Duke, Kansas, Ohio State and Syracuse own early No. 1 seeds

Monday December 20th, 2010
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 RPI, even if league games have been played (e.g. Morehead State has defeated Murray State in the Ohio Valley).

SOUTHEAST - New Orleans
1 Ohio State (Big Ten)
16 Hampton (MEAC)
8 West Virginia
9 Central Florida
5 Boston College
12 Kent State (MAC)
4 Missouri
13 Utah State (WAC)
6 Louisville
11 Miami (Fla.)
3 Kentucky (SEC)
14 Iona (MAAC)
Washington D.C.
7 Wisconsin
10 Gonzaga
2 Connecticut
15 Coastal Carolina (Big South)
EAST - Newark, N.J.
1 Duke (ACC)
16 American (Patriot)/Jackson State (SWAC)
9 Memphis
5 Texas
12 Butler/Cincinnati
4 Purdue
13 Murray State (Ohio Valley)
6 Notre Dame
11 Wichita State (Missouri Valley)
3 Michigan State
14 UC Santa Barbara (Big West)
7 Baylor
10 Richmond
2 Pittsburgh
15 Sam Houston State (Southland)
SOUTHWEST - San Antonio
1 Kansas (Big 12)
16 Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt)
8 North Carolina
9 Old Dominion (Colonial)
5 Tennessee
12 Oklahoma St./Xavier
4 Illinois
13 Princeton (Ivy)
6 Minnesota
11 Cleveland State (Horizon)
3 San Diego State (Mountain West)
14 Portland (West Coast)
7 Washington (Pac-10)
10 Florida State
2 Georgetown
15 Appalachian State (SoCon)
WEST - Anaheim
Washington D.C.
1 Syracuse (Big East)
16 No. Arizona (Big Sky)/Lipscomb (A-Sun)
8 Vanderbilt
9 Maryland
5 Texas A&M
12 Southern Miss. (Conference USA)
4 Temple (Atlantic 10)
13 Vermont (America East)
11 Virginia
3 Villanova
14 Oakland (Summit)
7 Florida
10 Arizona
2 Kansas State
15 Robert Morris (Northeast)

Last four out: Northwestern, Virginia Tech, Washington State, Marquette.

Multi-bid conferences: Big East (9); ACC and Big 12 (7); Big Ten (6), SEC (4); Atlantic 10, Mountain West and Conference USA (3); Pac-10, Horizon and West Coast (2).

This early in the process, there is still a good amount of subjectivity involved in determining the value of a team's performance and/or its computer profile. There are also a few deserving teams that are getting squeezed because teams like Southern Mississippi are technically in line for an auto bid.

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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