By this time next week, we’ll already know a few of the teams who will have automatic berths in the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. March seems to sneak up on us faster than any other month (thankfully I remembered to pay rent before the 1st!), and before we know it the field will be set and games will tip off around the country. There seems to be a consensus around the teams that will make up the first 4 or 5 seed lines, but after that there are many moving parts: how much weight will Creighton’s victory over presumptive 1 seed Villanova get? Will Arizona St.’s impressive non-conference performance still help them overcome struggling through a weak Pac-12? And how does the Committee judge middling major conference teams against impressive mid-majors who get upset in their conference tournaments?
I’ll try to have a blog update with a preview of the conference tournaments. Until then, here’s my last bracket update before Selection Sunday:
1 seeds: Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, Xavier
2 seeds: North Carolina, Duke, Michigan St., Auburn
3 seeds: Purdue, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Texas Tech
4 seeds: Wichita St., West Virginia, Gonzaga, Ohio St.
5 seeds: Clemson, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Michigan
6 seeds: Creighton, Arizona, Nevada, TCU
7 seeds: Houston, Texas A&M, Seton Hall, Butler
8 seeds: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida, Miami-FL
9 seeds: Florida St., St. Mary’s, Middle Tennessee St., Virginia Tech
10 seeds: Louisville, USC, Kansas St., Arizona St.
11 seeds: St. Bonaventure, Texas, Missouri, Alabama (play-in), Boise St. (play-in)
12 seeds: Loyola-Chicago, Louisiana-Lafayette, New Mexico St., NC State (play-in), Providence (play-in)
13 seeds: Vermont, Murray St., Buffalo, South Dakota St.
14 seeds: Montana, UNC Greensboro, College of Charleston, Bucknell
15 seeds: Northern Kentucky, Penn, Wagner, Rider
16. Florida Gulf Coast, UNC Asheville, UC Irvine (play-in), Nicholls St. (play-in), Bethune-Cookman (play-in), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (play-in)
Last four in: Alabama, NC State, Providence, Boise St.
First four out: Baylor, Syracuse, UCLA, Nebraska
Next four out: Mississippi St., Marquette, Utah, Washington