Kentucky, Virginia, Wisconsin and Duke remain locked into the four No. 1 seed positions, just like on Friday, while Gonzaga, Villanova, Kansas and Arizona Wildcats continue to wait for the teams above them to slip up. However, the Jayhawks' hopes took a serious hit Monday night in Manhattan, where they fell to struggling in-state rival Kansas State. It's going to be very difficult for a six-loss KU squad to claim a one seed when the most defeats any of their other competitors have suffered is half that total, even if the Jayhawks close the season ranked first or second in RPI.
Still, it's possible that the door opens for Gonzaga, Villanova and Arizona this week. While Kentucky welcomes its most difficult SEC foe, Arkansas, to Rupp Arena on Saturday, Wisconsin and Virginia will face interesting road tests before Friday's projection.
I'll have more on those, and the other midweek games to watch, after today's full bracket and rundown.
|(1) MIDWEST |
|Louisville (Thu/Sat)||Charlotte (Fri/Sun)|
|1||Kentucky (SEC)||1||Virginia (ACC)|
|16||Bucknell/St. Francis-Brooklyn||16||South Dakota State/Texas Southern|
|↑ 8||Michigan State||↑ 8 88||Iowa|
|↑ 9||Xavier||↓ 9||Dayton|
|Jacksonville (Thu/Sat)||Seattle (Fri/Sun)|
|↑ 5||West Virginia||↑ 5||Arkansas|
|12||Wofford (SoCon)||↑ 122||Murray State (OVC)|
|↓ 4||Louisville||4||Northern Iowa (MVC)|
|13||Toledo (MAC)||↑ 13||Harvard (Ivy)|
|Portland (Thu/Sat)||Louisville (Thu/Sat)|
|↑ 6||SMU (AAC)||↓ 6666||Butler|
|*14||Stephen F. Austin (Southland)||14||N.C. Central (MEAC)|
|Omaha (Fri/Sun)||Portland (Thu/Sat)|
|7||San Diego State (MW)||7||Oklahoma State|
|↑ 10||St. John's||10||Colorado State|
|2||Kansas (Big 12)||2||Arizona (Pac-12)|
|↑ 15||New Mexico State (WAC)||15||High Point (Big South)|
|(4) WEST |
Los Angeles (Thu/Sat)
|Charlotte (Fri/Sun)||Omaha (Fri/Sun)|
|1||Duke||1||Wisconsin (Big Ten)|
|16||Albany (AE)||*16||Montana (Big Sky)|
|↓ 9||Ohio State||↑ 9||Texas A&M|
|Pittsburgh (Thu/Sat)||Jacksonville (Thu/Sat)|
|5||VCU (A 10)||↓ 5||North Carolina|
|↓ 12||Temple||12||Iona (MAAC)|
|13||William & Mary (CAA)||13||Valparaiso (Horizon)|
|Columbus (Fri/Sun)||Columbus (Fri/Sun)|
|↓ 6||Wichita State||6||Providence|
|*14||Georgia State (Sun Belt)||14||Louisiana Tech (C-USA)|
|Seattle (Fri/Sun)||Pittsburgh (Thu/Sat)|
|2||Gonzaga (WCC)||2||Villanova (Big East)|
|15||UC Davis (Big West)||15||FGCU (A-Sun)|
|FIRST FOUR (Dayton)|
|Tuesday: To Louisville||Tuesday: To Louisville|
|16||Bucknell (Patriot)||11||N.C. State|
|16||St. Francis-Brooklyn (NEC)||*11||Oregon|
|Wednesday: To Charlotte||Wednesday: To Columbus
|16||South Dakota State (Summit)||↓ 11||Illinois|
|16||Texas Southern (SWAC)||11||Stanford|
* = new team
Temple is a natural 11 seed that was dropped to the 12 line to accommodate the First Four's travel requirements.
