NCAA Basketball: Weekly Projected 68 Team NCAA Tournament Field

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NCAA Basketball: Weekly Projected 68 Team NCAA Tournament Field

NCAA Basketball
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the non-conference schedule is nearing an end, I’m going to start projecting the 68 team NCAA Tournament field weekly. I figured today’s edition would be good to release going into this weekend for two reasons.

The first is we have a great slate of games Saturday with many already questioning where some of these teams may be seeded. The biggest game is the eighth ranked Villanova Wildcats squaring off in the Carrier Dome taking on the second ranked Syracuse Orange.

The other reason is some of the major conferences begin conference play on New Years Eve, so I thought we’d take a look at where everyone stands heading into a big weekend of games and entering conference play.

The following slides are broken down by each of the four regions and the teams who will be playing within them. It’s not a projection on who would win these games and reach the Final Four in Dallas, but rather just a projection on who would be seeded where and who they would play.

In order to get my seeding, I took the current conference leaders as the automatic 32 bids and picked the 36 at-large teams. I also did a bubble watch as the last slide with teams that are the last four in and several teams on the outside looking in right now.

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West Region (Honda Center, Anaheim, California)

NCAA Basketball
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 1 overall seed as of now is in this region. I have the undefeated and No. 1 ranked Arizona Wildcats as the top seed out West as they deserve the easiest road.

Second and third round games played in San Diego, Calif.

No. 16 Alabama State/Elon vs. No. 1 Arizona

No. 9 Georgetown vs. No. 8 VCU

Second and third round games played in San Diego, Calif.

No. 13 Green Bay vs. No. 4 Kansas

No. 12 Hawaii vs. No. 5 North Carolina

Second and third round games played in Orlando, Fla.

No. 11 New Mexico vs. No. 6 Iowa

No. 14 Manhattan vs. No. 3 Wichita State

second and third round games played in San Antonio, Texas.

No. 10 Illinois vs. No. 7 St. Mary’s

No. 15 Radford vs. No. 2 Oklahoma State

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South Region (FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee)

NCAA Basketball
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The winner of this region will take on the winner of the West Region in one of the two national semi-finals in Dallas. As of now, Louisville will be the top seed in this region as they’re currently the conference leader of their respective conference and ranked inside the top five.

Second and third round games played in St. Louis, Mo.

No. 16 St. Francis vs. No. 1 Louisville

No. 9 Pittsburgh vs. No. 8 Michigan

Second and third round games played in Orlando, Fla.

No. 13 North Dakota State vs. No. 4 Florida

No. 12 Arkansas vs. No. 5 UCLA

Second and third round games played in San Antonio, Texas.

No. 11 George Washington vs. No. 6 Arizona State

No. 14 Eastern Kentucky vs. No. 3 Baylor

Second and third round games played in St. Louis, Mo.

No. 10 Virginia vs. No. 7 Colorado

No. 15 Northern Colorado vs. No. 2 Michigan State

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East Region (Madison Square Garden, New York, New York)

NCAA Basketball
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

I have the second overall seed of the tournament playing in this region. Syracuse by virtue of being undefeated and second ranked nationally gets the top seed here. If Syracuse has some success, they will never leave the state of New York until the Final Four.

Second and third round games played in Buffalo, N.Y.

No. 16 Colgate/Norfolk State vs. No. 1 Syracuse

No. 9 Creighton vs. No. 8 Massachusetts

Second and third round games played in Spokane, Wash.

No. 13 Southern Miss vs. No. 4 Oregon

No. 12 LSU/Kansas St. vs. No. 5 Missouri

Second and third round games played in Raleigh, N.C.

No. 11 Oklahoma/Minnesota vs. No. 6 Memphis

No. 14 UL-Lafayette vs. No. 3 Duke

Second and third round games played in Milwaukee, Wisc.

No. 10 Harvard vs. No. 7 Texas

No. 15 Stony Brook vs. No. 2 Wisconsin

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Midwest Region (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana)

NCAA Basketball
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The fourth and final region will feature the likely winner of the Big 10. As of now, the Ohio State Buckeyes are the team leading the charge and could play close to home as Indianapolis is only a few hours away from Columbus, Ohio. Also, that Kentucky vs. Ohio State potential Sweet 16 matchup in Indy is very intriguing.

Second and third round games played in Milwaukee, Wisc.

No. 16 Incarnate Wood vs. No. 1 Ohio State

No. 9 Butler vs. No. 8 Cincinnati

Second and third round games played in Raleigh, N.C.

No. 13 Drexel vs. No. 4 Connecticut

No. 12 Toledo vs. No. 5 Kentucky

Second and third round games played in St. Louis, Mo.

No. 11 San Diego State vs. No. 6 Gonzaga

No. 14 New Mexico State vs. No. 3 Iowa State

Second and third round games played in Buffalo, N.Y.

No. 10 Indiana vs. No. 7 St. Louis

No. 15 Mercer vs. No. 2 Villanova

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Bubble Teams:

NCAA Basketball
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

This is the slide for the last four teams in and the few that are on the outside looking in. Some of these teams can obviously play their way off the bubble while some of the teams currently in could play there way down to this point.

Last 4 In:

Oklahoma, Minnesota, LSU, Kansas State

1st Four Out:

Xavier, Notre Dame, Stanford, Marquette

Next Four Out:

Clemson, N.C. State, Florida State, Utah

Next Four Out:

Providence, Ole Miss, SMU, Wake Forest

Next Four Out:

Boise State, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, St. John’s

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