CBB PREVIEW: Villanova eyes continued dominance in underrated Big East

The Big East has consistently been Villanova and everyone else since the Wildcats returned to title contention in 2013-14.

Spoiler alert: That hasn’t changed.

The Wildcats return plenty of talent from last year’s national title-winning team, despite sending four Top-35 picks to the NBA. They won’t be lacking for competition, but they’ll still undoubtedly be the top dogs.

The story to follow, therefore, in the Big East, will be the bevy of question marks that lie from the other nine squads. Between impact freshmen, key transfers and talented upperclassmen on the rise, the Big East will once again be one of basketball’s more intriguing leagues in 2018-19.

PRESEASON BIG EAST RANKINGS

1. VILLANOVA: The Wildcats lost four major pieces from their 2018 National Championship-winning squad. But that’s becoming the norm, right? ‘Nova is still poised to be a Top-10 caliber team, but it’s going to be much more of a project than past years. Between the growth of Eric Paschall and Phil Booth into featured seniors, the addition of Jermaine Samuels and Collin Gillespie into larger roles, and the arrival of guard Joe Cremo from Albany, Villanova will be plenty experienced. Oh, and the Wildcats also add a Top-10 class that features electric point guard Jahvon Quinerly, and a triad of athletic wings in Brandon SlaterCole Swider and Saddiq Bey.

Villanova makes the tournament if the sky doesn’t fall.

2. BUTLER: Butler only lost two pieces of last year’s No. 10 seed. It just so happens that those pieces — Kelan Martin and Tyler Wideman — combined for 30.5 of Butler’s 79 points per game. Without those two, the burden will fall on seniors Paul Jorgensen and Nate Fowler, and juniors Kamar Baldwin and Sean McDermott, to run the show. That quarter combined for 39.3 ppg in a combined 102.7 mpg, so there’s still plenty of experience, spearheaded by Baldwin, whose numbers —15.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.5 spg, 34.0 mpg — speak for themselves. Butler’s frontcourt will be lacking for experience — outside of Fowler the Bulldogs return just 5.5 minutes per game from their bigs – but the addition of four-star freshman forward Bryce Golden will help.

Butler makes the tournament if its inexperienced bigs take a step and add depth behind Nate Fowler.

3. XAVIER: No more Trevon Blueitt. No more J.P. Macura. No more Sean O’Mara, Kaiser Gates or Kerem Kanter. No problem? No, major problem. Xavier won’t be the elite Big East contender it’s been the last few years, and it definitely won’t be a No. 1 seed again. Travis Steele has his work cut out for him as the Musketeers’ new head coach, and his success will be dependent on two forward who combined to play 36.8 minutes per contest last season in Tyrique Jones and Naji Marshall, and a trio of transfers in Kyle Castlin (Columbia), Zach Hankins (Ferris State) and Ryan Welage (San Jose State). Guard Paul Scruggs is Xavier’s only other returner who played more than 10 minutes per game, and he may be thrust into a much larger role with the Musketeers’ lack of experience in the backcourt.

Xavier makes the tournament if its various pieces gel, and generally play to their potential.

4. SETON HALL: I know Jacob Rosenfarb and I are pretty unhappy we’ll never get to see Angel Delgado play in a Seton Hall uniform again. Hall fans probably feel the same about Desi Rodriguez and Khadeen Carrington, who, with Delgado, comprised one of the program’s more successful seniors classes. After having two players transferred out of the program and signing nothing but three-star freshman, Seton Hall will be relying on its role-players — and its two returning starters, — to grow up and take this team to its fourth consecutive tourney.

Seton Hall makes the tournament if we don’t spend the season saying, “Man, remember Angel Delgado’s class? Those guys were great.”

5. MARQUETTE: Marquette just missed the tournament last year with one of the game’s most prolific scorers in Markus Howard. A preseason Naismith Award candidate, Howard is back to lead the Golden Eagles, who have become one of the most difficult to predict teams in college basketball. There’s little evidence of success to tell us that Marquette will be good, but between the return of Howard and Sam Hauser in the backcourt, the Golden Eagles won’t struggle to score. After those two, though, there’s not much production returning to Milwaukee. It’ll be interesting to watch the development of bigs like Matt Heldt and Theo John, and whether or note they can complement Marquette’s outstanding backcourt.

