The two new entrants are the biggest changes compared to Tuesday's edition of bracketology, as 15 of the top 16 from that projection remain in place. Florida (South), Arizona (West), Syracuse (East) and Wichita State (Midwest) lead the way, while Louisville replaces Saint Louis, who lost to Duquesne last night, on the four line.
I'll have more on the bid picture after today's full bracket and rundown.
New teams are indicated by an asterisk (*), while teams shifted for bracketing purposes are marked with a caret (^).
|(1) SOUTH |
|Orlando (Thu/Sat)||San Diego (Fri/Sun)|
|1||Florida (SEC)||1||Arizona (Pac-12)|
|16||Davidson (SoCon)||16||Robert Morris (NEC)|
|8||Kansas State||8 88||George Washington|
|Spokane (Thu/Sat)||San Diego (Fri/Sun)|
|55 5||Texas||5 5||Ohio State|
|^12||Minnesota||*1212||Southern Miss. (C-USA)|
|4||Virginia (ACC)||↑ 4||Louisville|
|↑ 13||Delaware (CAA)||13||Belmont (OVC)|
|Milwaukee (Thu/Sat)||Raleigh (Fri/Sun)|
|↑ 6||Oklahoma||666||North Carolina|
|^11||Arkansas/BYU||↑ 11||Oklahoma State|
|3||Wisconsin||3||Michigan (Big Ten)|
|14||Stephen F. Austin (Southland)||14||Mercer (A-Sun)|
|Buffalo (Thu/Sat)||Raleigh (Fri/Sun)|
|15||Boston U. (Patriot)||↓ 15||Georgia State (Sun Belt)|
|(4) MIDWEST |
New York (Fri/Sun)
|St. Louis (Fri/Sun)||Buffalo (Thu/Sat)|
|1||Wichita State (MVC)||1||Syracuse|
|16||High Point/Weber State||16||Alabama State/Utah Valley|
|San Antonio (Fri/Sun)||San Antonio (Fri/Sun)|
|↓ 5||Saint Louis (A 10)||↓ 5||Kentucky|
|↑ 12||North Dakota State (Summit)||^12||Xavier|
|4||Cincinnati (AAC)||4||Iowa State|
|13||Western Michigan (MAC)||13||Green Bay (Horizon)|
|Spokane (Thu/Sat)||Raleigh (Fri/Sun)|
|6||UCLA||6||New Mexico (MW)|
|3||San Diego State||3||Michigan State|
|*14||Vermont (AE)||14||Iona (MAAC)|
|St. Louis (Fri/Sun)||Milwaukee (Thu/Sat)|
|↓ 7||Memphis||↓ 7||Iowa|
|↑ 10||St. Joseph's||10||Gonzaga (WCC)|
|2||Kansas (Big 12)||2||Creighton (Big East)|
|*15||UC Irvine (Big West)||15||N.C. Central (MEAC)|
|FIRST FOUR (Dayton)|
|Tuesday: To Buffalo||Tuesday: To Milwaukee|
|16||Alabama State (SWAC)||^*11||Arkansas|
|*16||Utah Valley (WAC)||^11||BYU|
|Wednesday: To St. Louis||Wednesday: To Raleigh
|*16||High Point (Big South)||^*11||Oregon|
|16||Weber State (Big Sky)||^↓11||Providence|
|BIDS BY CONFERENCE||AVOIDING DAYTON||ARRIVALS||DEPARTURES|
|Big 12: 7||St. Joseph's||Arkansas||Middle Tennessee|
|Pac-12: 7||Oklahoma State||High Point||New Mexico State|
|Big Ten: 6||Minnesota||Oregon||Richmond|
|A 10: 5||Xavier||Southern Miss.||St. John's|
|AAC: 5||LAST FOUR IN||UC Irvine||Stony Brook|
||Oregon||Utah Valley||UC Santa Barbara|
|Big East: 4||BYU||Vermont||VMI|
|WCC: 2||FIRST FOUR OUT|
|1-Bid Conferences: 22||Tennessee|
|NEXT FOUR OUT|
Also considered: LSU, Toledo, Georgetown, Clemson, Louisiana Tech, N.C. State, Mississippi, West Virginia
As I walk through who is a lock in this field and who still has some worrying left to do, keep in mind that 32 places in this season's 68-team field are reserved for conference auto bid winners. However, nine of those squads will represent conferences that will most likely place multiple teams in the field. So, 23 places, the ones that go to the champions of likely single-bid conferences, are truly off the table. All bets are off if there are any surprise power conference tournament winners, though.
