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2018 Bracket Roundup: Where could the Hoos be headed?

Will Virginia get a one seed? Where will they play? We look at six projected brackets.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s midway through January, so the “way too early” bracket projections are no longer “way too early” and now there’s a lot more of them. So, to make things easier for you, we compiled SIX bracket projections to break down where the “experts” are seeing the Hoos. Virginia is 16-1 (5-0 ACC) so far on the season, with the lone loss coming at West Virginia.

For each projection, we’ll look at the top four seeds for each region, plus point out who Virginia is slated to play and mention any intriguing matchups. For the full bracket, click the linked header for each section. The dates next to the titles of the tables are when the bracket was last updated. For reference, the sites are as follows for the regionals:

East: Boston, MA (March 23 & 25)

West: Los Angeles, CA (March 22 & 24)

Midwest: Omaha, NE (March 23 & 25)

South: Atlanta, GA (March 22 & 24)

Let’s get to it!

ESPN

ESPN (January 25)

Seed East West Midwest South
Seed East West Midwest South
1 Villanova Duke Purdue Virginia
2 Ohio State Michigan State Kansas Xavier
3 North Carolina Oklahoma Cincinnati West Virginia
4 Texas Tech Arizona Clemson Auburn

First round matchup: Florida Gulf-Coast

First round(s) location: Charlotte

Games I want to watch: (6) Michigan vs. (3) North Carolina, East Region, Round of 32. (1) Duke vs. (2) Oklahoma, West Region, Elite 8.

Takeaways: I don’t hate this bracket, but the bottom half of the South has West Virginia, Louisville, and Florida. Luckily, only one of those could come out of there for the Hoos to face in the Elite 8, so that ain’t bad. Love the Charlotte to Atlanta possibility (which I think we’ll see a fair amount of if Virginia keeps winning), and a second round matchup with either Nevada or Texas would be challenging but do-able. Kentucky or Cincinnati (OR DARIUS THOMPSON AND WESTERN KENTUCKY) in the Sweet 16 wouldn’t be the end of the world.

CBS Sports

CBS Sports (January 22)

Seed East West Midwest South
Seed East West Midwest South
1 Villanova Texas Tech Oklahoma Virginia
2 Auburn Wichita State Purdue West Virginia
3 Kansas Duke Clemson Xavier
4 North Carolina Michigan State Tennessee Kentucky

First round matchup: Robert Morris OR Florida Gulf Coast

First round(s) location: not listed

Games I want to watch: (11) Western Kentucky vs. (11) USC, South Region, First Four. (1) Villanova vs. (8) Miami, East Region, Round of 64.

Takeaways: A play-in game! That would be a first for the Hoos. Virginia would face either Rhode Island (which they beat in the NIT Season Tip Off final, 70-55) or UCLA in the second round. This bracket also features Kentucky at the four seed and WVU as the two seed, so similar to ESPN’s.

SB Nation

SB Nation (January 24)

Seed East West Midwest South
Seed East West Midwest South
1 Villanova Duke Kansas Purdue
2 Clemson West Virginia North Carolina Virginia
3 Oklahoma Arizona Xavier Auburn
4 Florida Seton Hall Tennessee Cincinnati

First round matchup: Bucknell

First round(s) location: Charlotte

Games I want to watch: (8) Louisville vs. (9) Rhode Island, East Region, Round of 64. (8) Ohio State vs. (4) Cincinnati, South Region, Sweet 16.

Takeaways: Ok, this one is a little kooky. Somehow, Virginia is a two seed (while Kansas is a one seed...sure) in the West, meaning they aren’t even the top two seed (if you assume they’d get the South if they were). The Midwest would feature three of the top five teams in KenPom with Purdue (KP #2) as the one seed, Virginia (KP #3) as the two seed, and Texas Tech (KP #5) as the three seed. That’s no bueno for the Hoos. If Virginia gets through Bucknell, they’d have Texas/Notre Dame waiting for them in the next round.

SportsChannel 8

SportsChannel 8 (January 23)

Seed East West Midwest South
Seed East West Midwest South
1 Villanova Kansas Purdue Virginia
2 West Virginia Duke Michigan State Cincinnati
3 Creighton Florida Arizona State Nevada
4 Clemson Gonzaga Tennessee Wichita State

First round matchup: Wagner OR Jackson State

First round(s) location: not listed

Games I want to watch: (2) West Virginia vs. (15) Stephen F. Austin, South Region, Round of 64 (Last time these two met in the first round, WVU was a three seed and SFA a 14...the Lumberjacks shocked the Mountaineers, 70-56). (2) North Carolina vs. (10) Maryland, East Region, Round of 32.

Takeaways: Another play-in game! Fun! This is SportsChannel 8’s first foray into the bracket world, and Jon Pence from @scacchoops put this one together. Hoos would face the winner of Butler/Missouri, both of which would be difficult whether it’s outside shooting with the Bulldogs or Michael Porter Jr. (if he’s healthy) with the Tigers. Once again, the Hoos could benefit from Kentucky/Xavier/WVU duking it out in the lower half of the bracket to clear the way.

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report (January 22)

Seed East West Midwest South
Seed East West Midwest South
1 Villanova Kansas Purdue Duke
2 Virginia Clemson West Virginia Xavier
3 Oklahoma Auburn North Carolina Cincinnati
4 Florida Arizona Tennessee Ohio State

First round matchup: Robert Morris OR Princeton

First round(s) location: Charlotte

Games I want to watch: (1) Oklahoma vs. (5) Arizona, West Region, Sweet 16. (2) Duke vs. (3) West Virginia, East Region, Sweet 16.

Interesting tidbits: BURN IT WITH FIRE. Virginia would face a tough Butler or St. Mary’s in the Round of 32, with either (4) Kentucky or (5) Michigan State waiting in the Sweet 16. Hard pass.

Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated (January 22)

Seed East West Midwest South
Seed East West Midwest South
1 Villanova Duke Purdue Virginia
2 West Virginia Xavier North Carolina Kansas
3 Clemson Michigan State Oklahoma Auburn
4 Arizona Texas Tech Cincinnati Ohio State

First round matchup: Montana

First round(s) location: not listed

Games I want to watch: (1) West Virginia vs. (5) Kentucky, South Region, Sweet 16. (5) Auburn vs. (12) Western Kentucky, West Region, Round of 64.

Interesting tidbits: This is probably the weakest 2-4 seeds paired with the Hoos in any of these projections...it wouldn’t matter though if the Hoos couldn’t get past (8) Florida in the second round.