Sunday March 17th, 2013

Marshall Henderson has helped catapult Ole Miss's stock during the SEC Tournement. [Dave Martin/AP] Marshall Henderson has helped catapult Ole Miss's stock during the SEC Tournement. [Dave Martin/AP]

It's Selection Sunday! After a long, four-month march, we're now at the best day of March. Briefly, there were interesting decisions both at the top of the bracket and at the cutline. I ultimately went with Louisville as my No. 1 overall seed, a smidge ahead of Indiana, but if the committee goes the other way, that's perfectly understandable. Same with Duke and Kansas at Nos. 3 and 4. Gonzaga, a lot of people's choice to be a 1-seed, doesn't have the overall resume strength of those four, and it's questionable whether they're even ahead of New Mexico. That said, if Gonzaga gets a 1, good for them. The Bulldogs are a very strong team and it would be good for smaller-conference hoops.

The cutline discussion is about as dull as any year in recent memory. It feels like there's even a pretty significant gap between La Salle and Mississippi and the other two First Four teams. What that means is it comes down to three teams for two spots: Tennessee, Saint Mary's and Middle Tennessee State. The Vols get in thanks to the quality of their wins. Flip a coin for the "good team/empty profile" final spot, although the Gaels' resume is basically a stronger proxy of the Blue Raiders'.

We'll see if anything that happens on Sunday afternoon changes the final picture, but this is how things stand right now.

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2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket

EAST (Washington, D.C.) MIDWEST (Indianapolis)
Dayton Lexington
1. Indiana 1. Louisville* (Big East)
16. Liberty *(Big South)/LIU Brooklyn* (Northeast) 16. NC A&T* (MEAC)/ James Madison* (CAA)
8. Colorado State 8. North Carolina
9. Missouri 9. Colorado
Kansas City Austin
5. Saint Louis* (Atlantic 10) 5. Oklahoma State
12. Tennessee/Saint Mary's 12. La Salle/Boise State
4. Marquette 4. Wisconsin
13. Davidson* (SoCon) 13. South Dakota State* (Summit)
Auburn Hills Austin
6. Notre Dame 6. VCU
11. Mississippi* (SEC) 11. San Diego State
3. Michigan 3. Florida
14. Montana* (Big Sky) 14. Iona* (MAAC)
Lexington Dayton
7. Oregon* (Pac-12) 7. Creighton* (Missouri Valley)
10. Temple 10. Villanova
2. Miami (Fla.)* (ACC) 2. Ohio State* (Big Ten)
15. Albany* (America East) 15. Florida Gulf Coast* (Atlantic Sun)
SOUTH (Arlington, TX) WEST (Los Angeles)
Philadelphia Kansas City
1. Duke 1. Kansas* (Big 12)
16. Western Kentucky* (Sun Belt) 16. Southern* (SWAC)
8. Illinois 8. North Carolina State
9. Cincinnati 9. Minnesota
San Jose San Jose
5. UCLA 5. Arizona
12. Belmont* (Ohio Valley) 12. Akron* (MAC)
4. Kansas State 4. Syracuse
13. Bucknell* (Patriot) 13. New Mexico State* (WAC)
Philadelphia Auburn Hills
6. Butler 6. UNLV
11. California 11. Oklahoma
3. Georgetown 3. Michigan State
14. Harvard* (Ivy) 14. Valparaiso* (Horizon)
Salt Lake City Salt Lake City
7. Memphis* (Conference USA) 7. Pittsburgh
10. Iowa State 10. Wichita State
2. New Mexico* (Mountain West) 2. Gonzaga* (West Coast)
15. Pacific* (Big West) 15. Northwestern State* (Southland)

*Designated auto-bid winners from each conference.

Note: Villanova/Colorado and Cincinnati/Wichita State switched 9/10 seeds to satisfy bracketing rules.

Last four in: La Salle, Mississippi, Tennessee, Saint Mary's

Last four out: Middle Tennessee State, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland

New at-large teams in: None

Old at-large teams out: None Bids by conference: Big East (8); Big Ten (7); Pac-12, Mountain West, Big 12 and Atlantic 10 (5); ACC, SEC (4); Missouri Valley and West Coast (2)

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