Marquette makes the tournament if Markus Howard balls out, but isn’t the only one doing so.

6. ST. JOHN’S: Shamorie Ponds. That’s the guy. When the Johnnies made noise last season, Ponds was the star, dropping 31 on Xavier, 33 on Duke, 26 on Villanova and 44 on Marquette in the span of two weeks. In an earlier contest with Villanova, Ponds poured in 37. He averaged 21.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.3 steals in his sophomore season and will undoubtedly be St. John’s biggest piece this year. Auburn transfer Moustapha Heron will add considerable athleticism, and if he, Marvin Clark and Justin Simon take the next step, the Red Storm could be a very fun team to follow in the middle of the Big East.

St. John’s makes the tournament if Shamorie Ponds isn’t the only scoring option.

7. PROVIDENCE: The Friars’ loss of three of their top four scorers from 2017-18 hurts, but bringing back junior wing Alpha Diallo definitely cushions the blow. Diallo was Providence’s second-leading scorer last season and its leading rebounder with 6.6 boards a night. After Diallo, things get muddier, as Providence has six different players — spearheaded by guard Isaiah Jackson — who each played between 10 and 20 minutes per game last season. Figuring out the rotation will be a difficult task for Ed Cooley, but he’s probably got enough talent to make a run at a sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament.

Providence makes the tournament if it finds a viable go-to scorer and an on-court leader.

8. CREIGHTON: Saying goodbye to Khyri Thomas and Marcus Foster, who alone combined for over 40 percent of the Blue Jays’ production last year, really stings. As a whole, Creighton lost about two-thirds of its scoring, including four of its top six scorers. With a relatively unassuming class of recruits, it’s hard to see the Blue Jays making too much noises this season, and a .500 mark seems pretty reasonable. Returning rotation players Martin Krampelj, Mitch Ballock and Davion Mintz will likely be Creighton’s focus, but it’ll need a step forward from the majority of its team if it wants to compete for anything in 2018-19.

Creighton makes the tournament if things eventually click and the Blue Jays get hot in February.

9. GEORGETOWN: Here’s where we really start to see a drop-off in the Big East; it’s hard to see these last two teams not finishing as Nos. 9 and 10. For the Hoyas, the Patrick Ewing project is on its way where they want it to go; that’s evident in recruits like Josh LeBlance and Mac McClung. But with transfer Omer Yurtseven sitting out the season and Marcus Derrickson inexplicably bolting early for the NBA, it’s going to be on Jesse Govan to try and carry this team, unless guys like Jahvon Blair, Kaleb Johnson and Jamarko Pickett make major strides.

Georgetown makes the tournament if literally everything clicks.

10. DEPAUL: Oh, DePaul. Every year, I want DePaul to be good. I really do. But man, this team catches no breaks. From a team that went 11-20 last year, three of its scholarship players graduated, and three others transferred. On the bright side, the Blue Demons bring back their first- and third-leading scorers as seniors, in Max Strus and Eli Cain, but we’re talking about a team that has nine scholarship players on its active roster, and six who have played Big East basketball before. It’s going to be tough in Chicago. Again.

DePaul makes the tournament if the sky falls on Butler, Xavier and Marquette when it falls on Villanova.

 

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CBB PREVIEW: ACC primed for deepest group yet, has crystal clear top echelon

The ACC has consistently been the best league in basketball since mass conference realignment struck the college athletics landscape in the early half of the 2010s. That’s no secret.

In some years, that dominance has been abundantly clear. In 2015-16, the ACC sent six of its teams to the second week of the NCAA Tournament, before going on to have its members comprise half of the Elite Eight, Final Four and National Championship rounds.

The league didn’t look that great a year ago. It still led the nation in tournament teams, with nine, for the third consecutive season. Aside from Duke’s Elite Eight run and surprise second-weekend trips by No. 9 seed Florida State and No. 11 seed Syracuse, though, the league didn’t make too much noise.

