After three big wins in 10 days, Kansas State moved into the field of 68 while Michigan State and Oklahoma both played themselves into No. 2 slots. 

By Michael Beller
January 25, 2018

SI.com's first Bracket Watch of the week is released on Monday. On Thursday, we go back to the bracket drawing board after the week's early results to reassess the field. See the updated bracket below.

What a 10-day run for Kansas State. Two weeks ago the Wildcats were on the fringes of the tournament picture, just barely one of our first eight teams out of the dance. Since then, they’ve picked up wins over Oklahoma and TCU at home and Baylor on the road. Those three victories not only put K-state into the field of 68, but ahead of the Last Four In teams, all the way to a No. 10 seed. That they’ve done all this without Kamau Stokes speaks to the kind of team Bruce Weber just might have on his hands with six weeks to go until Selection Sunday.

Kansas State was the big gainer in this week’s Thursday Bracket Watch update, but don’t overlook Michigan State and Oklahoma getting back to the No. 2-line. The Spartans are finally starting to look like themselves again, and while no one is giving them a Big Ten championship banner for beating Indiana and Illinois, the fact that they exploded for 85 and 87 points, respectively, in those two games bodes well for the second half of the conference season. Despite the speed bump of early January, Michigan State is still ranked fifth on kenpom.com.

As for the Sooners, they rallied from 10 points down with nine minutes left to upend Kansas at home on Tuesday. Trae Young took just nine shots in the game, but it was one of his best performances of the year. He notched nine assists, including one on the bucket that sealed the game, and still found a way to score 26 points.

Last Four In

SMU
Notre Dame
South Carolina
Houston

First Four Out

Syracuse
Boise State
St. Bonaventure
Western Kentucky

Next Four Out

Georgia
Washington
Virginia Tech
North Carolina State

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