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NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdown: Projected Field 4.0

March 1, 2011 Columns No Comments

Based on the way bubble teams are playing this season, it’s hard to tell who really wants to be in the tournament.

In the past few days, Minnesota, Colorado State, VCU, Baylor, Maryland and Alabama have blown big opportunities to enhance their profiles. But few other teams have taken advantage of their struggles to move ahead of them in the pecking order. The biggest beneficiaries are Clemson and Richmond, which have moved into the field since Friday. However, they hold a tenuous grasp on those final two spots.

Just outside the tournament, Colorado, Nebraska and Boston College lurk, just waiting for a chance to move up. After picking up a huge win against Texas Saturday, Colorado is probably one win away from slipping ahead of Richmond. Nebraska picked up another nice home win Tuesday, this time against Missouri. However, the Huskers are an abysmal 2-8 away from home. To get into the field, they probably must win at Colorado Saturday and pick up at least one Big 12 Tournament win.

Boston College has been on a roller coaster ride recently. The Eagles entered conference play looking like a marginal tournament team. Then they fell off the bubble. But after slapping around the Hokies in Blacksburg, Boston College is back in the thick of things. Unfortunately for the Eagles. they end the season against Wake Forest and will likely play Georgia Tech or the Demon Deacons again in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. That means Boston College won’t be able to pick up another quality win until at least the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. And between now and then, the Eagles might lose some ground to other teams.

Let’s get to the brackets. In this edition, we slot teams in regions and match ups. As always, please share your thoughts.

Here are links to the recent projected fields.

Projected Field 3.0
Projected Field 2.0
Projected Field 1.0

In addition, take a look at the bracket projections from a whole slew of different sources, updated daily by the good folks at the Bracket Project.



(1) Ohio State vs. (16) Murray State (OVC) vs. Bethune-Cookman (MEAC) (Cleveland) 

(8) Temple vs. (9) Utah State (Cleveland)

(4) Connecticut vs. (13) Missouri State (Missouri Valley) (Tucson)

(5) Kentucky vs. (12) Minnesota vs. Clemson (Tucson)

(2) Texas vs. (15) Long Island (NEC) (Tulsa)

(7) UCLA vs. (10) Virginia Tech (Tulsa)

(3) Florida vs. (14) Vermont (Tampa)

(6) Villanova vs. (11) Memphis (Tampa)



(1) BYU vs. (16) Northern Colorado (Big Sky) (Denver) 

(8) Kansas State vs. (9) Florida State (Denver)

(4) Georgetown vs. (13) Charleston (Southern) (Tampa)

(5) Vanderbilt vs. (12) UAB (Conference USA) (Tampa)

(2) Notre Dame vs. (15) Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Horizon) (Chicago)

(7) Xavier vs. (10) Michigan State (Chicago)

(3) Wisconsin vs. (14) Long Beach State (Big West) (Denver)

(6) Arizona vs. (11) Butler (Denver)


(San Antonio)

(1) Kansas vs. (16) McNeese State (Southland) vs. Texas Southern (SWAC) (Tulsa) 

(8) UNLV vs. (9) Tennessee (Tulsa)

(4) Syracuse vs. (13) Oakland (Summit) (Washington)

(5) North Carolina vs. (12) Princeton (Ivy) (Washington)

(2) Duke vs. (15) Coastal Carolina (Big South) (Charlotte)

(7) Cincinnati vs. (10) Washington (Charlotte)

(3) Louisville vs. (14) Bucknell (Patriot) (Charlotte)

(6) Texas A&M vs. (11) Illinois (Charlotte)


(New Orleans)

(1) Pittsburgh vs. (16) Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt) (Cleveland) 

(8) Old Dominion vs. (9) Georgia (Cleveland)

(4) San Diego State vs. (13) Belmont (Atlantic Sun) (Tucson)

(5) West Virginia vs. (12) Gonzaga (West Coast) (Tucson)

(2) Purdue vs. (15) Kent State (MAC) (Chicago)

(7) George Mason vs. (10) Marquette (Chicago)

(3) St. John’s vs. (14) Fairfield (Metro Atlantic) (Washington)

(6) Missouri vs. (11) Marshall vs. Richmond (Washington)


Last Eight In:




Gonzaga (if needed)





First Eight Out:



Boston College

Colorado State

Southern Miss


Saint Mary’s

UAB (if needed)


Big East: 11 

Big Ten: 6

ACC: 5

Big 12: 5

SEC: 5

Atlantic 10: 3

Conference USA: 3

Mountain West: 3

Pac-10: 3

CAA: 2

Horizon: 2

20 one-bid conferences

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