2017 Barnes Bracketology – Mar. 6

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Can you believe we are within a week from Selection Sunday? And that means March Madness action is right behind that, though you can argue the Madness has already started. Championship Week brings about the same drama as the tournament, except teams are playing for a bit less.

 

Already, we have seen top seeds upset. I anticipate many more losing. And of course, we’ll be keeping an eye on the bid stealers as well, which hurt the chances of at least one team every year. Should be a fun week. Take some time to enjoy it.

MY PROJECTED FIELD OF 68
(changes in italics)

LOCKS: I added a couple more teams who have clearly done enough. First off is Wichita State, which is a bit of a cop out as they won their conference tournament and the automatic bid that goes with it. But by Saturday, I moved them into this category so the result of the title game did not affect their status. Also new to the group is Michigan. Wolverines have closed the season well and have no reason to sweat come Selection Sunday.

 

These are in order so you know how I rank these teams right now.

LOCKS (36): Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Louisville, Oregon, Baylor, Kentucky, Arizona, UCLA, Florida, Florida State, Duke, Purdue, Butler, Cincinnati, SMU, Virginia, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Dayton, Saint Mary’s, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, VCU, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Arkansas, Creighton, Wichita State, Virginia Tech, Northwestern, Miami (FL), Michigan

 

AUTOS: Change-a-plenty here as upsets have hit the mid-majors. We have 3 teams in this category that have clinched and we also have some new names. Don’t get too comfortable with many of these names as they will change between now and Selection Sunday.

Teams that have clinched their berth will appear in bold

AUTOS (22): America East – Vermont, Atlantic SunFlorida Gulf CoastBig Sky – North Dakota, Big SouthWinthrop, Big West – UC Irvine, Colonial – UNC-Wilmington, Conference-USA – Middle Tennessee, HorizonNorthern Kentucky, Ivy – Princeton, MAACIona, MAC – Akron, MEAC – NC Central, Mountain West – Nevada, Northeast – Mount St. Mary’s, Ohio ValleyJacksonville StatePatriot – Bucknell, Southern – ETSU, Southland – New Orleans, SWAC – Texas Southern, Summit – South Dakota, Sun Belt – UT Arlington, WAC – Cal St Bakersfield

AT-LARGE: Now down to 10 teams and the first 4 in the group seem pretty safe to me but playing it safe before giving them the big promotion. Welcome Marquette to the group and say goodbye to USC. This is likely to be a fluid situation over the next 6 days. It doesn’t look good for Illinois State, as their season is done so no more chances to make a case.

These are in order, so the last four teams will be playing in the “First Four” in Dayton.

AT-LARGE (10): Seton Hall, Michigan State, Rhode Island, Providence, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Marquette, Syracuse, Xavier, Illinois State

BUBBLE WATCH

 

BUBBLE: I really shrank this group because with a week to go, it all really starts to make sense who has a shot and who does not. So now down to just 19. For the teams on the outside looking in, this week will determine if they can get in or not. For a few, it might take winning their conference tournament. But we shall see. 
These are in order, so to figure out the first teams out, head to the final team from the AT-LARGE category and look for all the teams behind them.

 

BUBBLE (19): Seton Hall, Michigan State, Rhode Island, Providence, Middle Tennessee Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Marquette, Syracuse, Xavier, Illinois State, USC, Kansas State, California, Iowa, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Illinois, Clemson

SEEDING 

CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN
ACC (10), Big East (7), Big Ten (6), Big 12 (5), SEC (5), Atlantic 10 (3), Pac-12 (3), American (2), Missouri Valley (2), West Coast (2)

 (Click on bracket to enlarge)
EAST vs. WEST
MIDWEST vs. SOUTH

**Villanova is the overall top seed

Questions? Comments? Sound off on my Twitter or Facebook and I’ll answer any questions. Next update comes on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on how games go and time I have.

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