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)
These are in order so you know how I rank these teams right now.
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 Sun – Florida Gulf Coast, Big Sky – North Dakota, Big South – Winthrop, Big West – UC Irvine, Colonial – UNC-Wilmington, Conference-USA – Middle Tennessee, Horizon – Northern Kentucky, Ivy – Princeton, MAAC – Iona, MAC – Akron, MEAC – NC Central, Mountain West – Nevada, Northeast – Mount St. Mary’s, Ohio Valley – Jacksonville State, Patriot – 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.
AT-LARGE (10): Seton Hall, Michigan State, Rhode Island, Providence, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Marquette, Syracuse, Xavier, Illinois State
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
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)