By Andy Glockner
December 28, 2009
2010 NCAA Tournament Bracket Watch
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 South matches up with the West, the East with the Midwest.
SOUTH - Houston
Oklahoma City
1 Texas
16 Belmont (Atlantic Sun)
8 Mississippi State
9 UAB (Conference USA)
San Jose
12 Northwestern
4 Connecticut
13 Nevada
New Orleans
6 Ohio State
11 Rhode Island
3 North Carolina
14 Austin Peay (OVC)
10 St. Mary's (WCC)
2 Villanova
15 Morgan State (MEAC)
EAST - Syracuse
New Orleans
1 Kentucky
16 Texas San-Antonio (Southland)
8 Florida St.
9 Texas Tech
5 Wisconsin
12 Xavier
4 Georgetown
13 Siena (MAAC)
6 Butler (Horizon)
11 Dayton
3 Kansas State
14 Buffalo (MAC)
7 Minnesota
10 Cornell (Ivy)
2 West Virginia
15 Radford (Big South)
WEST - Salt Lake City
1 Duke
16 Army (Patriot)
8 Pittsburgh
9 Richmond
5 Mississippi
12 William & Mary (CAA)
4 Michigan State
13 Western Carolina (SoCon)
6 Texas A&M
11 Georgia Tech
3 Washington
14 Long Beach St. (Big West)
7 Gonzaga
10 BYU
2 Syracuse
15 Vermont (America East)
MIDWEST - St. Louis
Oklahoma City
1 Kansas
16 Sacred Heart (NEC)/Texas So. (SWAC)
8 Clemson
San Jose
5 Tennessee
12 St. John's
4 California
13 Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)
6 New Mexico
11 Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley)
3 Temple
14 IUPUI (Summit)
7 Florida
10 Seton Hall
2 Purdue
15 Montana St. (Big Sky)

Also considered: Washington State, Cincinnati, Missouri State, Wake Forest, Miami (FL), San Diego State, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Old Dominion, Louisville. (No teams with an RPI over 100 according to were considered. This removed teams like Nebraska, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Illinois, Memphis and Missouri from consideration.)

Bids by conference: Big East (8); Big Ten (6); Big 12, ACC, SEC and Atlantic 10 (5); Pac-10 and Mountain West (3); Colonial and West Coast (2). Auto bids in smaller conferences were determined by best RPI among first-place (e.g. undefeated) teams in the league. Teams can be moved a seed line up or down to conform to bracketing rules.

Quick thoughts:
* In response to some e-mails from last week: Each bracket is a snapshot of that moment, not a projection. Therefore, while I might suspect a team like Louisville will end up in the Field of 65, the Cardinals' profile is not good enough today for a spot in the bracket.
* There is a gaping hole this week halfway through the 4-seed line, and that's after Georgetown moved up a line. How big is the hole? Cal actually moved up a line after losing at Kansas. That seemed the least of all evils given what went down with the 4-, 5-, and 6-seeds last week.
* For those who claim it's crazy to have Temple as a 3-seed, look at the Owls' resume, look at the resumes of the teams in the lines below them (see the point above), and realize that Xavier has been seeded that high in the past when it won the A-10.
* There are a number of high seeds -- North Carolina, Michigan State, Tennessee and Ohio State -- that have RPIs completely out of line with what you have seen on the court so far. Assumedly, that gap will close one way or the other. Florida is the biggest mystery -- a top 25 team that?s No. 92 in RPI and has lost three straight while its marquee win, Michigan State, looks less impressive right now.
* Last week, St. John's was a 10 that ended up as a 9. This week, the Red Storm are an 11 that ended up as a 12, in part because of BYU's addition to the bracket. The Cougars, who don't play on Sundays for religious reasons, must be in both a subregional and regional that plays on Thursday and Saturday. That means New Orleans, Providence, San Jose or Oklahoma City for the first two rounds, and either the East (Syracuse) or West (Salt Lake City) region.
* There are eight at-large teams from outside the BCS conferences, although it would be extremely surprising if five teams ended up making it from the A-10. The league is too deep and tough and the members don't benefit as much from inflated nonconference RPIs like BCS leagues to bolster each other.

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