Monday March 7th, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament Projection
In this bracket, the East matches up with the West, the Southeast with the Southwest in the national semifinals.

This week's notable moves:

• I did an entire seed scrub of the S-curve and a few teams made sizable moves ...

• ACC regular season champ North Carolina went from a No. 4 seed to a 2.

• SEC champ Florida jumps from a No. 5 to a 3.

• Surging Cincinnati went from a 10 to a 6.

• Notre Dame is a new No. 1 seed.

• There was no simple way to avoid the pair of possible Big East Sweet 16 games in the West region.

With the addition of three at-large spots (increasing the field to 68 teams), there are now four play-in games, dubbed the "First Four." Two games will match the tournament's lowest seeds, Nos. 65 through 68, with the winners claiming a No. 16 seed. The other two games will feature the last four teams of the 37 at-large qualifiers, with the winners likely receiving No. 11 or 12 seeds.

The top-four seeds in each region, starting with the No. 1 seeds, receive geographic preference when possible. An imbalance in high seeds between regions (e.g. if more than two top-four seeds are closest to the same subregional location) may force a protected seed into a secondary location.

League winners (automatic qualifiers) are listed with their conference for clarity. Projected auto-bid winners in traditional one-bid leagues are determined by the best RPI from the team(s) with the fewest league losses. Teams can be moved a seed line up or down to conform to bracketing rules.

* Team has officially won its league's automatic bid.

 
 
EAST - Newark, N.J.
 
Cleveland
 
1Ohio State (Big Ten)
16Boston U. (America East)
 
 
8Old Dominion (Colonial)
9Utah State (WAC)
 
 
Denver
 
5Xavier (Atlantic 10)
12Saint Mary's (West Coast)
 
 
4St. John's
13Belmont* (Atlantic Sun)
 
 
Washington, D.C.
 
6Kansas State
11Michigan
 
 
3Syracuse
14Bucknell (Patriot)
 
 
Charlotte
 
7Arizona (Pac-10)
10Georgia
 
 
2North Carolina (ACC)
15Long Island (Northeast)
 
SOUTHEAST - New Orleans
 
Cleveland
 
1Pittsburgh (Big East)
16Mid. Tenn. St. (Sun Belt)/Texas So. (SWAC)
 
 
8UCLA
9Florida State
 
 
Tampa
 
5Wisconsin
12Oakland (Summit)
 
 
4Louisville
13Harvard (Ivy)
 
 
Tampa
 
6Georgetown
11Boston College/Alabama
 
 
3Florida (SEC)
14Kent State (MAC)
 
 
Tulsa
 
7UNLV
10Richmond
 
 
2Texas
15No. Colorado (Big Sky)
 
 
 
 
 
WEST - Anaheim
 
Chicago
 
1Notre Dame
16Beth.-Cook. (MEAC)/McNeese St. (Southland)
 
 
8Missouri
9George Mason
 
 
Washington, D.C.
 
5Connecticut
12UAB (C-USA)
 
 
4Kentucky
13College of Charleston (SoCon)
 
 
Chicago
 
6Cincinnati
11Butler
 
 
3Purdue
14Indiana State* (Missouri Valley)
 
 
Denver
 
7Texas A&M
10Marquette
 
 
2BYU (Mountain West)
15Long Beach State (Big West)
 
SOUTHWEST - San Antonio
 
Tulsa
 
1Kansas (Big 12)
16UNC Asheville* (Big South)
 
 
8Temple
9Illinois
 
 
Tucson
 
5Vanderbilt
12Virginia Tech/Colorado
 
 
4West Virginia
13Iona (MAAC)
 
 
Tucson
 
6Tennessee
11Michigan State
 
 
3San Diego State
14Morehead State* (Ohio Valley)
 
 
Charlotte
 
7Villanova
10Washington
 
 
2Duke
15UW-Milwaukee (Horizon)
 
 

Last four out: VCU, Clemson, Gonzaga, Penn State.

New at-large teams in: Alabama, Boston College.

At-large teams out: Baylor, Gonzaga.

Bids by conference: Big East (11); Big 12, Big Ten and SEC (6); ACC (5); Mountain West, Pac-10, Atlantic 10 (3); Colonial and Horizon (2).

Seed changes: To ease bracket conflicts, Georgetown and Vanderbilt switched 5 and 6 seeds.

For more in-depth analysis, check out the Bubble Watch.

Got a bone to pick with the Bracket Watch? Send feedback to bubblewatch@gmail.com.
 

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