But to this day, the best year of any conference — in terms of top-to-bottom quality — is the 2011 Big East. A quick breakdown:

• All-time record 11 tournament bids
• Not a single one of them had to play a play-in game
• of them were seeded no lower than No. 6
• teams in final AP Top 25, in the Top 15
• 2011 Big East and National Champion Connecticut was the league’s No. 9 Seed

Real quick, for perspective on that last one — last year, the major conference’s No. 9 seeds were as follows: Louisville, St. John’s, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Arizona State and Alabama. None of them won more than one NCAA Tournament game, and argument could be made that none of them deserved to make it.

I don’t agree with that argument on any of the three cases — referring to OU, ASU, and ‘Bama. But it’s been made. It’s been made plenty. 

Continuing…

That edition of the Big East didn’t have major success once late-March rolled around, but the kind of depth — eleven tournament teams — is incredible.

And there’s a chance it will be matched, if not exceeded, by the 2018-19 ACC.

For starters, there are really only three teams in this year’s ACC that are truly elite. Theres really only another three or four that truly feel like likely picks to be playing in March.

But there are 13 — sorry, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech — for which there is a legitimate NCAA Tournament. There’s no way 13 ACC teams make it, because there’s no way 13 ACC teams win at least a bare-minimum eight conference games, but 10 or 11 is still quite possible.

So, let’s take a quick look at each, and how they end up in the NCAA Tournament.

PRESEASON ACC RANKINGS

1. DUKE: You’ve heard enough about Duke. They’ve got some great freshmen. They’re going to be extremely talent. Zion Williamson is the third best player on this team. You can take this to the bank, though — they will not win it all. Think 2014-15 Kentucky, but with a few more than zero losses, because this is the ACC, and that was an SEC that would be mid-major quality without that Wildcats team.

Duke makes the tournament if Durham, North Carolina doesn’t blow up.

2. NORTH CAROLINA: Freshman wing Nassir Little might be the best newcomer in the ACC — if not the country — and Luke Maye might be the best senior. Throw in another five-star freshman (Coby White) and have him join juniors Seventh Woods and Brandon Robinson in the backcourt, and you’ve got a classic UNC team.

North Carolina makes the tournament if Chapel Hill, North Carolina also doesn’t blow up.

3. VIRGINIA: Tony Bennett’s got the horses again, and they’ve got a whole lot of people to shut up after last year’s March embarrassment. Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome make up one of the best backcourts in the ACC, and get back wing De’Andre Hunter who had a breakout season last year as a redshirt freshman. The Cavaliers didn’t add much, but that core, combined with redshirt senior center Jack Salt, will do damage this season.

Virginia makes the tournament if — I’m not going to say it again, you get the idea.

4. SYRACUSE: Few teams in the country — and none in the ACC — return as much production as Syracuse does. The Orange looked pretty bad at times last year, but had next to no legitimate experience on its roster, and still made the Sweet 16. A talented quintet of newcomers — featuring freshman point guard Jalen Carey and transfer wing Eli Hughes — has the chance to bring the Orange back to an elite level when it joins forces with Tyus Battle, O’Shae Brissett, and the ACC’s only fully-intact starting five.

Syracuse makes the tournament if Tyus Battle and O’Shae Brissett stay healthy.

Notice anything there? The league’s four best coaches — by a long shot — are set to have the league’s four best teams this year. That’s a tantalizing prospect. 

5. VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies will spend most of the season battling with Syracuse for that last position among the four ACC Tournament double-byes. Virginia Tech has slowly been putting it together in Buzz Williams’ first four seasons in Blacksburg, and this should be his best team yet. The loss of Justin Bibbs is a tough one, but Justin RobinsonChris ClarkeTy Outlaw and Ahmed Hill comprise a four-man senior class ready to go out on a high note. Expect guards Wabissa Bede and Nickeil Alexander-Walker to both take steps forward as sophomores.

Virginia Tech makes the tournament if Justin Robinson shoots like Justin Bibbs.

6. CLEMSON: The world will never get to know what Clemson could have been if talented seniors Gabe DeVoe and Donte Grantham had an entire final season together. The Tigers reached the Sweet 16 in 2017-18 without Grantham, and while Clemson fans would love to have seen him take the team further, the way they performed without him down the stretch is an encouragement. Redshirt senior guards Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell will be Clemson’s go-to scorers, and forward Elijah Davis will be a quality third option, but the Tigers will need a couple of their nine freshmen and sophomores to take a step in order to live up to last year’s raising of the bar.

