAC, RPI rank: 35, SOS rank: 36)

Yes, the Tigers did play twice this week. On Thursday, they fell to UConn at FedEx Forum -- Memphis' second home AAC loss in as many opportunities. Two days later, Josh Pastner's team took on Division II LeMoyne-Owen, which resulted in a 23-point victory that did absolutely nothing for the Tigers' profile. Houston and USF visit this week, which means Memphis should pick up a home league win, finally.

Five Games To Watch
Louisville at USF, Wednesday 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Houston at Memphis, Thursday 8 p.m. ET (ESPNews)
Connecticut at Rutgers, Saturday 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
SMU at Houston, Sunday 3 p.m. ET (ESPNews)
Cincinnati at Temple, Sunday 4 p.m. ET (CBS SN)

Atlantic 10

Bids This Week (5): UMass Minutemen, Saint Louis Billikens (auto bid, in as at-large), George Washington ColonialsVCU Rams, Dayton Flyers (First Four)

Team Of The Week: George Washington (15-3, 2-1 A10, RPI rank: 21, SOS rank: 68)

Seven days ago, the First Four looked to be the right destination for the Colonials, but they've consolidated their position, thanks to victories over VCU and St. Bonaventure. GW now has two Top 50 wins and a 7-2 mark against the Top 100. This week provides a single test, a potentially tricky contest at DC-area rival George Mason.

Week To Forget: Dayton (13-5, 1-2 A10, RPI rank: 51, SOS rank: 65)

The Flyers split a pair of road games when a sweep was there for the taking. Dayton won at Fordham, then fell by nine at Richmond, thanks to a 10-1 Spider run in the final three minutes. While UD remains in the field (barely, thanks to a bonus First Four home game), their place is not safe. VCU comes calling on Wednesday with a road game against pesky Rhode Island following on Saturday.

Five Games To Watch
VCU at Dayton, Wednesday 7 p.m. ET (CBS SN)
La Salle at St. Bonaventure, Wednesday 9 p.m. ET (CBS SN)
VCU at La Salle, Saturday 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
George Washington at George Mason, Saturday 12 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Dayton at Rhode Island, Saturday 4 p.m. ET (CBS SN)


Bids This Week (6): Syracuse Orange (auto bid, in as at-large), Duke Blue DevilsPittsburgh Panthers, Virginia Cavaliers, Florida State Seminoles, North Carolina Tar Heels (First Four)

Team Of The Week: Virginia (14-5, 5-1 ACC, RPI rank: 22, SOS rank: 10)

On Saturday, the Cavaliers completed a seeding-boosting season sweep of Florida State, a result that looked like a certainty about 10 minutes after tip. Last night, reeling North Carolina became the Cavs' second straight victim at John Paul Jones Arena. Woeful Virginia Tech should become the third on Saturday.

Week To Forget: N.C. State (11-7, 1-4 ACC, RPI rank: 78, SOS rank: 60)

The Wolfpack's bubble hopes are on life support after a week in which they gifted Wake Forest a win in Winston-Salem on Wednesday and were blasted by Duke on Saturday. Yes, N.C. State somehow came back to defeat Maryland on Monday night in the first of three straight home games, but they'll need to sweep the trio (Georgia Tech is up next on Sunday) to truly get back in the bid conversation.

Five Games To Watch
Notre Dame at Florida State, Tuesday 8 p.m. ET (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
Florida State at Duke, Saturday 12 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Pittsburgh at Maryland, Saturday 6 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Clemson at North Carolina, Sunday 6 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Duke at Pittsburgh, Monday 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Big 12

Bids This Week (7): Kansas Jayhawks (auto bid, in as at-large), Iowa State Cyclones, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Baylor BearsKansas State WildcatsOklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns

Team Of The Week: Kansas State (14-4, 4-1 Big 12, RPI rank: 34, SOS rank: 38)

A check of the Big 12 standings shows that It's not Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Oklahoma or Baylor sitting behind Kansas in second; it's the Wildcats. Granted, K-State's schedule plays a significant role in this development, as the 'Cats took care of business in a pair of home games this week, slipping by Oklahoma and routing West Virginia. Considering road trips to Austin and Ames are on tap over the next five days, don't expect Bruce Weber's squad to earn this honor for a second consecutive week.

Week To Forget: Baylor (11-5, 1-5 Big 12, RPI rank: 44, SOS rank: 32)

Let me put it this way. It's really difficult to lose all of your games in a three-game week when one of your opponents is Texas Tech. The Bears' single contest this week, a visit from Texas, may not be the remedy they need.

