March Madness Bracketology 2.0: Where We Stand As the Conference Tourneys End

It’s almost here.  Selection Sunday is tomorrow.   Conference tournaments are almost over.  Before the regular season closes, I want to share my post-regular season bracketology.  There’s still a lot to be decided, with major conferences still playing out tourneys this week, but here’s my best guess at what will happen.

Note: This bracketology is partially based on what I think will happen, and partially based on what has happened.  I abided by 3 major NCAA bracket-making rules:

  1. Conferences should be as even as possible
  2. No teams from the same conference that have played twice in the regular season/conference tournament should not face off until the Sweet Sixteen.  If they have played 3 or more times, they should not face off until the Elite Eight.
  3. The higher seeded First Four games consist of the four worst at-large teams, while the lower seeded First Four games consist of the 65-68 overall seeds.

East Region

  1. Image result for villanova logo blue Villanova
  2. Image result for kentucky logo blue Kentucky
  3. Image result for duke logo blue background Duke
  4. Image result for virginia logo Virginia
  5.  Wisconsin
  6. Related image Maryland
  7. Related image Dayton
  8. Image result for michigan wolverines logo  colored background  Michigan
  9. Image result for vcu logo  colored background VCU
  10. Image result for Virginia Tech logo Virginia Tech
  11. Image result for Syracuse logo Syracuse
  12. Image result for UNC Asheville logo colored background Image result for houston logo UNC Asheville/Houston
  13. Image result for vermont catamounts logo Vermont
  14. Image result for akron zips logo Akron
  15. Image result for bucknell logo Bucknell
  16. Related image Georgia State

Villanova and Kentucky have both been really good this year, but the competition is tougher than that here in the East.  Duke hasn’t been as good but will compete in the 3 seed they will be pushed down to.  I’m beginning to question why I even put UVA in a Top 4 seed, though.  They’ve really fallen apart, and Wisconsin has gotten better.  Below those 5 teams, there are plenty more contenders too.

I think even though Syracuse is a bubble team, they could make it pretty far if they get in.  VCU is another big sleeper, and I think they may have the capacity to beat Villanova.   Their conference rival Dayton could be another sleeper to go far, but their chances of facing off are very low because it wouldn’t happen until the Elite Eight, and it’s more likely that one or both of these teams will lose before then.  So, this conference could go in many different directions.

South Region

  1. Image result for north carolina logo  North Carolina
  2. Image result for baylor logo colored background Baylor
  3. Image result for arizona logo Arizona
  4. Image result for florida state logo red background Florida State
  5. Related image Florida
  6. Image result for cincinnati bearcats logo colored background Cincinnati
  7. Related image Miami
  8. Image result for michigan state logo colored background Michigan State
  9. Related image California
  10. Related image Arkansas
  11. Image result for utah utes logo colored background Related image Utah/Oakland
  12. Image result for florida gulf coast logo green background Florida Gulf Coast
  13.  Image result for princeton logo Princeton
  14. Image result for stpehen f austin logo colored background Stephen F. Austin
  15.  Image result for jacksonville state gamecocks logo red background Jacksonville State
  16. Image result for uc irvine logo colored background  UC Irvine

This is a decent conference.  It lacks sleeper teams.  Utah could go farther than you think, though, and Jacksonville State has a shot to go far.  At the top, North Carolina definitely earns the 1 seed after last night’s win.  Baylor and Arizona are interchangeable, but will both get high seeds and go far.  FSU, Florida, and Cincinnati aren’t major contenders but will also be tough to beat.

If there are upsets, it’s either going to be barely any or a lot.  Jacksonville State, FGCU, and Princeton are all in the position to pull an upset, but they may not be able to pull it off.  I like the potential this conference has to surprise us, but realistically this conference is probably going to a high seed.

Midwest Region

  1. Image result for kansas logo Kansas
  2. Image result for louisville logo  Louisville
  3. Related image Purdue
  4. Image result for west virginia logo colored background West Virginia
  5. Image result for notre dame logo colored background Notre Dame
  6. Related image Iowa State
  7. Related image Wichita State
  8. Image result for south carolina gamecocks logo colored background South Carolina
  9. Image result for minnesota logo colored background Minnesota
  10. Image result for xavier logo blue background Xavier
  11. Related image Middle Tennessee
  12. Image result for unc wilmington logo green background UNC Wilmington
  13. Image result for boise state logo colored background Boise State
  14. Image result for iona logo colored background Iona
  15. Image result for winthrop eagles logo colored background Winthrop
  16. Image result for eastern tennessee state logo Image result for northern kentucky logo ETSU/Northern Kentucky

This conference isn’t as good as the Midwest, and there aren’t too many sleepers in this conference, but there are a couple notable teams.  Kansas was upset, but will still dominate in a number one seed.  Louisville is also a major contender, and I’m pretty high on them.  There are no other teams that I can guarantee will go far, but a lot of teams will have a chance.

Watch out for Wichita State, Middle Tennessee, and UNC Wilmington too.  They could all pull some unexpected upsets.  Wichita State has surprised many teams before, and Middle Tennessee pulled the biggest upset of the entire 2016 tournament.  UNC Wilmington almost upset Duke last year good.

West Region

  1. Image result for gonzaga logo Gonzaga
  2. Image result for oregon logo Oregon
  3. Image result for ucla logo UCLA
  4. Image result for butler logo Butler
  5. Related image Creighton
  6.   Saint Mary’s
  7.  SMU
  8.  USC
  9.  Northwestern
  10.  Oklahoma State
  11.  New Mexico State
  12.  Valparaiso
  13.  Weber State
  14.   South Dakota State
  15.  Texas Southern
  16.  NC Central/Mount St. Mary’s

This region is a breeding ground for upsets.  Northwestern, New Mexico State,  Valparaiso and Weber State are the four biggest March Madness sleepers in my opinion.  The other reason I think this is that Gonzaga can’t stay good forever, UCLA has won more than anyone, but they haven’t had March Madness success lately.  Butler, Creighton, SMU and Saint Mary’s are in smaller conferences and don’t have as much experience in the tourney.  I can’t really say who the favorite is here.  All I can say is nearly everyone has a chance here.
So, that’s all for this Bracketology.  Comment your thoughts and stay tuned tomorrow for Selection Sunday.

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