Monday March 1st, 2010

2010 NCAA Tournament Projection
Selection Sunday is March 14, but here's what 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 next couple weeks, shifts in seeding will alter which subregions fall into which regions.

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

New multi-bid conference teams in: UAB, Connecticut, Dayton.

Multi-bid conference teams out: San Diego State, Charlotte, Rhode Island.

Also considered: San Diego State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Rhode Island.

Bids by conference: Big East (8), ACC and Big 12 (7), Big Ten and SEC (5), Atlantic 10 (4), Mountain West (3), Conference USA and 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:

-- UConn: Starting to win its fair share of games against brutal schedule. Early losses against elite teams were very competitive. Looks the part more than some of the other options.

-- UAB: Only 1-2 vs. top 50, but 5-1 vs. 51-100, so they have shown some quality. Second-place team in a competitive C-USA. 11-3 road/neutral record, beat Cincinnati and Butler out of conference.

-- Dayton: Reexamination of resume along with worse losses by Charlotte and Rhode Island push Flyers up A-10 pecking order. No double-digit losses against very rigorous schedule (13 top-100 games), with five losses vs. RPI top 20. Chose A-10 No. 4 over MWC No. 4 with better wins and better schedule.

Why they didn't make it:

-- San Diego State: Barely made it last week and then lost convincingly at BYU. Only 3-7 vs. RPI top 100 and 2-4 vs. top three in MWC.

-- Minnesota: Illinois was first decent true road win, still only 5-9 vs. top 100, missed chance to take out Purdue when Robbie Hummel went down. Would have made bracket had baseline J at buzzer gone. Tough justice? Gophers have three one-point losses and two others in OT.

-- Notre Dame: Not enough quality wins yet to overcome overall weakness of profile. One great week doesn't override a mediocre season just yet.

-- Cincinnati: Sweep of UConn is not enough to be ahead of the Huskies on overall merit. Too many losses in league and overall.

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

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.