NCAA Tournament Projections As of March 5

Here are some notes on today’s bracket as we head into the last weekend of play for the power conferences. By the end of the weekend we will even have some automatic qualifiers in the field.

• This week, the NCAA revealed how they will set up the bracket. All play-in games, including the at-large teams and the schools seeded #16, will be placed on the left side of the bracket. In other words, it’s the region that contains the #1 seed (region one) and the region that contains the #4 seed (region four). These two regions will play their games on Saturday and Monday, while the “First Four” games will be played on Thursday.

• Because the above regions will not play on Sunday, BYU will need to be placed in region one or four as the Cougars have long had a policy that their athletic teams can not play on Sunday.

• Some teams have been eliminated from at-large consideration. With Richmond’s loss on Thursday in the A-10 Tournament, the Spiders’ season is over and their resume falls short of receiving an at-large bid from the committee.

• Minnesota needs to win the Big Ten Tournament and receive the automatic bid in order to make the NCAA Tournament. Indiana is not quite in that position, but the Hoosiers definitely need to make a deep run and acquire some high-quality wins along the way to have a chance as an at-large team.

• Despite having impressive records, mid-majors like Belmont, Winthrop and Drake need to win their respective conference tournament if they want to go dancing. When focusing on the Bulldogs, they have a 22-3 record against D-1 opponents and a high-quality win against Loyola, but they’ve only played two teams ranked better than #124 in the NET.

This season, I’m very excited about the new Bracketology by TKBrackets podcast. On each episode we will take a look at the most recent bracket and highlight teams that have made moves. We will also have guests on like the top bracketologists in the country, NCAA staff members who help put the official bracket together, former selection committee members and the biggest names in college basketball.

Check out the latest podcast and get caught up on all the past episodes right here at Buzzsprout or anywhere you go to listen to podcasts.

LAST FOUR IN:  Utah State, Boise State, Georgia Tech, VCU
FIRST FOUR OUT:  Saint Louis, Syracuse, Seton Hall, Duke
NEXT FOUR OUT:  Stanford, Memphis, SMU, NC State

Big Ten: 9
Big 12: 7
ACC: 7
SEC: 6
Pac-12: 4
Big East: 4
MW: 4
A-10: 2
AAC: 2
WCC: 2