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NCAA Men’s Final Four - Previews

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Final Bracket Projections: Selection Sunday

Projecting the NCAA Basketball Tournament field of 68

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Final Update! Selection Sunday Morning!

Wow this Texas A&M team is fun to watch! Aggies continue to roll and, in my estimation, have played their way into a 5 seed. With only a handful of championships scheduled for Sunday and being hours away from the official bracket reveal, the bracket is essentially set regardless of the outcomes of today’s games.

There weren’t very many other updates from Saturday. A dozen or so of the automatic bids were handed out which adjusted the 13-16 seed lines slightly. Kansas lost and slipped to the #2 overall seed. UCLA lost and confirmed Purdue as the 4th 1 seed. And then all the potential bid stealers lost, which means everyone around the bubble was breathing a little easier by Saturday night.

The only bubble team that was still in action on Saturday was Vanderbilt, coming into the day not into the field and then being completely noncompetitive means there was no movement of teams in and out of the field. I feel very confident about the first 66 teams into the field, the real bubble that is a difficult decision is 5 teams for 2 spots – Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Nevada, Pitt, and Wisconsin. For a full numerical breakdown of the bubble and some insight into the process I use to evaluate teams, check out the below statistical analysis. Each of these numbers (in addition to things like road record, non-conference record, etc.) is what is on the selection committee “team sheets” that are used for selection and seeding. This isn’t just a numbers game, when the numbers are close it just means there is a conversation which is what I think will happen with essentially 5 teams for 2 spots on the cut line.

Here is how I evaluate the 12 teams on the bubble, in order.

So, I’ll take Oklahoma State and Arizona State with the final 2 spots. No, I don’t feel great about it at all and was hoping for a stolen bid or 2 to take these spots off the table. Arizona States non-conference and the win over Creighton is ultimately what put them over the top for me.

For seeding and where A&M is compared to other teams near them here is that same look. These numbers were BEFORE the Vanderbilt game. But the seeding is essentially done as of Saturday night. These are old school guys (and gals) using printouts in their binder in front of them. They aren’t checking their phone for how high we went in KenPom as a result of the blowout. They are likely using these numbers and then will at best make the tweaks to the seeding using the knowledge of Saturday.

Key insights: very close numbers standpoint from Indiana through Creighton. A&M appears to be top 20 in essentially every metric (that’s a key number for a 5 seed), even before the win against Vanderbilt. I gave Iowa State a boost because their key wins and who have you beat stat is better than anyone outside of the 1 seeds. Miami should clearly be a 6. Not only is that what the computers say, they are the only team in this range without a quad 1A win. It would be completely undeserved for them to get a 5. A&M and Duke are attached at the hip, but the lack of quad 1 wins is a separator for me to have A&M slightly in front. Duke (and A&M) should be ahead of Virginia after the ACC championship – do I have any faith in that happening? No.

So here is my seed list as of Sunday morning. I do not foresee any major changes to this based on Sunday’s action. (5 games, small tweaks noted based on who auto bid for Ivy and A10, no seeding impact for SEC, AAC or Big 10 – although there could be a contingent bracket where Penn State and Utah State flip if PSU loses).

1 seeds

1. Alabama

2. Kansas

3. Houston

4. Purdue

2 seeds


6. Texas

7. Arizona

8. Gonzaga

3 seeds

9. Marquette

10. Baylor

11. UConn

12. Kansas State

4 seeds

13. Xavier

14. Tennessee

15. Indiana

16. Virginia

5 seeds

17. Iowa State

18. San Diego State

19. Duke

20. Texas A&M

6 Seeds

21. Miami

22. St. Mary’s

23. TCU

24. Kentucky

7 Seed

25. Creighton

26. Missouri

27. Michigan State

28. Florida Atlantic

8 Seed

29. Northwestern

30. Maryland

31. West Virginia

32. Memphis

9 seeds

33. Arkansas

34. Boise State

35. Auburn

36. Penn State

10 Seeds

37. Utah State

38. Illinois

39. Iowa

40. USC

11 seeds

41. NC State

42. Rutgers

43. *Providence

44. *Mississippi State

45. *Oklahoma State

46. *Arizona State

*Play In game Participants

12 Seeds

47. Summit League – Oral Roberts

48. CAA – Charleston

49. MVC – Drake

50. A10 – Dayton vs. VCU – Projecting VCU to win. If Dayton wins they are a 13 seed and move Kent State up to a 12.

13 Seeds

51. MAC - Kent State

52. MAAC – Iona

53. Ivy – Yale vs. Princeton – Projecting Yale to win. If Princeton wins they are a 14 and move Furman up to a 13.

54. Sun Belt – Louisiana

14 Seeds

55. Southern – Furman

56. Big West – UCSB

57. Atlantic Sun – Kennesaw State

58. Big Sky – Montana State

15 Seeds

59. Patriot – Colgate

60. WAC – Grand Canyon

61. America East – Vermont

62. Big South UNC Asheville

16 Seeds

63. Horizon - Northern Kentucky

64. Southland – Texas A&M Corpus Christi

65. %MEAC – Howard

66. %Ohio Valley – Southeastern Missouri

67. %Northeast – Fairleigh Dickinson

68. %SWAC – Texas Southern

The Projected Bracket


1 Alabama
16 Northern Kentucky

8 Northwestern
9 Boise State

4 Xavier
13 Louisiana

5 Iowa State
12 Oral Roberts

Des Moines
3 Kansas State
14 Furman

6 St. Mary’s
11 NC State

2 Arizona
15 UNC Asheville

7 Creighton
10 Iowa


1 Purdue
16 Southeastern Missouri/ Fairleigh Dickinson

8 Memphis
9 Arkansas

4 Tennessee
13 Iona

5 San Diego State
12 Charleston


3 UConn
14 Kennesaw State

6 Kentucky
11 Oklahoma State / Arizona State

2 Texas
15 Colgate

7 Michigan State
10 USC


1 Houston
16 Texas A&M Corpus Christi

8 West Virginia
9 Penn State

4 Virginia
13 Yale

5 Texas A&M
12 Drake

3 Baylor

6 Miami
11 Providence/ Mississippi State

15 Grand Canyon

7 Florida Atlantic
10 Utah State


Des Moines
1 Kansas
16 Texas Southern / Howard

8 Maryland
9 Auburn

4 Indiana
13 Kent State

5 Duke
12 VCU

3 Marquette
14 Montana State

11 Rutgers

2 Gonzaga
15 Vermont

7 Missouri
10 Illinois

*Note: 2 slight unresolved issues (Maryland/Indiana and Oklahoma State/Texas are a bit too close and due to the number of teams in from each conference the issues were not easily resolved without un naturally moving a team to a different line which I chose not to do for this projection)


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