|BIDS BY CONFERENCE||AVOIDING DAYTON||ARRIVALS||DEPARTURES|
|Big Ten: 8||Colorado State||Georgia State||Eastern Washington|
|Big 12: 7||Temple||Montana||Miami|
|ACC: 6||Georgia||Oregon||Sam Houston State|
|Big East: 6||Purdue||Stephen F. Austin||UL Monroe|
|SEC: 6||LAST FOUR IN|
|A 10: 2||N.C. State|
|MW: 2||LAST FOUR OUT|
|One-Bid Conferences: 22||Tulsa|
|NEXT FOUR OUT|
Also considered (in alphabetical order): Alabama, Eastern Washington, George Washington, Green Bay, UMass, Old Dominion, St. Mary's, Seton Hall, UTEP, Wyoming
SB Nation presents: Four mid-majors who will destroy your March brackets
After defeating Utah on Sunday, the Oregon Ducks paddled into the field, and Miami tumbled out after falling to Louisville on the road -- a lost opportunity considering the Hurricanes led for most of the afternoon. Even though the Ducks boast just two top-50 wins, they own a non-conference win over fellow bubble team Illinois. That's a bit more than Tulsa, the first team left out, can boast even after the Golden Hurricane completed a sweep of Temple on Sunday. Those are Tulsa's only top-50 wins, and their best non-conference result is still a win over a struggling Creighton team.
The Big Ten leads the way with eight teams in this week's field, thanks to Illinois just hanging on and Purdue rising slightly. The Big 12 still provides seven, while the ACC joins the Big East and SEC with a half-dozen following Miami's evacuation. Oregon's inclusion bumps the Pac-12 to four, while the American still provides three squads, and the Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley and Mountain West each provide a pair of entries.
To close, here's a look at the most significant games of bracket impact for the next three nights, starting with a stern road test for a possible No. 1 seed (all times Eastern):
Wisconsin at Maryland, Tuesday 7 p.m. (ESPN)
The Badgers can clinch at least a tie for the Big Ten regular season title with a win over the Terps, who currently share second with Michigan State and Purdue.
Texas at West Virginia, Tuesday 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
On Jan. 17, the Longhorns blasted the Mountaineers by 27 in Austin. Since then, they've gone 4-6, meaning they're now in a far more precarious position than WVU.
Providence at Villanova, Tuesday 7 p.m. (FS1)
The Wildcats are another team that can clinch a share of a conference crown on Tuesday night, as they look to sweep a Friar team they defeated by a 74-68 count on Feb. 11.
North Carolina State at North Carolina, Tuesday 8 p.m. (ACC Network Regional/ESPN3)
On Jan. 14, the Wolfpack missed a golden opportunity, giving what looked to be a sure win over the Heels away late in Raleigh. They'll try again at the Dean Dome Tuesday night.
Texas A&M at Arkansas, Tuesday 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Curiously, these former Southwest Conference rivals only meet once during the regular season. This particular matchup is more important for the Aggies, who desperately need a top-50 win for what is otherwise a pretty decent profile.
Virginia at Wake Forest, Wednesday 7 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)
The Demon Deacons gave the Cavaliers a scare on Feb. 14, falling by just one in Charlottesville. Keep an eye on the status of Virginia point guard London Perrantes, injured in a collision with Malcolm Brogdon during a win Sunday night over Florida State.
Davidson at Rhode Island, Wednesday 7 p.m. (Ocean State Networks)
It's disappointing that this Atlantic 10 bubble showdown won't be available to a wider audience.
North Florida at Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, Wednesday 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
The Eagles can wrap up the Atlantic Sun regular season title, and homecourt advantage throughout the conference tournament, with a win over a team that claimed the pair's earlier meeting by 16.
Baylor at Iowa State, Wednesday 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
The Bears nearly gave the Cyclones a win in Waco, prevailing by a single point after blowing a 14-point lead late. Another classic may be on tap in Ames.
Illinois at Iowa, Wednesday 9 p.m. (BTN)
The Fighting Illini could use a significant road win, particularly after failing to complete the sweep of Michigan State on Sunday night.
Florida State at Miami, Wednesday 9 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)
It seems to be a week featuring rematches of games that were gifted earlier in the season -- the Hurricanes blew a big lead in Tallahassee, where they fell by one on Feb. 1. A Seminole sweep would do teetering Miami no favors.
Oregon at California, Wednesday 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
On the flip side, the Ducks, a newcomer to the bracket, really need to go 2-1 in their final three, all away from Matthew Knight Arena. The one loss cannot come Wednesday night in Berkeley.
Minnesota at Michigan State, Thursday 7 p.m. (BTN)
A loss to the Golden Gophers would do more harm to the Spartans' profile than the win would benefit Minnesota's.
UTEP at Louisiana Tech, Thursday 8 p.m. (FS1)
This is a possible Conference USA championship game preview, and indeed, the regular season lead will be on the line in Ruston. However, UAB, currently a loss behind both the Miners and Bulldogs, will host the tournament.
Expect a few more teams to move into "lock" position in Friday's update, and probably some more tumult near the cut line.