Five Games To Watch
Kansas State at Texas, Tuesday 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Kansas State at Iowa State, Saturday 1:30 p.m. ET (Big 12 Network Regional/ESPN3)
Texas at Baylor, Saturday 1:30 p.m. ET (Big 12 Network Regional/ESPN3)
Oklahoma at Texas Tech, Saturday 4 p.m. ET (Big 12 Network/ESPN3)
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, Monday 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Big East

Bids This Week (4): Villanova Wildcats (auto bid, in as at-large), Creighton Bluejays, Xavier Musketeers, Providence Friars

Team Of The Week: Providence (13-5, 3-2 Big East, RPI rank: 47, SOS rank: 44)

A pair of contrasting victories in the span of 48 hours push the Friars, winners of three straight, into today's bracket. On Thursday, Providence got all it could handle from St. John's in Queens, before prevailing after two overtimes. Given the effort the Friars expended in that win and the quick turnaround time before Creighton's Saturday night visit, you would have figured that Ed Cooley's team wouldn't have much left in the tank for the Bluejays. In a true "You Can't Predict College Hoops" moment, though, Providence made the visitors from Omaha look overmatched for 40 minutes. The Friars will attempt to give Butler and Xavier similar problems as it concludes a three-game homestand this week.

Week To Forget: Georgetown Hoyas (11-7, 3-4 Big East, RPI rank: 57, SOS rank: 42)

The Hoyas are currently in the midst of a three-game skid -- consecutive home losses to Marquette and Seton Hall followed an epic collapse at Xavier -- as they continue to miss Josh Smith, who is out for academic reasons. Georgetown is out of the bracket today, and its bubble position will likely get worse over the next two weeks, thanks to games against Creighton and Villanova in a three-day span, followed by a non-conference game against Michigan State in New York on Super Bowl Eve.

Five Games To Watch
Butler at Providence, Tuesday 9 p.m. ET (FS1)
Xavier at Providence, Saturday 12 p.m. ET (FS1)
Villanova at Marquette, Saturday 2 p.m. ET (FS1)
Georgetown at Creighton, Saturday 8 p.m. ET (FS1)
Villanova at Georgetown, Monday 9 p.m. ET (FS1)

Big Ten

Bids This Week (6): Michigan State Spartans (auto bid, in as at-large), Wisconsin BadgersIowa HawkeyesMichigan Wolverines, Ohio State Buckeyes, Minnesota Golden Gophers

Team Of The Week: Michigan (13-4, 5-0 Big Ten, RPI rank: 25, SOS rank: 35)

Not only was the Wolverines' win at the Kohl Center on Saturday their first since 1999, it was also their first-ever road victory over a Top 3 opponent. While the upset helped establish the Maize and Blue as a Big Ten contender, especially after a relatively soft early league schedule, they cannot get comfortable. That's because a home game with Iowa and trip to East Lansing loom this week.

Week To Forget: Wisconsin (16-2, 3-2 Big Ten, RPI rank: 5, SOS rank: 5)

See the opening paragraph of this feature.

Five Games To Watch
Indiana at Michigan State, Tuesday 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Iowa at Michigan, Wednesday 7 p.m. ET (BTN)
Wisconsin at Minnesota, Wednesday 9 p.m. ET (BTN)
Illinois at Ohio State, Thursday 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Michigan at Michigan State, Saturday 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Mountain West

Bids This Week (2): San Diego State Aztecs (auto bid, in as at-large), New Mexico Lobos

Team Of The Week: Boise State (11-5, 3-2 MW, RPI rank: 56, SOS rank: 62)

While this week's wins over former Mountain West co-leader Nevada and Utah State didn't push the Broncos onto the right side of the bubble, they at least keep BSU in the conversation. The talk will become a bit louder should Leon Rice's team win in Albuquerque on Tuesday. A winnable road game against San Jose State follows on Saturday.

Week To Forget: Nevada (9-9, 4-1 MW, RPI rank: 137, SOS rank: 96)

Tuesday's setback against Boise State knocked the Wolf Pack out of first, a position they aren't likely to see again with the way San Diego State is playing. A sweep of a Fresno State-Wyoming road trip this week would keep Nevada within striking distance, however.

Five Games To Watch
Boise State at New Mexico, Tuesday 9:15 p.m. ET (CBS SN)
San Diego State at San Jose State, Wednesday 10 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Utah State at UNLV, Wednesday 11 p.m. ET (CBS SN)
New Mexico at Colorado State, Saturday 4 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
San Diego State at Utah State, Saturday 11 p.m. ET (ESPNU)


Bids This Week (6): Arizona Wildcats (auto bid, in as at-large), Colorado BuffaloesOregon Ducks, California Golden Bears, UCLA Bruins, Stanford Cardinal

Team Of The Week (tie): California (14-4, 5-0 Pac-12, RPI rank: 32, SOS rank: 61) and Stanford (12-5, 3-2 Pac-12, RPI rank: 50, SOS rank: 50)

The Bay Area rivals thoroughly dominated Washington and Washington State while completing a pair of sweeps last weekend. Cal looks like Arizona's strongest challenger for the Pac-12 crown at the moment, while Stanford is moving steadily up my seed list. It will be interesting to see if both of those storylines remain in place after this week's trip to Los Angeles.