Clemson makes the tournament if Marcquise Reed takes the next step.

7. FLORIDA STATE: The Seminoles only lost one key piece from a team that stunningly reached the Elite Eight as a No. 9 seed, in guard Braian Angola. As a result, this is the final year for a class of Phil Cofer, Terrence Mann, Christ Koumadje and P.J. Savoy that has seen a decent amount of success in Tallahassee. For how long this core has been intact, we’ve yet to see it truly flourish, so it’s hard to book this team as any kind of contender, but if Florida State’s going to be special any time in the foreseeable future, it’s now.

Florida State makes the tournament if its seniors play like seniors.

8. LOUISVILLE: Last year was rough for the Cardinals. Chris Mack should be able to change that; maybe it’ll take longer than a year, but Louisville should at least take a step or two back to its normal self in 2018-19. For this team, it’ll be all about the grad transfers; the Cardinals ended up with zero signees in the 2018 class, but added Christen Cunningham (Samford), Akoy Agau (SMU) and Khawn Fore (Richmond) as their only seniors with Division I playing experience. This team has the talent, and the coach, but, it’ll take rapid cohesion of three transfers, and a step up from juniors like Ryan McMahon and V.J. King in order for Louisville to make sure it’s dancing.

Louisville makes the tournament if its newcomers don’t play newcomers all season.

9. NC STATE: The Wolf Pack lost plenty from a team that earned a No. 8 seed a year ago. Just from the graduations of Allerik Freeman and Sam Hunt, and Omer Yurtseven’s transfer to Georgetown, NC State lost 43 percent of its 2017-18 scoring. The keys to a return to the dance this season start in the backcourt, with sparky sophomore Braxton Beverly and the leadership of redshirt senior Torin Dorn; the two combined for 23.4 points per game last season. The question marks lie in the frontcourt, as NC State returns a grand total of 0.0 minutes among its big men. The Wolf Pack added three freshmen of 6-foot-7 or taller, and welcome Wyatt Walker, a grad transfer from Samford, but, yeah, the guards are going to have to carry NC State to the tournament.

NC State makes the tournament if its big men grow up (figuratively speaking).

10. MIAMI: With guards Ja’Quan NewtonLonnie Walker IV and Bruce Brown no longer around in Coral Gables, the Hurricanes will be looking to last year’s role-player guards for production this season. Miami’s only returning double-digit scorer will be 6-foot-11 junior forward Dewan Hernandez, but guards Chris Lykes and Dejan Vasiljevic proved plenty in 2017-18 as backups, averaging a combined 18.6 points. The 5-foot-7 Lykes will likely run the point, with Vasiljevic, a sharpshooter who went 41 percent from deep a year ago, playing off the ball. That core trio can certainly keep Miami on the right side of a busy bubble in 2018-19.

Miami makes the tournament if Lykes and Vasiljevic ball out.

11. NOTRE DAME: No more Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell in South Bend. but the Fighting Irish will still have plenty of talent. Notre Dame added four four-stars from the 2018 class, including electric DMV product Prentiss Hubb, who will likely back up Rex Pfleuger and T.J. Gibbs this season. Notre Dame won’t have much experience in the frontcourt, but 6-foot-11 junior John Mooney and 6-foot-8 senior Elijah Burns should be able to hold down the paint if they take the right step forward after coming off the bench last year.

Notre Dame makes the tournament if no one gets injured again… and Pfleuger and Gibbs become the leaders that Farrell and Colson once were.

12. BOSTON COLLEGE: Jerome Robinson and his 20.7 points per game are gone, but junior Ky Bowman has the chance to be one of the ACC’s best guards, and has been pegged as a sneaky All-American candidate. As a sophomore, Bowman averaged 17.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists, while shooting 42 percent from the field. He’s going to be the focus of the Eagle’s offense in 2018-19, but if he explodes this season, and guys like Jordan Chatman and Nik Popovic take the next step, BC could be an outside tournament team.

Ky Bowman makes the tournament if he lives up to the hype.

