Monday January 25th, 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 West, the South with the East in the national semifinals.
 
 
MIDWEST - Saint Louis
 
Oklahoma City
 
1Kansas
16Maine (America East)
 
 
8Xavier
9Cal (Pac-10)
 
 
Spokane
 
5Wake Forest
12Cincinnati
 
 
4Tennessee
13College of Charleston (SoCon)
 
 
San Jose
 
6Missouri
11Florida
 
 
3Purdue
14Weber State (Big Sky)
 
 
Providence
 
7Georgia Tech
10Cornell (Ivy)
 
 
2Georgetown
15Morgan State (MEAC)
 
SOUTH - Houston
 
Milwaukee
 
1Kentucky
16Lehigh (Patriot)/Ark.-Pine Bluff (SWAC)
 
 
8Baylor
9Florida State
 
 
Spokane
 
5Gonzaga
12Northwestern
 
 
4Temple
13Louisiana Tech (WAC)
 
 
Jacksonville
 
6New Mexico
11Siena (MAAC)
 
 
3West Virginia
14Coastal Carolina (Big South)
 
 
Jacksonville
 
7Texas A&M
10William & Mary
 
 
2Duke
15Arkansas State (Sun Belt)
 
 
 
 
 
WEST - Salt Lake City
 
Buffalo
 
1Syracuse
16Campbell (Atlantic Sun)
 
 
8Mississippi
9Oklahoma State
 
 
San Jose
 
5BYU
12Maryland (ACC)
 
 
4Ohio State
13Murray State (Ohio Valley)
 
 
New Orleans
 
6Connecticut
11Saint Mary's
 
 
3Kansas State
14Sam Houston State (Southland)
 
 
Milwaukee
 
7Clemson
10Old Dominion (CAA)
 
 
2Michigan State
15Central Michigan (MAC)
 
EAST - Syracuse
 
Buffalo
 
1Villanova
16Robert Morris (Northeast)
 
 
8Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley)
9UNLV
 
 
New Orleans
 
5Vanderbilt
12Richmond
 
 
4Wisconsin
13Texas Tech
 
 
Providence
 
6Butler
11North Carolina
 
 
3Pittsburgh
14Oakland (Summit)
 
 
Oklahoma City
 
7UAB (Conference USA)
10Mississippi State
 
 
2Texas
15Pacific (Big West)
 
 

New multi-bid conference teams in: Old Dominion (auto bid), Maryland (auto bid), Florida, Oklahoma State, Northwestern, Texas Tech.

Multi-bid conference teams out: Virginia, Washington, Minnesota, Illinois, Dayton, Rhode Island.

Also considered: Rhode Island, Minnesota, Dayton, Wichita State, Virginia Tech, Tulsa.

Bids by conference: Big 12 (8), ACC and Big East (7); SEC (6); Big Ten (5); Atlantic 10 and Mountain West (3); West Coast and Colonial (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:

-- Before sorting through the profiles, I suspected North Carolina would miss the bracket. Then it became clear that a ton of other teams lost, too, and a fair comparison of profiles still had UNC in -- for now ...

-- Minnesota, upon further inspection, was seeded too high last week. The Gophers dropped from a 9 seed to out based on overall profile, not just the one-point loss at home to Michigan State.

-- Texas Tech was the last team in and gets a 13 seed as an at-large. Northwestern was second-to-last in.

-- Dayton and/or Wichita State could have replaced those teams had they not lost at Saint Joe's and Drake, respectively.

-- Duke and Pitt didn't change seeds but they did move lower on their seed lines. They were also helped by teams behind them also losing.

-- The Pac-10 gets one team this week, and is in very serious danger of having that happen in the real bracket.

-- Maryland is this week's Virginia, grabbing the ACC auto bid and stealing an at-large from someone.

-- Richmond and Florida flopped seed lines to help satisfy bracketing rules.

-- There are six at-large teams from outside the BCS conferences. The littler guys are missing a golden opportunity this year.

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

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