USA TODAY Sports’ Nicole Auerbach gives out her awards for player, coach and freshman of the year.
USA TODAY Sports
Selection Sunday is upon us.
That means the NCAA tournament selection committee will soon hand out at-large bids to bubble teams and name its coveted No. 1 seeds.
Of the top seeds decision-making process, NCAA’s senior vice president of basketball, Dan Gavitt, spoke with CBS Sports and noted the No. 1 line had become “destabilized,” while mentioning the ACC tournament title (where Duke beat Notre Dame) and Pac-12 tournament title (where Arizona beat Oregon) would be a factor. While it would be easy to think Villanova, Kansas and Gonzaga are locks at the No. 1 line, USA TODAY Sports’ Selection Sunday bracket features no Pac-12 team or the one-loss ‘Zags. Instead, ACC kingpins Duke and North Carolina will join ‘Nova and the Jayhawks as the other top seeds.
SELECTION SUNDAY: Questions for committee
BUBBLE WATCH: Nine teams sweating
Finally-hitting-its-title-groove Duke, an eight loss team that dealt with a slew of injuries and controversy throughout the season, is ahead of its archrival UNC, which won the regular season ACC crown and has seven losses but less résumé meat than the Blue Devils.
Oregon, a projected No. 1 in Saturday’s bracket, falls all the way to the No. 3 line after losing to Arizona in Las Vegas, but this move also incorporates the season-ending injury and loss of one of the team’s best players in Chris Boucher. As far as Gonzaga goes, this team had an unbelievable season, but ultimately 21 of the Bulldogs’ wins have come against sub-100 RPI teams. This could be wrong. But it’s a decision based off the committee’s past habits.
? No. 1 seeds: Villanova, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina
? Last four in: Providence, USC, Kansas State, Rhode Island
? First four out: Illinois State, Syracuse, Illinois, Georgia
BRACKET CHALLENGE: Set up pool
Moving in: Rhode Island, Troy, Kent State, New Mexico State, UC Davis
Moving out: Illinois, Texas Arlington, Akron, Cal State Bakersfield, UC Irvine
? Others considered for at-large bids (in no particular order): Alabama
? On life support: Houston, Clemson, Iowa, California, TCU, Indiana, Ole Miss
? No longer considered for at-large: UConn, Texas, Charleston, New Mexico, Boise State, LaSalle, Davidson, Chattanooga, Saint Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, BYU, Oklahoma, Charleston, Nebraska, Temple, North Carolina State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Memphis, Utah, Auburn, Texas Tech, Georgetown, Penn State, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Monmouth, Valparaiso, Ohio State.
? Multi-bid conferences: ACC (9), Big Ten (7), Big East (7), Big 12 (6), SEC (5), Pac-12 (4), A-10 (3), AAC (2), WCC (2).
? Or highest RPI from projected one-bid conferences – (23 total): Vermont (America East), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), North Dakota (Big Sky), Winthrop (Big South), UC Davis (Big West), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Middle Tennessee State (Conference USA), Northern Kentucky (Horizon), Princeton (Ivy League), Iona (MAAC), Kent State (MAC), N.C. Central (MEAC), Wichita State (Missouri Valley), Nevada (Mountain West), Mount Saint Mary’s (Northeast), Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley), Bucknell (Patriot), East Tennessee State (Southern), New Orleans (Southland), Texas Southern (SWAC), South Dakota State (Summit), Troy (Sun Belt), New Mexico State (WAC).
- Banned from participating: Alcorn State, Savannah State, Northern Colorado, Cal State Northridge.
- Transition Schools, ineligible for the tourney: Abilene Christian (Southland), Grand Canyon (WAC), Incarnate Word (Southland), Massachusetts-Lowell (American East)
Note: All RPI and statistical data is used from WarrenNolan.com.
About our bracketologist: Shelby Mast has been projecting the field since 2005 and has finished as one of the top 5 national bracketologists for his website, Bracket W.A.G. He’s predicted for The Indianapolis Star, collegeinsider.com and is an inaugural member of the Super 10 Selection Committee. Follow him on Twitter @BracketWag.
NCAA TOURNAMENT AUTO BIDS