Filling the Brackets

In addition to the top 20, SI predicts which teams will complete the NCAA field on Selection Sunday
November 23, 2009

TEAM / CONFERENCE / RETURNING STARTERS / SKINNY

21 GEORGIA TECH / ACC / 4 /

Superfreshman Derrick Favors could be the ACC's best big man; he and G D'Andre Bell—out last season with a back injury—key a revival.

22 DAYTON / ATLANTIC 10 / 4 /

With dunkmaster F Chris Wright's stuffs and seven returning players who averaged at least 14 minutes, the Flyers return to the Dance.

23 MARYLAND / ACC / 4 /

The Terps rejoiced when G Greivis Vasquez—the first player to lead Maryland in points, rebounds and assists—pulled out of the NBA draft.

24 OKLAHOMA / BIG 12 / 2 /

There's nothing petite about 6'9", 296-pound freshman F Keith (Tiny) Gallon, who with G Willie Warren try to fill the void left by the Griffins.

25 ILLINOIS / BIG TEN / 3 /

Coach Bruce Weber and pouty PF Mike Davis are on the same page again, so the Illini and its strong D will book a trip back to the tournament.

26 MINNESOTA / BIG TEN / 4 /

Highly regarded Minneapolis native freshmen Royce White and Rodney Williams make the Gophers the Big Ten's deepest team.

27 WAKE FOREST / ACC / 3 /

Senior Ish Smith retakes the reins at PG after Jeff Teague's early departure, and big man Al-Farouq Aminu is poised to break out.

28 OKLAHOMA STATE / BIG 12 / 3 /

The Cowboys love to shoot the three (third in the nation from beyond the arc)—especially junior G James Anderson (18.2 ppg).

29 VANDERBILT / SEC / 5 / G

John Jenkins, the nation's leading high school scorer last season (42.3 ppg), gives a veteran squad the outside shooting punch it needs.

30 CLEMSON / ACC / 2 /

Star F Trevor Booker gets help from a stellar four-man recruiting class that includes his younger brother F/C Devin.

31 SOUTH CAROLINA / SEC / 4 /

G Devan Downey (third in the SEC in scoring) and F Dominique Archie will lead the Gamecocks to their first tournament win since '73.

32 FLORIDA STATE / ACC / 3 /

The Seminoles boast 7'1" Solomon Alabi (73 blocks) and count on freshman G Michael Snaer to offset the loss of Toney Douglas.

33 TEXAS A&M / Big 12 / 3 /

The Aggies are one of six teams to win a game in the NCAAs four straight years; the streak should continue thanks to their talented guards.

34 BYU / MWC / 4 /

With G Jimmer Fredette and F Jonathan Tavernari, the Cougars will extend their home-court dominance (61--3) and NCAAs streak to four years.

35 SYRACUSE / BIG EAST / 2 /

Heavy losses are partially offset by hyped Iowa State transfer F Wes Johnson and freshman PG Brandon Triche (a Jonny Flynn type).

36 KANSAS STATE / BIG 12 / 4 /

G Denis Clemente will become known for more than his YouTube highlights, and big man Wally Judge could be the Big 12's top freshman.

37 ARIZONA / PAC-10 / 3 /

Sean Miller, the Wildcats' fourth coach in four years, extends their NCAA streak to 26 straight thanks to PG Nic Wise and F Solomon Hill.

38 MISSISSIPPI / SEC / 3 /

G Chris Warren returns from a knee injury to form an explosive backcourt with Terrico White, who provided 18.4 ppg in his absence.

39 TULSA / C-USA / 4 /

Future NBA big man Jerome Jordan and versatile F Ben Uzoh will help the Golden Hurricane earn its first NCAA bid as members of C-USA.

40 NOTRE DAME / BIG EAST / 2 /

The Irish erase last year's disappointment as Gs Ben Hansbrough and Tory Jackson give senior F Luke Harangody a proper send-off.

41 SETON HALL / BIG EAST / 4 /

G Jeremy Hazell, second nationally in scoring among returning players (22.7), gets a powerful sidekick in transfer F Herb Pope.

42 UTAH STATE / WAC / 4 /

The Aggies, one of three teams—along with Kansas and Gonzaga—to win at least 23 games in each of the last 10 years, will make it 11.