13. WAKE FOREST: I’m going to be honest, last year was the year for Wake Forest, but the future is bright with a Top-25 recruiting class on its way in. With four of their top-five scorers — Mitchell WilbekinDoral MooreBryant Crawford and Keyshawn Woods all out the door, it’s hard to see the Demon Deacons making much noise in a loaded ACC, but there are still some quality pieces in Winston-Salem, starting with sophomore guard Brandon Childress and five-star freshman wing Jaylen Hoard. If Childress takes a big step, Hoard lives up to expectation, and secondary pieces like Top-100 forward Isaiah Mucius and sophomore guard Chaundee Brown ball out, Wake could be a fun bubble dark horse.

Wake Forest makes the tournament if its freshman go crazy.

14. GEORGIA TECH: The loss of Josh Okogie takes away a lot of what made Georgia Tech competitive last year. The losses of Ben Lammers and Tadric Jackson pretty much take away the rest of it. The Yellow Jackets return one player who averaged more than six points last year, Jose Alvarado (12.1 ppg), and add a decent recruiting class, but other than a couple of upsets and home wins over the ACC’s bottom-tier, it’s hard to see Georgia Tech picking up too many victories in league this season. Kind of like Wake, last year was the year.

Georgia Tech makes the tournament if Josh Okogie comes back to college.

Okay. One more.

A little further down…

Almost there…

15. PITTSBURGH: Pitt hasn’t won a conference regular season game since February 18, 2017. The Panthers lost three of the top four scorers from a team that went 8-24 (0-18 ACC). Jeff Capel, essentially, put on a fire-retardant suit, picked up a fire extinguisher and walked directly into a dumpster engulfed in flames. He’s going to need a little time to put it out.

Pittsburgh makes the tournament if pigs fly.

Sideline Intel Bracketology 2018-19: Preseason Edition

It’s so close, we can almost taste it.

As of the publishing of this edition of Sideline Intel Bracketology, there are only 25 days until the return of college basketball. And for the latter 21 of those days, hoops fans can pass the time with the exciting return of the NBA.

Selection Sunday’s a little further down the road. Try 156 days.

But if there’s anything we know about this beautiful sport, it’s that those days are going to fly. So, strap in. It’s going to be a wild ride.

If you want to look into a crystal ball, though, here’s a good look at what the field might look like on March 17, 2019, if nothing outside of the expected happens. That’s how college basketball works, right?

For now, dig in. College hoops is right around the corner.