That leaves 36 at-larges and nine power conference auto bids to fill, for 45 available spots.
Conference leaders are designated by an asterisk (*), while teams shifted for bracketing purposes are marked with a caret (^).
|1 seeds||1. Florida*
||4. Wichita State*
|2 seeds||8. Villanova
|3 seeds||9. Wisconsin||10. Michigan*
||11. Michigan State||12. San Diego State|
|4 seeds||16. Louisville||15. Virginia*||14. Cincinnati*||13. Iowa State
|5 seeds||17. Texas||18. Kentucky||19. Ohio State
||20. Saint Louis*
|6 seeds||24. Oklahoma
||23. New Mexico*
||22. North Carolina||21. UCLA
|7 seeds||25. UMass||26. Connecticut||27. Iowa||28. Memphis|
|8 seeds||29. VCU|
After considering our locks, 28 of those 45 available spots are gone. Keep in mind that Wichita State does not count against our total, as the Missouri Valley will only send a second team if the Shockers lose at Arch Madness next week.
|8 seeds||32. Kansas State
||31. Geo. Washington||30. Stanford|
|9 seeds||33. Arizona State
After including these five teams with slightly-flawed selection sheets, our number of occupied spots increases to 33.
|9 seeds||35. SMU
|10 seeds||39. St. Joseph's||38. Baylor
There are now a dozen available spots, which break down fairly simply. Four of these five -- excepting Gonzaga, who again doesn't count against our total, as the WCC is not assured of multiple bids -- are getting some distance away from the cut line due to the combination of some recent decent performances (for the most part) and the struggles of the teams below.
Last Four Byes (Avoiding Dayton)
|10 seeds||40. California|
|11 seeds||42. Oklahoma State||43. Minnesota^||44. Xavier^|
Of this group, Oklahoma State seems to be on the upswing with the return of Marcus Smart from his suspension, while Minnesota got a bit of a boost with its win over Iowa on Tuesday night. Cal and Xavier, however, are slipping because of their recent inconsistency.
Last Four In (First Four)
|12 seeds||48. Providence^||46. BYU^||45. Oregon^|
|12 seeds||49. Arkansas^|
Today's two new entrants, Oregon and Arkansas, fall here, along with BYU, which still has many questionable losses that could negate great computer numbers, and Providence, a team that hasn't beaten a bid contender in over a month.
First Four Out/Next Four Out
|First 4 Out||69. Tennessee||70. Richmond
||72. St. John's
|Next 4 Out||73. Dayton
||74. Florida State
I was tempted to put Tennessee and Missouri in today's field ahead of Arkansas, but thought better of it after considering that each suffered a sweep at the hands of teams not in the at-large hunt within the past seven days. At this point, Arkansas, even with worse computer numbers due to a higher number of wins against teams from well outside of the RPI Top 250, has an edge because of a 7-8 record against the Top 100 and four Top 50 wins. A relative lack of losses to teams from outside of the Top 100 (one) helps too.
Florida State and Marquette are attempting to make a late charge, while Nebraska's loss at Illinois sends the Huskers tumbling a bit.
In The Hunt
|77. LSU||78. Georgetown||79. Toledo||80. Clemson|
|84. West Virginia||83. Mississippi||82. N.C. State||81. Louisiana Tech|
Time is growing short for all eight of these teams, particularly Georgetown, Clemson, West Virginia and N.C. State, all of whom lost critical games since Tuesday's projection.
|11 seeds||41. Harvard|
|12 seeds||47. Southern Miss.|
|12 seeds||50. North Dakota St.|
|13 seeds||51. Green Bay|
Harvard is basically here as a courtesy, as it will receive seeding respect should it claim the Ivy crown over Yale, but should the Crimson stumble, the other three teams in this group may get more of an at-large look. Still, the only guarantee for this group is a conference tournament triumph.
Auto Bid Only
|13 seeds||52. W. Michigan||53. Belmont*||54. Delaware*|
|14 seeds||58. Stephen F. Austin*||57. Mercer*||56. Vermont*||55. Iona*|
|15 seeds||59. Boston U.*||61. Georgia State*||60. UC Irvine*
||59. N.C. Central*|
|63. Robert Morris*||64. Davidson*
|65. Utah Valley*||66. Weber State*||67. High Point*
||68. Alabama State*|
The auto bid is also the only way in for this group, the composition of which will likely change on a daily basis, beginning with the first conference tournament games on March 3rd.
My next bracketology will be a full update on Tuesday. In the meantime, head over to Blogging the Bracket for my daily TV previews and morning recaps, and follow me during the weekend's action on Twitter @ChrisDobbertean.