First ever Bracket Projections show reveals a few head scratchers and some conspiracy theorists already hard at work
The usual cast of characters was present as Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg, and Seth Davis of CBS Sports heard the projected top 16 seeds from NCAA Division One Selection Committee Chairman Mark Hollis for the very first time. The Michigan State Athletic Director emphasized “geographical preference” as the deciding factor on how the 2017 NCAA Tournament will be shaped, molded, and eventually crystallized to the form we as Americans think as the greatest tournament in the world–at least, in the general opinion of this blog reporter and passionate superfan of the sport.
Again, I wish to emphasize:
Please take this information with a grain of salt. This list is not official.
With the 32 automatic qualifiers to be decided between March 4 to 12, there will be plenty of movement in terms of how the bracket will look in its’ final form.
But as of the time of this blog and podcast, these are the 16 overall seeds and how they would be placed come the late afternoon of Sunday, March 12:
EAST-New York City, would be Top Left quadrant for those of you scoring at home
1. Villanova (overall Number 1), would start in Buffalo pod
2. Louisville (7)
3. Kentucky (12)
4. UCLA (15), new rule implemented in 2015 cannot have the same conference occupy the same seed lines. More on that in a bit.
MIDWEST-Kansas City, Top Right Quadrant
- Kansas (overall Number 2)
- Florida State (6), 8-1 record against the RPI’s Top 50
- Arizona (9)
- Duke (16)
WEST-San Jose, Lower Left Quadrant
- Gonzaga (overall Number 4), the nation’s last unbeaten team
- Oregon (8), Seth Davis was quick to point out that the top 4 seeded teams cannot be placed in the same region. That is why Arizona would be adding to their frequent flyer miles.
- Virginia (10)
- West Virginia (14)
SOUTH-Memphis, Lower Right Quadrant
- Baylor (overall Number 3), knocking off three number 1 ranked teams in December really helps their cause.
- North Carolina (5)
- Florida (11)
- Butler (13)
The second half of the show had expert bracketologist from CBSSports.com Jerry Paul and his “99 percent” accuracy rate provide some extra insight as if the draw really took place:
He currently has in the East, (5) Purdue vs. (12) Nevada
(6) St. Mary’s
(11) Syracuse vs. Michigan State, quite a sexy Opening Round appetizer in Dayton
(8) California vs. (9) Oklahoma State
(7) Notre Dame vs. (10) TCU
(5) Cincinnati vs. (12) UNC Wilmington
(6) South Carolina vs. (11) Marquette
(8) Virginia vs. (9) VCU
(5) Creighton vs. (12) Illinois State, Creighton has to play the rest of the way without their star player who is injured
(3) Arizona vs. (14) Belmont
(6) Maryland vs. (11) Middle Tennessee State
(2) Florida State vs. (15) Florida Gulf Coast
(5) Wisconsin vs. (12) Valparaiso
(8) Northwestern vs. (9) Miami (Florida), the Wildcats just need one more quality win–either at Wisconsin or at home against Maryland or Purdue to reach their first Big Dance in the school’s long history.
(3) Florida vs. (14) Bucknell
(2) North Carolina vs. (15) UNC Asheville
Bottom line, take what University of Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari said to Bill Raftery:
“We were looking (as coaches) to achiever real transparency. I think this is a great idea.”
The first critical game is tonight, 8:15 Eastern time on ESPN as Gonzaga puts their undefeated season on the line against their most hated rival, at St. Mary’s.
I hope this blog and corresponding podcast makes a lot of sense and hopefully gives the general public a little deeper appreciation on how the brackets normally work.
Try to enjoy the rest of your Saturday and thank you so much for reading. Please tell a friend or two and share my blog, since I am always looking for new fans to join in.
The real fun is only 29 days away. Yes, my online friends–I cannot contain my excitement:
The Big Dance Is Coming SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON, Sooooooooooooooooon.