Monday February 22nd, 2010

2010 NCAA Tournament Projection
Selection Sunday is not until March 14, but it's never too early to see what the 2010 NCAA Tournament field looks like as of right now. Note: 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. Thus, in the coming weeks, shifts in seeding will alter which subregions fall into which regions.

In this bracket, the Midwest matches up with the East, the South with the West in the national semifinals.
 
 
MIDWEST - Saint Louis
 
Oklahoma City
 
1Kansas
16Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun)
 
 
8Virginia Tech
9Marquette
 
 
New Orleans
 
5Michigan State
12Saint Mary's
 
 
4Vanderbilt
13Murray State (OVC)
 
 
New Orleans
 
6Texas A&M
11Charlotte
 
 
3Ohio State
14Weber State (Big Sky)
 
 
Jacksonville
 
7Wake Forest
10UNLV
 
 
2West Virginia
15North Texas (Sun Belt)
 
SOUTH - Houston
 
Milwaukee
 
1Kentucky
16Robert Morris (Northeast)
 
 
8Missouri
9Florida State
 
 
Spokane
 
5Richmond
12San Diego State
 
 
4Wisconsin
13UTEP (C-USA)
 
 
Providence
 
6Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley)
11Georgia Tech
 
 
3Georgetown
14Sam Houston State (Southland)
 
 
Oklahoma City
 
7Tennessee
10Utah State (WAC)
 
 
2Kansas State
15Morgan State (MEAC)
 
 
 
 
 
EAST - Syracuse
 
Milwaukee
 
1Purdue
16Stony Brook (America East)
 
 
8Clemson
9Louisville
 
 
Spokane
 
5Butler (Horizon)
12California (Pac-10)
 
 
4Temple (Atlantic 10)
13Kent State (MAC)
 
 
San Jose
 
6Gonzaga (WCC)
11Oklahoma State
 
 
3New Mexico (Mountain West)
14UC Santa Barbara (Big West)
 
 
Providence
 
7Maryland
10Cornell (Ivy)
 
 
2Villanova
15Coastal Carolina (Big South)
 
WEST- Salt Lake City
 
Buffalo
 
1Syracuse
16Jackson State (SWAC)/Lehigh (Patriot)
 
 
8Florida
9Illinois
 
 
San Jose
 
5BYU
12Rhode Island
 
 
4Texas
13Siena (MAAC)
 
 
Buffalo
 
6Baylor
11Mississippi State
 
 
3Pittsburgh
14Oakland (Summit)
 
 
Jacksonville
 
7Xavier
10Old Dominion (Colonial)
 
 
2Duke
15Wofford (SoCon)
 
 

New multi-bid conference teams in: San Diego State, Saint Mary's.

Multi-bid conference teams out: Cincinnati, Dayton.

Also considered: Dayton, Cincinnati, Minnesota, UConn, William & Mary, UAB.

Bids by conference: Big East, ACC and Big 12 (7); Big Ten, SEC and Atlantic 10 (5); Mountain West (4); West Coast (2).

Auto bids in smaller conferences were determined by best RPI among all first-place (e.g. fewest losses) teams in the league. One-bid league winners and select other auto-bid teams are listed with their conference for clarity. Teams can be moved a seed line up or down to conform to bracketing rules.

BRIEF THOUGHTS

Why they made it:

-- Charlotte: Still has three very strong wins, including road W's at Richmond and Louisville. Barely fourth in A-10 pecking order ahead of URI and Dayton.

-- Saint Mary's: Benefits from a couple teams dropping past it. Plus, the Gaels won. Wins at Utah State and over San Diego State are looking stronger. Just missed last week; just made it this week.

-- Rhode Island: Same basic script as last week: Win at Dayton is saving the Rams, who only remained in because some other teams around them lost.

-- San Diego State: A couple of buckets away from 10 straight wins in MWC. Third place in solid league with two very solid wins. January road losses at Wyoming and UNLV have injury asterisk from Billy White's ankle. Nominally the most appealing of some subpar options. Strongly considered Cincinnati, Dayton and Minnesota for this spot and Rhode Island's.

Why they didn't make it:

-- Dayton: Second suspect loss in a week pushes Flyers back into sixth place in the league and out of the bracket. Way too many close losses, not quite enough actual wins.

-- Cincinnati: Too many losses at this point. Could argue that wins over Vandy and Maryland (both on neutral courts) and a sweep of UConn, plus no bad losses, is better than what SDSU has done.

-- Minnesota: No good true road wins. Only 3-8 overall away from home and 4-8 versus top 100.

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

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