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Bracket Projection Update: March 3

The final weekend of the regular season is upon us and some smaller conference have started tournament play. The Championship in the Atlantic Sun is set with the two most recent champions (Florida Gulf Coast and North Florida) set to square off on Sunday at 3pm. In the Big South Conference, the #2 and #3 seeds went down yesterday as Campbell upset UNC-Asheville thanks to 51 points from Chris Clemons and Radford edging Liberty. The Big South semifinals are tonight with the Championship set for Sunday at 1pm. The first bid to the 2017 NCAA Tournament will come from the Ohio Valley Conference (Championship on Saturday at 7pm on ESPN2). The Missouri Valley Conference will also crown their champion this weekend (Sunday at 1pm) and many are anticipating a rematch between Wichita St and Illinois St. Since Conference Tournament play has started, my bracket projection saw a slight update. The assumed automatic bid from each conference is the top seed remaining in the conference tournament. Therefore, since Illinois St is the top seed in the MVC Tournament, they are included in this projection as the presumed conference champion. Presumed champions are listed in bold.

East Region

Buffalo
1. Villanova vs 16. Mt St Mary’s/NC Central
8. Wisconsin vs 9. USC

Buffalo
4. West Virginia vs 13. Monmouth
5. Notre Dame vs 12. Illinois St

Sacramento
3. Oregon vs 14. CSU-Bakersfield
6. St Mary’s vs 11. Vanderbilt

Indianapolis
2. Louisville vs 15. Vermont
7. Maryland vs 10. Xavier

Midwest Region

Tulsa
1. Kansas vs 16. Texas Southern
8. Michigan vs 9. Seton Hall

Milwaukee
4. Virginia vs 13. UNC-Greensboro
5. Purdue vs 12. UT-Arlington

Greenville
3. Duke vs 14. Florida Gulf Coast
6. SMU vs 11. Providence/Illinois

Indianapolis
2. Kentucky vs 15. Akron
7. Dayton vs 10. Wichita St

South Region

Greenville
1. North Carolina vs 16. New Orleans/UC Davis
8. Michigan St vs 9. Oklahoma St

Salt Lake City
4. Arizona vs 13. Princeton
5. Creighton vs 12. Nevada

Orlando
3. Florida vs 14. Bucknell
6. Cincinnati vs 11. Middle Tennessee

Tulsa
2. Baylor vs 15. Belmont
7. Miami vs 10. Marquette

West Region

Salt Lake City
1. Gonzaga vs 16. Eastern Washington
8. South Carolina vs 9. Northwestern

Orlando
4. Florida St vs 13. Winthrop
5. Minnesota vs 12. UNC-Wilmington

Milwaukee
3. Butler vs 14. Oakland
6. Iowa St vs 11. Arkansas/Wake Forest

Sacramento
2. UCLA vs 15. South Dakota
7. Virginia Tech vs 10. VCU

Play-In Games (Tuesday in Dayton)
Mount Saint Mary’s vs NC Central (winner to Buffalo)
Arkansas vs Wake Forest (winner to Milwaukee)
Play-In Games (Wednesday in Dayton)
Providence vs Illinois (winner to Greenville)
New Orleans vs UC-Davis (winner to Greenville)

Bids By Conference: ACC – 9, Big Ten – 8, Big East – 7, SEC – 5, Big XII – 5, Pac 12 – 4, A-10 – 2, AAC – 2, Missouri Valley – 2, West Coast – 2

The Bubble

bubble3-3

Last 4 Byes: VCU, Wichita St, Marquette, Vanderbilt

Last 4 IN: Arkansas, Providence, Wake Forest, Illinois

First 4 Out: Kansas St, Iowa, Syracuse, Rhode Island, (Middle Tennessee)

Next 4 Out: Clemson, California, (UT-Arlington), Pitt, Ohio St

Others Considered: TCU, Georgia, (Illinois St), BYU, Houston, Ole Miss, Utah

Highest RPI in the Field: Marquette (59)
Lowest RPI left Out: Rhode Island (44)

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