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Sideline Intel Bracketology: Dec. 27, 2018

As the calendar turns to the new year and teams turn to their conference slates, it’s time for another bracket projection.

I’m not going to waste too much of your time with an introduction, but just to get out in front of a few questions I foresee popping up:

Why is Duke the No. 1 overall seed? Because every single metric ranks the Blue Devils No. 1. It’s not hard to see why, either. No, they’re not undefeated like Michigan and Virginia, but they’ve played a Top 20 schedule and have a nation’s best four wins in Quadrant One. Michigan and UVA have a combined five.

Why is there only one Pac-12 team in the field? Because there’s only one Pac-12 team that ranks in the Top 50 (yes, the Top 50) of every major metric. That team is also the only one that has fewer than three total losses, and more than one Q1 victory.

Why is my mid- or low-major team not a conference champion? I pretty much picked conference champions based on KenPom ratings. Things will even out in that regard when conference games start being played. If you’re a Belmont fan, for example, I know full well your team is very good and right near the top of the OVC. Murray State just looks a little better.

Any other questions or qualms? Feel free to follow and start the conversation on twitter (@Jeff_Griffith21).

Okay, here’s the bracket:

Note: all-caps denote a projected conference champion; all-caps & bold face denote a clinched conference champion.

~~~

SOUTH REGIONAL | Louisville, Ky.

(Columbia, S.C.)
No. 1 DUKE
No. 16 SAINT FRANCIS (PA) vs. No. 16 RIDER

No. 8
LSU
No. 9 Butler

(Salt Lake City, Utah)
No. 5 HOUSTON
No. 12 OLD DOMINION

No. 4 Ohio State
No. 13 VCU

(Des Moines, Iowa)
No. 6 Arizona State
No. 11 Creighton

No. 3 Wisconsin
No. 14 LEHIGH

(Jacksonville, Fla.)
No. 7 VILLANOVA
No. 10 Central Florida

No. 2 TENNESSEE
No. 15 GEORGIA STATE


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Kansas City, Mo.

(Columbus, Ohio)
No. 1 MICHIGAN
No. 16 TEXAS SOUTHERN

No. 8
 Kansas State
No. 9 St. John’s

(Hartford, Conn.)
No. 5 Kentucky
No. 12 MURRAY STATE

No. 4 Virginia Tech
No. 13 WOFFORD

(Salt Lake City, Utah)
No. 6 Mississippi State
No. 11 Syracuse vs. No. 11 San Francisco

No. 3 NEVADA
No. 14 NEW MEXICO STATE

(Salt Lake City, Utah)
No. 7 Marquette
No. 10 Florida

No. 2 Texas Tech
No. 15 VERMONT


EAST REGIONAL | Washington, D.C.

(Columbia, S.C.)
No. 1 Virginia
No. 16 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN vs. No. 16 HOWARD

No. 8 BUFFALO
No. 9 Maryland

(San Jose, Calif.)
No. 5 Indiana
No. 12 PENNSYLVANIA

No. 4 Oklahoma
No. 13 CHARLESTON

(Jacksonville, Fla.)
No. 6 Florida State
No. 11 LIPSCOMB

No. 3 Auburn
No. 14 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

(Columbus, Ohio)
No. 7 TCU
No. 10 Florida

No. 2 Michigan State
No. 15 MONTANA


WEST REGIONAL | Anaheim, Calif.

(Columbia, S.C.)
No. 1 GONZAGA
No. 16 NORTHERN KENTUCKY

No. 8 
Iowa
No. 9 Louisville

(Des Moines, Iowa)
No. 5 NC State
No. 12 Seton Hall vs. No. 12 Northwestern

No. 4 Nebraska
No. 13 LOYOLA-CHICAGO

(Hartford, Conn.)
No. 6 Iowa State
No. 11 Purdue

No. 3 North Carolina
No. 14 UC IRVINE

(Jacksonville, Fla.)
No. 7 Cincinnati
No. 10 Minnesota

No. 2 KANSAS
No. 15 RADFORD


THE BUBBLE

Last Four Byes
Florida
Central Florida
Purdue
Creighton

Last Four In
Syracuse
San Francisco
Seton Hall
Lipscomb

First Four Out
Arizona
Utah State
Notre Dame
Clemson

Next Four Out
Oregon
Washington
Vanderbilt
Ole Miss

Four More
Temple
Belmont
UCLA
Providence


CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

Big Ten: 11 in Field
ACC:
8 in Field // 2 on Bubble
Big 12: 7 in Field
SEC: 6 in Field // 2 on Bubble
Big East:
6 in Field // 1 on Bubble
AAC:
 3 in Field // 1 on Bubble
WCC: 2 in Field

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