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NCAA Bracketology: STL’s Conference Tournament Update

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With one week left until Selection Sunday, here’s how the bracket looks as of today

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Butler v Texas Tech Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Conference tournaments are upon us. Automatic bids are being handed out, but the madness is still upon us. Selection Sunday is just under a week away, but here’s how the STL NCAA Tournament bracket is shaping up as of now.

East Regional

1 Villanova
16 Mount Saint Mary's / New Orleans

9 Miami
8 Michigan

5 Iowa State
12 UNC Wilmington

13 East Tennessee State
4 Duke

3 UCLA
14 Cal State Bakersfield

11 Seton Hall
6 Minnesota

7 Creighton
10 Vanderbilt

15 Winthrop
2 WVU

West Regional

1 Gonzaga
16 Jacksonville State

9 Arkansas
8 Marquette

5 Cincinnati
12 Princeton

13 Bucknell
4 Virginia

3 Butler
14 Valparaiso

11 Syracuse / USC
6 Maryland

7 Wichita St
10 Wake Forest

15 South Dakota
2 Oregon

Midwest Regional

1 Kansas
16 North Carolina Central

9 Dayton
8 Virginia Tech

5 Arizona
12 Middle Tennessee

13 Vermont
4 Florida St

3 Kentucky
14 Florida Gulf Coast

11 Michigan St / VCU
6 SMU

7 Oklahoma St
10 Xavier

15 Iona
2 Louisville

South Regional

1 UNC
16 Texas Southern / North Dakota

9 Northwestern
8 South Carolina

5 Notre Dame
12 Nevada

13 UT-Arlington
4 Purdue

3 Florida
14 Akron

11 Providence
6 Wisconsin

7 Saint Mary's
10 Kansas St

15 UC Irvine
2 Baylor

Last four in: Michigan State, Syracuse, USC, VCU
First four out: Illinois, Illinois State, Clemson, Georgia

Bracket Thoughts

  • There’s no surprise among the number one seeds, as I think most have Villanova, Kansas, and Gonzaga, with North Carolina being the pick to come out of the ACC. Kentucky is probably the closest team to taking the Heels’ spot should they falter in the ACC Tournament.
  • Arizona looks out of place as a five seed. Most brackets have them ranked higher and over teams such as Virginia and Butler. But looking at their resume, their wins just don’t stack up. Across the country, 24 teams have more RPI top 50 wins and they fall short in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings as well, only ranking 21st as opposed to ninth in the RPI and seventh in the AP poll.
  • The ACC is well represented with 10 teams, the most among the conferences. However, Syracuse is in the last four in, while Clemson is in the first four out. No terrible losses have the Tigers looking better than I would have thought, though they need some wins this week. Syracuse probably needs to beat Miami in the 8/9 game to feel safe otherwise they’ll be sweating Selection Sunday just like last year. Wake Forest looks good for now, but might be compared to fellow ACC bubble teams should they lose early this week. Georgia Tech probably needs to make run to the semifinals or beyond to have a shot as they are a little further down the pecking order.
  • The bubble is once again very weak. Once all is said and done you can make a case for all of these teams to be in, but a very strong case for them all to be out as well. There don’t appear to be many bid stealers out there as some teams like Middle Tennessee State who, though they once looked like a possible at-large team, won’t be in the bracket should they lose in their conference tournament.

What do you think? Who’s too high? Who’s too low? Let us know in the comments.