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March Madness NCAA Bracketology: Selection Sunday 2021

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Virginia checks in as a 3 Seed...for now

NCAA Men’s Final Four - National Championship - Texas Tech v Virginia Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Of all the sports days in the calendar, Selection Sunday has to be one of my favorites. So, here we are. After a whole season of games, we finally get the unveiling of the bracket that will determine this year’s national champion. This week has been as crazy as I can ever remember leading up to Selection Sunday. From COVID affecting teams like Virginia and Kansas to bid-stealers Georgetown and Oregon State dashing the hopes of unlucky bubble teams we’ve already had our share of “excitement.” There are still some games to be played and I’ll update this bracket before the show, but for now here’s how I see the landscape.

West and South Regionals

West Regional South Regional
West Regional South Regional
1. Gonzaga (1) 1. Baylor (4)
16. Texas Southern / Norfolk State 16. Iona
9. Connecticut 9. Florida
8. Oregon 8. Colorado
5. West Virginia 5. Villanova
12. Winthrop 12. UC Santa Barbara
13. North Texas 13. Colgate
4. Creighton 4. Florida St.
3. Texas 3. Arkansas
14. Eastern Washington 14. Grand Canyon
11. Virginia Tech 11. Louisville / Saint Louis
6. Wisconsin 6. St. Bonaventure
7. BYU 7. Clemson
10. Oklahoma 10. Texas Tech
15. Morehead State 15. Oral Roberts
2. Ohio St. 2. Iowa

Midwest and East Regionals

Midwest Regional East Regional
Midwest Regional East Regional
1. Illinois (2) 1. Michigan (3)
16. Hartford 16. Mount Saint Mary's / Appalachian State
9. Georgia Tech 9. VCU
8. Missouri 8. North Carolina
5. USC 5. Tennessee
12. Georgetown 12. Oregon State
13. Ohio 13. Abilene Christian
4. Kansas 4. Oklahoma St.
3. Virginia 3. Purdue
14. Liberty 14. UNCG
11. Saint Louis / Michigan St. 11. Syracuse / Utah St
6. Loyola Chicago 6. LSU
7. San Diego St. 7. Rutgers
10. Maryland 10. Drake
15. Drexel 15. Cleveland State
2. Alabama 2. Houston

Last Four Byes: Oklahoma, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Syracuse
Last Four In: Michigan State, Louisville, Saint Louis, Utah State
First Four Out: UCLA, Wichita State, Colorado State, Boise State
Next Four Out: Mississippi, SMU, Xavier, Duke

Bracket Thoughts:

Number One Seeds: As I expected at the beginning of the week, our four number one seeds remain unchanged, though their order has shifted slightly with Illinois’ impressive showing vaulting them to the number two overall seed. Gonzaga will be the number one overall seed and the overwhelming favorite. If these aren’t the four number ones, I’ll be more surprised than anything else the Selection Committee has ever done.

Bid Stealers: Georgetown, Oregon State, and Cincinnati have certainly made this an interesting week. We don’t usually get bid stealers from major conferences, but the Hoyas and Beavers were able to make runs while the Bearcats can become another thief with a win over Houston today in the American Athletic Conference Final.

Bubbles Burst: If you’re a team who finds itself on the wrong side of the bubble Sunday evening, it’s certainly not the bid-stealers fault. Coming into the week Michigan State, Louisville, Xavier, SMU, Boise State, Colorado State, Wichita State, SMU, and Mississippi all had no room for error. And each of them either lost their first game of their respective conference tournament or lost the first game they couldn’t afford to lose. Only Utah State and Syracuse came away improving their positions from my bracket projection last weekend. It will be a stressful Sunday for each of them, first having to sweat out Cincinnati then the selection show. But should they miss out, they’ll have only themselves to blame.

ACC Mediocrity: Georgia Tech confirmed they’re a tournament sleeper with a nice run to the ACC Tournament Championship, but other ACC teams didn’t do themselves any favors in Greensboro. Louisville and Virginia Tech were one and done while Syracuse might have seen their tournament chances slip away as they watched Reece Beekman’s game-winning three touch nothing but net. All three come in as 11 seeds with Louisville having to play their way into the main bracket. It’s just another example of how far the usually strong league has fallen this year.

The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is at 6 P.M. EDT and will covered by CBS. Stay with Streaking the Lawn for bracket updates as well as all your other Virginia related tournament news.