USA TODAY Sports bracketology: North Carolina takes over No. 1 seed – USA TODAY
Unbeaten Gonzaga (28-0) received 29 of 32 first-place votes. Villanova, Kansas, Arizona and UCLA round out the top 5.
USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina, currently leading the country’s deepest conference (ahem, 13 of 15 teams considered for tourney bids), has vaulted to one of the top four seeds in USA TODAY Sports’ bracketology. Credit that leap to an impressive 24-point shellacking of once-ACC contender Virginia, which plummeted to a No. 5 seed from that loss.
Also credit it to Baylor’s downspiral here in February. The Bears needed to buckle quite a bit to fall out of the No. 1 seed realm considering their eye-popping undefeated non-conference slate that features wins against Oregon and Louisville. That said, they’ve lost four of six, including a really close loss to now likely Big 12 winner (again, folks) Kansas.
The Tar Heels have a top-five RPI and top-20 strength of schedule, and the only team hotter in the ACC might be rival Duke, which doesn’t have the same numbers thanks to a January skid.
On Sunday:Â Wisconsin got the “big” win their rÃ©sumÃ© was lacking and have replaced Maryland on the No. 5-line. Maryland on the other hand is still seeking that “signature” win. The Terrapins’Â best as of now is Minnesota â not bad â but doesn’t move the needle much. The Gophers lookÂ like they’ve locked up their spot in the tournament after a gutsy OT win over Michigan. Georgia Tech stayed in the discussion with a nice win over Syracuse, who now falls to theÂ first four game while hanging by a thread.Â The OrangeÂ have a huge game at home vs. Duke on Wednesday that is a must win as it’s probably their best chance for another big win remaining.
âº No. 1 seeds:Â Villanova,Â Kansas, Gonzaga, North Carolina
âºÂ Last four in:Â Syracuse, Tennessee, TCU, Clemson
âºÂ First four out:Â Kansas State, Georgia Tech, Wichita State, Georgetown
âº Others considered for at-large bids (in no particular order):Â Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Providence, Indiana, Alabama, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Illinois
âº On life support:Â Rhode Island, Houston, Ohio State, Texas Tech, Georgia, Ole Miss
âº No longer considered:Â UConn, Texas, Texas Arlington, Charleston, New Mexico, Boise State, LaSalle, Davidson, Chattanooga, Saint Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, BYU, Oklahoma, Charleston, Nebraska, Temple, North Carolina State, Stanford, Nevada, Texas A&M, Memphis, Utah, Iowa, Auburn
âº Multi-bid conferences:Â ACC (10), Big TenÂ (7), Big 12 (6), Big East (6), Pac-12 (5), SEC (5), A-10 (2), AACÂ (2), WCC (2).
MORE COLLEGE HOOPS
âº Or highest RPI from projected one-bid conferences – (23 total):Â Vermont (America East), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun),Â North Dakota (Big Sky), UNC-AshevilleÂ (Big South), UC Irvine (Big West), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Middle Tennessee State (Conference USA),Â Valparaiso (Horizon), Yale (Ivy League), Monmouth (MAAC), Akron (MAC), N.C. Central (MEAC), Illinois State (Missouri Valley), Boise State (Mountain West), Mount Saint Mary’s (Northeast), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Bucknell (Patriot), Furman (Southern), New Orleans (Southland), Texas Southern (SWAC), North Dakota State (Summit), Texas-Arlington (Sun Belt), New Mexico State (WAC).
- Banned from participating:Â Hawaii, Southern Mississippi, Alcorn State, Savannah State, Northern Colorado
- Transition Schools, ineligible for the tourney:Â Abilene Christian (Southland), Grand Canyon (WAC), Incarnate Word (Southland), Massachusetts-Lowell (American East) Â Â
Note:Â All RPI and statistical data is used fromÂ WarrenNolan.com.
About our bracketologist:Â Shelby Mast has been projecting the field since 2005 and has finished as one of the top 5 national bracketologists for his website,Â Bracket W.A.G.Â Heâs predicted for The Indianapolis Star, collegeinsider.com and is an inaugural member of the Super 10 Selection Committee. Follow him on TwitterÂ @BracketWag.
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