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

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