By Andy Glockner
February 01, 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 South, the East with the West in the national semifinals.
MIDWEST - Saint Louis
Oklahoma City
1 Kansas
16 Arkansas State (Sun Belt)
8 Clemson
9 Cal (Pac-10)
5 Tennessee
12 Old Dominion
4 Wisconsin
13 Weber State (Big Sky)
6 Missouri
11 Saint Mary's
3 West Virginia
14 Sam Houston State (Southland)
10 Richmond
2 Michigan State
15 Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun)
EAST - Syracuse
1 Villanova
16 Maine (America East)
8 Florida State
9 Cornell
5 Temple (Atlantic 10)
4 Vanderbilt
13 George Mason (CAA)
6 Baylor
11 Siena (MAAC)
3 Duke
14 Oakland (Summit)
7 Northern Iowa (MVC)
10 Rhode Island
2 Purdue
15 Morgan State (MEAC)
SOUTH - Houston
1 Kentucky
16 Robert Morris (Northeast)
8 UAB (Conference USA)
9 Oklahoma State
San Jose
5 Pittsburgh
12 Illinois
4 New Mexico
13 Utah State (WAC)
New Orleans
6 Wake Forest
11 Wichita State
3 Texas
14 College of Charleston (SoCon)
7 Butler (Horizon)
10 Charlotte
2 Georgetown
15 Coastal Carolina (Big South)
WEST - Salt Lake City
1 Syracuse
16 Jackson State (SWAC)/Lehigh (Patriot)
8 Texas A&M
9 Florida
San Jose
5 Georgia Tech
12 William & Mary
13 Kent State (MAC)
New Orleans
6 Gonzaga (WCC)
11 Cincinnati
3 Ohio State
14 Murray State (Ohio Valley)
Oklahoma City
7 Xavier
10 Mississippi
2 Kansas State
15 Pacific (Big West)

New multi-bid conference teams in: George Mason (CAA auto bid), UTEP, Charlotte, Rhode Island, Wichita State, Illinois.

Multi-bid conference teams out: Maryland (ACC auto bid), Connecticut, North Carolina, Northwestern, Texas Tech, Mississippi State.

Also considered: Mississippi State, North Carolina, Maryland, Connecticut, Dayton.

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


Why they made it:

-- UTEP: Four top-100 wins are all on the road, no uncompetitive losses, Conference RPI stronger than competitors for the spot, road wins at two of the other top three in C-USA.

-- Wichita State: Would have been in last week had it not lost to Drake, took care of business this week, clear second-place team in a top-10 conference.

-- William & Mary: 3-2 RPI top 50 (including road wins at Maryland and Wake) enough to overcome two really bad league losses and current fourth place standing in CAA.

Why they didn't make it:

-- Mississippi State: Very empty profile, has played five of six SEC games against three of the league's four bad teams, lost three straight on the road to inferior opponents, only 3-2 vs. RPI Top 100.

-- North Carolina: 2-6 vs. RPI top 50 mark, three home ACC losses, five Ls overall in last seven games, 2-4 ACC record.

-- Maryland: Nothing substantive enough in profile despite 4-2 ACC mark. Lost at home to W&M, which was last team in.

-- Connecticut: 1-5 vs. RPI top 50, 0-4 on the road.

In direct contrast to last week's Bracket Watch, there are 11 at-large teams from outside the BCS conferences, mostly because of really disastrous weeks from major-conference teams near the bracket's bottom. I highly doubt that will last, and the CAA almost surely won't end up with three bids. For this week, though, that seemed fair.

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