Selection Sunday is here, and Sports Illustrated’s final projected men’s NCAA tournament bracket is in.
Sunday’s action saw a few bracket developments—Richmond shrunk the bubble another spot by beating projected at-large Davidson in the A-10 final, pushing Notre Dame out of our field, and Yale knocked off No. 1 seed Princeton to earn the Ivy’s bid.
The big story coming into the weekend was conference tournament surges by Texas A&M and Virginia Tech, which gave each team life in its bubble hopes. That continued with a pair of convincing wins, as the Hokies officially punched their ticket with a win over Duke and Texas A&M moved into the projected field with a dominant semifinal win over Arkansas. Virginia Tech climbed all the way to our last No. 9 seed—now that it’s automatically in the field, its metrics mean it will top a lot of other bubble teams for seeding.
The casualties of these bid thieves are teams like Xavier and Oklahoma, which have waffled in and out of the projected field throughout the last few days. At No. 30 in KenPom, the Sooners would be one of the higher-ranked teams to miss the cut in recent memory, but an ugly overall win-loss record combined with a 10–14 record in Quad 1 + 2 games is enough to have OU just on the outside looking in.
The other primary storyline from Saturday was the top two seed lines sorting themselves out with conference tournament semifinals and finals. Arizona and Kansas each moved up a spot on the seed list, to No. 2 and No. 3 overall, respectively, after winning their conference tournaments, jumping Baylor in the process. The practical impact of that is that Arizona gets to play in San Antonio for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rather than Chicago, and Baylor heads to Philadelphia instead of San Antonio or Chicago. Kentucky’s case for a No. 1 ended (at least in my eyes) with Saturday’s loss to Tennessee, which helped solidify the Vols on the No. 2 line themselves. Meanwhile, Villanova beating Creighton in the Big East final combined with Duke’s loss to Virginia Tech makes the Wildcats the clear choice over the Blue Devils for a No. 2 seed.
On the Bubble:
Last Four Byes:
Last Four In:
First Four Out:
Next Four Out:
Bold indicates team has won its conference’s automatic bid
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Norfolk State/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
No. 8 TCU vs. No. 9 North Carolina
No. 5 Iowa vs. No. 12 Chattanooga
No. 4 Providence vs. No. 13 South Dakota State
No. 6 Texas vs. No. 11 Davidson
No. 3 Illinois vs. No. 14 Delaware
No. 7 Boise State vs. No. 10 Iowa State
No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 15 Yale
No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 16 Bryant/Texas Southern
No. 8 Seton Hall vs. No. 9 Memphis
No. 5 UConn vs. No. 12 Richmond
No. 4 Arkansas vs. No. 13 Vermont
No. 6 Colorado State vs. No. 11 Indiana
No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 14 Montana State
No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Marquette
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Colgate
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Wright State
No. 8 Murray State vs. No. 9 Creighton
No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 12 Texas A&M/Wyoming
No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 New Mexico State
No. 6 USC vs. No. 11 Michigan/SMU
No. 3 Duke vs. No. 14 Georgia State
No. 7 San Diego State vs. No. 10 Loyola Chicago
No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 15 Jacksonville State
No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 16 Cal State Fullerton
No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech
No. 5 Houston vs. No. 12 UAB
No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 13 Akron
No. 6 Alabama vs. No. 11 Miami
No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Longwood
No. 7 LSU vs. No. 10 San Francisco
No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 Saint Peter’s
SI’s updated bracket (as of 5 p.m., March 13):
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism