Monday January 10th, 2011

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

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 tournaments 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. Teams can be moved a seed line up or down to conform to bracketing rules. Auto bids in traditional one-bid leagues were determined by best RPI of league leaders.

 
 
SOUTHEAST - New Orleans
 
Cleveland
 
1Ohio State (Big Ten)
16Hampton (MEAC)
 
 
8Old Dominion (Colonial)
9St. John's
 
 
Tulsa
 
5Florida (SEC)
12UAB (Conference USA)
 
 
4Texas A&M
13Oakland (Summit)
 
 
Tucson
 
6Louisville
11Georgia
 
 
3BYU
14Long Beach State (Big West)
 
 
Washington D.C.
 
7North Carolina
10Richmond
 
 
2Connecticut
15Hofstra (Colonial)
 
EAST - Newark, N.J.
 
Charlotte
 
1Duke (ACC)
16Florida Atlantic (A. Sun)/Wagner (Northeast)
 
 
8Minnesota
9Central Florida
 
 
Denver
 
5Washington (Pac-10)
12Missouri State (Missouri Valley)
 
 
4Missouri
13Princeton (Ivy)
 
 
Charlotte
 
6Vanderbilt
11Maryland
 
 
3Georgetown
14Bucknell
 
 
Tucson
 
7West Virginia
10Michigan State
 
 
2San Diego State (Mountain West)
15Fairfield (MAAC)
 
 
 
 
 
SOUTHWEST - San Antonio
 
Tulsa
 
1Kansas (Big 12)
16Nicholls State (Southland)
 
 
8Tennessee
9Butler (Horizon)
 
 
Chicago
 
5Temple (Atlantic 10)
12USC /Marquette
 
 
4Illinois
13College of Charleston (SoCon)
 
 
Chicago
 
6Boston College
11Washington State
 
 
3Notre Dame
14Akron (MAC)
 
 
Cleveland
 
7Gonzaga
10Oklahoma State
 
 
2Pittsburgh
15Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun)
 
WEST - Anaheim
 
Washington D.C.
 
1Syracuse (Big East)
16No. Colorado (Big Sky)/Jackson St. (SWAC)
 
 
8UNLV
9Arizona
 
 
Denver
 
5Texas
12Utah State (WAC)
 
 
4Purdue
13Vermont (America East)
 
 
Tampa
 
6Wisconsin
11Saint Mary's/ Dayton
 
 
3Villanova
14Coastal Carolina (Big South)
 
 
Tampa
 
7Kansas State
10Cincinnati
 
 
2Kentucky
15Austin Peay (Ohio Valley)
 
 

Last four out: Baylor, Memphis, Miami (Fla.), Florida State.

New at-large teams in: Oklahoma State, Washington State, USC, Georgia, Saint Mary's.

At-large teams out: Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Marquette, Cleveland State, Memphis.

Seed shifts: To avoid bracket conflicts, Michigan State was a 9 seed that switched with St. John's, and USC was an 11 seed that switched with Dayton.

Bids by conference: Big East (11); Big 12 and Big Ten (6); SEC (5); ACC and Pac-10 (4); Mountain West and Atlantic 10 (3), Conference USA, West Coast and Colonial (2).

Note: Despite a win, Baylor dropped out from last week's 9 seed. A look at the Bears' overall profile moved them well down the S-curve now that subjectivity is being minimized.

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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