Week To Forget: Oregon (13-4, 1-4 Pac-12, RPI rank: 27, SOS rank: 23)

Just when you think things couldn't get worse for the Ducks, they went out and followed last week's home sweep to the Bay Area schools with a loss at struggling Oregon State. While Oregon's computer numbers look excellent, they are a bit deceiving, thanks to a 1-3 record against the Top 50, with the win coming against a BYU team that's firmly on the bubble. Things could get worse for Dana Altman's team before they get better, as a trip to Washington and Washington State looms.

Five Games To Watch
Colorado at Arizona, Thursday 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Oregon at Washington, Thursday 11 p.m. ET (FS1)
Stanford at UCLA, Thursday 11 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Colorado at Arizona State, Saturday 7 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
California at UCLA, Sunday 8 p.m. ET (ESPNU)


Bids This Week (3): Florida Gators (auto bid, in as at-large), Kentucky Wildcats, Missouri Tigers (First Four)

Team Of The Week: Mississippi (12-5, 3-1 SEC, RPI rank: 66, SOS rank: 92)

The Rebels have two things going for them this week: 1) they got Marshall Henderson back from suspension and 2) they were the only team not named Florida that went 2-0 for the week. While Ole Miss isn't an NCAA team yet, thanks to a 1-4 record against the Top 100, the Rebels should get there eventually if they keep picking up wins. That means they'll need to take care of Vanderbilt (in Nashville, not an easy task) and avenge an SEC-opening loss to Mississippi State (which occurred on the road without America's most-polarizing player) in the coming days.

Week To Forget: Tennessee (10-6, 2-2 SEC, RPI rank: 58, SOS rank: 24)

On Saturday, the Volunteers could have established themselves as the clear No. 3 in the league with a win at Rupp Arena. That didn't happen, so now they'll need a sweep this week to get back in the picture. The first part, shouldn't be too difficult as Tennessee welcomes Arkansas, whose inability to win on the road is flat out hilarious at this point, to Thompson-Boling Arena. Part two is far trickier; however, because it's game at Florida.

Five Games To Watch
Missouri at LSU, Tuesday 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Arkansas at Tennessee, Wednesday 8 p.m. ET (SEC TV Regional/ESPN3)
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, Wednesday 9 p.m. ET (SEC on CSS/ESPN3)
Florida at Alabama, Thursday 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Tennessee at Florida, Saturday 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Single Bid Leagues

Automatic Bids This Week (23): Stony Brook Seawolves (America East), Mercer Bears (Atlantic Sun), Northern Colorado Bears (Big Sky), Radford Highlanders (Big South), UC Irvine Anteaters (Big West), Delaware Blue Hens (Colonial), Old Dominion Monarchs (Conference USA), Green Bay Phoenix (Horizon), Harvard Crimson (Ivy), Manhattan Jaspers (Metro Atlantic), Toledo Rockets (Mid-American), Savannah State Tigers (Mid-Eastern), Wichita State Shockers (Missouri Valley, in as at-large), Robert Morris Colonials (Northeast), Belmont Bruins (Ohio Valley), Boston U. Terriers (Patriot), Chattanooga Mocs (Southern), Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (Southland), Southern U. Jaguars (Southwestern), South Dakota Coyotes (Summit), Georgia State Panthers (Sun Belt), Gonzaga Bulldogs (West Coast, in as at-large), Utah Valley Wolverines (Western Athletic)

At-Large Bids This Week (1): BYU Cougars (First Four)

Team Of The Week: BYU (12-7, 5-2 WCC, RPI rank: 43, SOS rank: 14)

The Cougars have rattled off five consecutive wins since New Year's Day. That streak was a necessity, since they closed 2013 with four straight defeats, including a pair of road losses to open the WCC schedule. Now, thanks to last week's sweep of San Francisco and Santa Clara, BYU sits just a game behind Gonzaga in the league standings. The two meet in Spokane on Saturday, though the Cougars can't be caught looking ahead at Portland on Thursday.

A win in the Kennel would be helpful, but may not be vital, as the Cougars' earlier victories over Stanford and Texas -- both away from Provo -- look better by the day. On the flip side, three December road losses to teams currently sitting outside of the Top 100 are serious blemishes on BYU's profile. Still, the Cougars sneak into today's bracket.

Week To Forget: New Mexico State (13-7, 3-2 WAC, RPI rank: 83, SOS rank: 154)

At the beginning of the season, the revamped WAC looked like it would be the two-time defending tournament champion Aggies' for the taking. Then they took a trip to Chicago State and UMKC, which resulted in a pair of losses by a total of seven points. Now, New Mexico State sits two games behind Utah Valley in the loss column, and its already tiny at-large hopes have all but evaporated.

Five Games To Watch
Stephen F. Austin at Oral Roberts, Thursday 8:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Vermont at Stony Brook, Friday 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Towson at Delaware, Saturday 12 p.m. ET (CSN Mid-Atlantic/NE/Comcast Network/CSS/SNY)
BYU at Gonzaga, Saturday 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Kent State at Toledo, Sunday 6 p.m. ET (TWCS/ESPN3)

That's bracketology for another week. While you wait for next Tuesday's projection, head over to Blogging the Bracket for my daily TV previews and follow me during each night's action on Twitter @ChrisDobbertean.

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