Duke stakes claim to last No. 1 seed

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