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Bracketology: The Ducks crack the field

With a little less than three weeks left until Selection Sunday, the top eight teams in this projection really have no interest in letting any of the teams below sneak into their clique. Meanwhile, at the cut line, Oregon enters the field as today's lone new at-large, flying past Miami.

Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Cleveland (Thu/Sat)
(2) EAST
Syracuse (Fri/Sun)
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
11 Purdue 11 N.C. State/Oregon
3 Utah 3 Iowa State
*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)
Houston (Fri/Sun)
Charlotte (Fri/Sun) Omaha (Fri/Sun)
1 Duke 1 Wisconsin (Big Ten)
16 Albany (AE) *16 Montana (Big Sky)
8 Ole Miss 8 Texas
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)
4 Maryland 4 Baylor
13 William & Mary (CAA) 13 Valparaiso (Horizon)
Columbus (Fri/Sun) Columbus (Fri/Sun)
6 Wichita State 6 Providence
11 Illinois/Stanford 11 Georgia
3 Oklahoma 3 Notre Dame
*14 Georgia State (Sun Belt) 14 Louisiana Tech (C-USA)
Seattle (Fri/Sun) Pittsburgh (Thu/Sat)
7 Georgetown 7 Indiana
10 LSU 10 Cincinnati
2 Gonzaga (WCC) 2 Villanova (Big East)
15 UC Davis (Big West) 15 FGCU (A-Sun)
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.

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

Pac-12: 4

AAC: 3 Illinois

A 10: 2 N.C. State

MVC: 2 Oregon


One-Bid Conferences: 22 Tulsa

Boise State





Rhode Island



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.

Keep an eye on Davidson, which has defeated Dayton and won at Massachusetts, a top-50 road win. The Wildcats visit Rhode Island Wednesday in a game vital for the selection hopes of both.

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.

New Mexico at Boise State, Tuesday 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
The Broncos will aim for a repeat of their 10-point win in Albuquerque as they attempt to stay in the conversation.

VCU at Richmond, Wednesday 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Rams will have revenge on their mind when they try to shut down Kendall Anthony and the Spiders, who upset them at the Siegel Center on Jan. 31.

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.

UCF at Cincinnati, Wednesday 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
The Bearcats cannot afford a home loss to a team of the Knights' stature at this point.

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.

Georgia at Ole Miss, Wednesday 9 p.m. (SEC Network)
Two SEC bubble teams square off in Oxford, where the Bulldogs will look to complete a vital sweep, having won by five in Athens on Jan. 20.

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.

Washington at UCLA, Wednesday 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Bruins need to sweep their three remaining games, all at Pauley, to have a legitimate at-large chance heading to Las Vegas.

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.

Nebraska at Ohio State, Thursday 7 p.m. (ESPN)
The Buckeyes, with an underwhelming profile, need to bounce back from a bad loss Sunday at Michigan.

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.

BYU at Portland, Thursday 10 p.m. (ROOT Sports)
The Cougars, very much in the picture, cannot get caught looking ahead to their game Saturday at Gonzaga.

Expect a few more teams to move into "lock" position in Friday's update, and probably some more tumult near the cut line.