Let’s focus on the Atlantic Coast Conference this week. The ACC has consistently placed the most teams in each bracket I’ve posted thus far. While the ACC is a good bet to place at least 8 teams in the NCAA tournament, there has been some fluidity in who those teams will be.
At the top, Virginia remains the #1 overall seed for the 2nd straight week. The Cavaliers have been as impressive as anyone of late but will face a challenge at FSU on Wednesday before hosting Virginia Tech in rivalry game on Saturday evening.
Duke is a #2 seed once again despite an inexplicable loss to St. John’s. The loss to the Red Storm should be a concern for Duke fans though because it laid the blueprint for what could happen in March. The good news though is that the Blue Devils have gone 19-4 against one of the top schedules in the nation which makes one bad loss easy to forget when it comes seeding time.
Clemson is up to a #3 seed despite losing Donte Grantham. The Clemson guards have stepped it up since Grantham was injured. Gabe Devoe has averaged 22 points per game over the Tigers’ last 3 games.
UNC is a #5 seed and the Heels should be an interesting team to watch the rest of the way. UNC’s remaining schedule sees 2 games against Duke, away games versus NC State, Louisville, and Syracuse and home games against Notre Dame and Miami. Not a lot of easy wins to be had, but the good news is that the Heels (currently 6-5 in league play) are likely a lock even with a 9-9 conference record.
Miami is a #6 seed and is seemingly a lock for a selection at 17-5 and 6-4 in league play. The Canes are playing without Bruce Brown for a few weeks, but with Jim Larranaga’s backcourt depth and Lonnie Walker IV playing as good as he has all season, the Canes will be fine.
FSU is a #7 seed at 17-6 and 6-5 in conference play and the Noles should be a lock to make the tournament. How will FSU fare when they host Virginia this week?
Louisville is also #7 seed, sliding a bit after losing 3 of their last 4 games. Louisville is another team to watch down stretch as the Cardinals will finish conference play with 5 straight games against teams in today’s bracket.
Virginia Tech is on the right side of the bubble currently as a #10 seed The Hokies will face another bubble team in NC State on Wednesday before traveling to Virginia on Saturday. An 0-2 week will likely be enough to burst their bubble for next week.
NC State is in this week as a #11 seed. The Wolfpack have won 6 of 8 games with wins over Duke, Clemson, and UNC in that stretch. On top of that the Wolfpack have played their best basketball since they have had their full roster available. Markell Johnson’s return from suspension in mid-January has been a key spark for the Pack.
Syracuse and Notre Dame didn’t make the cut this week. The Orange are in the First Four Out while the Irish are barely hanging on in the Next Four Out. Syracuse got an impact win Monday vs. Louisville (this week’s bracket was submitted BEFORE that game went final). The Irish have one of the weaker remaining schedules among ACC teams and if Matt Farrell and DJ Harvey can return 100% the Irish could still make a late push.
Final Four: East vs West & Midwest vs South
ALL CAPS/conference indicates an automatic bid
(1) VIRGINIA/ACC vs. (16) UNC ASHEVILLE/Big South
(8) Florida vs. (9) Penn State
(5) Oklahoma vs. (12) NEW MEXICO STATE/WAC
(4) ARIZONA/Pac-12 vs. (13) LOYOLA-CHICAGO/Missouri Valley
(3) TEXAS TECH/Big 12 vs. (14) PENN/Ivy League
(6) Miami vs. (11) Kansas State/Providence
(7) NEVADA/Mountain West vs. (10) Arkansas
(2) CINCINNATI/AAC vs. (15) UC SANTA BARBARA/Big West
(1) MICHIGAN STATE/Big Ten vs. (16) COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON/Colonial/NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL/MEAC
(8) Seton Hall vs. (9) Texas
(5) Wichita State vs. (12) NORTHERN KENTUCKY/Horizon
(4) AUBURN/SEC vs. (13) VERMONT/America East
(3) Clemson vs. (14) SOUTH DAKOTA/Summit
(6) Kentucky vs. (11) Houston
(7) Louisville vs. (10) USC
(2) Kansas vs. (15) RIDER/MAAC
(1) VILLANOVA/Big East vs. (16) SFA/Southland/JACKSON STATE/SWAC
(8) TCU vs. (9) RHODE ISLAND/Atlantic 10
(5) UNC vs. (12) UL LAFAYETTE/Sun Belt
(4) Gonzaga vs. (13) EAST TENNESSEE STATE/Southern
(3) Tennessee vs. (14) FLORIDA GULF COAST/Atlantic Sun
(6) Arizona State vs. (11) NC State/Texas A&M
(7) FSU vs. (10) Alabama
(2) Xavier vs. (15) BUCKNELL/Patriot League
(1) Purdue vs. (16) WAGNER/Northeast
(8) Missouri vs. (9) Creighton
(5) Butler vs. (12) MIDDLE TENNESSEE/Conference USA
(4) West Virginia vs. (13) MURRAY STATE/Ohio Valley
(3) Ohio State vs. (14) BUFFALO/Mid-American
(6) SAINT MARY’S/WCC vs. (11) Boise State
(7) Michigan vs. (10) Virginia Tech
(2) Duke vs. (15) MONTANA/Big Sky
Last Four In
First Four Out
Next Four Out
Multiple Bid Conferences
Here’s where the fun begins and where we set the SportsChannel 8 bracketology apart from everyone else. You can simulate the bracket above using NCAAGameSim.com. Enjoy!