43 OLD DOMINION / CAA / 5 /

The Monarchs have a conference POY candidate in F Gerald Lee and momentum after winning the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

44 NORTHERN IOWA / MISSOURI VALLEY / 5 /

Five starters, plus the MVC's top sixth man, F Lucas O'Rear, return to team that pushed Purdue in the first round.

45 CREIGHTON / MISSOURI VALLEY / 3 /

MVC becomes a two-bid league thanks to G P'Allen Stinnett and a vocal home crowd that ranked 12th nationally in attendance.

46 NEVADA / WAC / 3 /

The Wolf Pack has the league's best player in sophomore F Luke Babbitt (16.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and will host the WAC tourney on their home floor.

47 NORTHEASTERN / CAA / 4 /

The Huskies bring back their top three scorers—including senior G-F Matt Janning—to a team that set the CAA pace before fading late.

48 MEMPHIS / C-USA / 1 /

First-year coach Josh Pastner rides three Gs—Duke transfer Elliot Williams and veterans Doneal Mack and Roburt Sallie—to the postseason.

49 GONZAGA / WCC / 1 /

G Matt Bouldin will be expected to shoulder the load as Mark Few faces one of the toughest rebuilding jobs of his 11-year tenure.

50 WESTERN KENTUCKY / SUN BELT / 4 /

Guard A.J. Slaughter could become the Hilltoppers' latest Sun Belt POY and take them to a third straight NCAAs.

51 MONTANA / BIG SKY / 3 /

Anthony Johnson (17.6 ppg) and Ryan Staudacher (45.2 3-point%) head a talented roster that includes PG Shawn Stockton, nephew of John.

52 CORNELL / IVY / 5 /

Ryan Wittman, son of former pro Randy, and G Louis Dale lead the sharpshooting Big Red (41.1% from beyond arc) and will battle for Ivy POY.

53 BOSTON U / AMERICA EAST / 1 /

Led by G-F John Holland and G Corey Lowe, the Terriers finally fulfill expectations under ex-'Nova assistant Patrick Chambers.

54 AKRON / MAC / 4 /

F Brett McKnight, who led the Flashes in scoring as a reserve, joins four starters back from a team that held opponents to 29.1% from the arc.

55 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON / SOUTHERN / 3 /

Bobby Cremins returns to the NCAAs for the first time since 1996 behind Andrew Goudelock and Tony White Jr.

56 TEXAS A&M--CORPUS CHRISTI / SOUTHLAND / 5 /

G-F Kevin Palmer (18.2 ppg) heads a deep squad that welcomes touted redshirt freshman G Terence Jones.

57 UC SANTA BARBARA / BIG WEST / 3 /

The Gauchos add Loyola Marymount transfer Orlando Johnson and PG Justin Joyner, who missed 2008--09 with a wrist injury.

58 RADFORD / BIG SOUTH / 4 /

From Minsk to the Madness, Belarus export C Art Parakhouski (16.2 ppg, 11.2 rpg) has the Highlanders ready to dance.

59 MOREHEAD STATE / OHIO VALLEY / 4 /

Junior C Kenneth Faried was third in the nation in double doubles (25) and led the Eagles to a win in the NCAA play-in game.

60 OAKLAND / SUMMIT / 4 /

F Derick Nelson, who averaged 17.3 points and 7.4 rebounds in 2007--08 before missing '08--09 with injury, joins four returning starters.

61 JACKSONVILLE / ATLANTIC SUN / 4 /

Ben Smith and Lehmon Colbert lead the Dolphins to the NCAAs for the first time since 1986—four years after finishing 1--26.

62 MORGAN STATE / MEAC / 2 /

The Bears welcome productive Cleveland State transfer G Joe Davis to a team that broke the school record for wins two years in a row.

63 LEHIGH / PATRIOT / 4 /

Brett Reed, one of three Division I coaches with a Ph.D., instructs F Zahir Carrington (14.0 ppg) and G Marquis Hall (13.9) to keep shooting.

64 MOUNT ST. MARY'S / NORTHEAST / 3 /

Senior PG Jeremy Goode, 5'9", averaged 14.9 ppg last season and is on pace to become the school's alltime assist leader.

65 ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF / SWAC / 5 /

Senior G Terrance Calvin leads an experienced group through the gantlet of their season-opening 14 straight road games.

PHOTOJOHN BIEVERMIKE DAVIS The slight but skilled forward, who had a breakout season as a sophomore, teams with center Mike Tisdale to give No. 25 Illinois one of the top frontcourts in the land.

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Eagle (-2)
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