Over the course of the weeks leading up to the November 6 tip-off of the 2018-19 college basketball season, keep coming back to this page and following @sidelineintel on twitter for links to extensive preview content. 

~~~

MIDWEST REGIONAL | Kansas City, MO

(Des Moines, Iowa)
No. 1 KANSAS / Big 12
No. 16 RADFORD / Big South vs. No. 16 UC DAVIS / Big West

No. 8
Louisville
No. 9 Xavier

(Seattle, Wash.)
No. 5 Ohio State
No. 12 PENNSYLVANIA / Ivy

No. 4 Virginia Tech
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE / Summit

(Jacksonville, Fla.)
No. 6 Butler
No. 11 LOYOLA-CHICAGO / Missouri Valley

No. 3 Tennessee
No. 14 GEORGIA STATE / Sun Belt

(Salt Lake City, Utah)
No. 7 Nebraska
No. 10 Xavier

No. 2 NEVADA / Mountain West
No. 15 UNC GREENSBORO / Southern


EAST REGIONAL | Washington, D.C.

(Columbia, S.C.)
No. 1 DUKE / ACC
No. 16 GRAMBLING STATE / SWAC

Duke and its freshmen are primed to sit atop a miles-deep ACC

No. 8
 Arizona State
No. 9 Indiana

(Salt Lake City, Utah)
No. 5 Florida
No. 12 OLD DOMINION / Conference USA

No. 4 Kansas State
No. 13 MONTANA / Big Sky

(Des Moines, Iowa)
No. 6 OREGON / Pac-12
No. 11 BUFFALO / MAC

No. 3 MICHIGAN STATE / Big Ten
No. 14 NORTHEASTERN / Colonial

(Hartford, Conn.)
No. 7 Florida State
No. 10 Maryland

No. 2 VILLANOVA / Big East
No. 15 BELMONT / Ohio Valley


SOUTH REGIONAL | Louisville, Ky.

(Columbus, Ohio)
No. 1 KENTUCKY / SEC
No. 16 HAMPTON / MEAC vs. No. 16 NORTHERN KENTUCKY / Horizon

No. 8 Houston
No. 9 Xavier

(Tulsa, Okla.)
No. 5 Clemson
No. 12 DAVIDSON / Atlantic 10

No. 4 West Virginia
No. 13 BUCKNELL / Patriot

(Tulsa, Okla.)
No. 6 Purdue
No. 11 USC vs. No. 11 Notre Dame

No. 3 Auburn
No. 14 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN / Southland

(Jacksonville, Fla.)
No. 7 Texas Tech
No. 10 Arizona

No. 2 Virginia
No. 15 FLORIDA GULF COAST / Atlantic Sun


WEST REGIONAL | Anaheim, Calif.

(Seattle, Wash.)
No. 1 GONZAGA / West Coast
No. 16 WAGNER / Northeast

No. 8 
CINCINNATI / American
No. 9 LSU

(Hartford, Conn.)
No. 5 TCU
No. 12 Washington vs. No. 12 Wisconsin

No. 4 Syracuse
No. 13 ALBANY / America East

(Columbus, Ohio)
No. 6 Mississippi State
No. 11 Marquette

No. 3 Michigan
No. 14 IONA / Metro Atlantic

(Seattle, Wash.)
No. 7 UCLA
No. 10 Seton Hall

No. 2 North Carolina
No. 15 NEW MEXICO STATE / WAC


CONFERENCE BREAKDOWN

ACC | 11 | 1 on the bubble | Average Seed: 5.6
Big Ten | 8 | 1 on the bubble | Average Seed: 6.9
SEC | 6 | 3 on the bubble | Average Seed: 4.5
Pac-12
| 6 | 0 on the bubble | Average Seed: 9.0
Big 12 | 5 | 3 on the bubble | Average Seed: 4.2
Big East
| 5 | 1 on the bubble | Average Seed: 7.6 
American | 2 | 1 on the bubble | Average Seed: 8.0


THE BUBBLE

Last Four Byes
Arizona
Xavier
Maryland
Marquette

Last Four In
USC
Notre Dame
Washington
Wisconsin

First Four Out
Vanderbilt
Providence
Oklahoma State
Texas A&M

Next Four Out
Texas
Penn State
Central Florida
Wichita State

Four More
Rhode Island
Baylor
Alabama
Boston College

Outside Shots (Alphabetical):  Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa State, Saint Bonaventure, Saint Mary’s, Saint Joseph’s, Saint John’s, Temple, Tulsa, Wake Forest

Out of 353 Division I college basketball teams, 92 are mentioned on this page. 49 are from Power 5 leagues, with another . Wondering why you can’t find yours? Think yours should be higher, or your rival should be lower? Feel free to start the discussion on twitter @sidelineintel or @Jeff_Griffith21.

Sideline Intel Bracketology: Post-Deadline Edition

It’s the middle of June, and sports are pretty slow. All we’ve got as college basketball fans is recruiting… maybe the World Cup… maybe baseball?

Why not drop a bracket, right?

Here’s a look at where I’d say the field of 68 stands, now that we know who’s staying and who’s going.

Let’s be honest, it’s all speculation, but it’s better than nothing. Take a look:

~~~

EAST REGIONAL | Washington, D.C.

(Columbia, S.C.)
No. 1 DUKE
No. 16 WOFFORD / No. 16 UC DAVIS

No. 8 
Houston
No. 9 Xavier

(Seattle, Wash.)
No. 5 UCLA
No. 12 PENNSYLVANIA

No. 4 WEST VIRGINIA
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

(Jacksonville, Florida)
No. 6 Florida
No. 11 Maryland

No. 3 Virginia
No. 14 FLORIDA GULF COAST

(Jacksonville, Florida)
No. 7 Purdue
No. 10 NC State

No. 2 Auburn
No. 15 HAMPTON


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Kansas City, Mo.

(Des Moines, Iowa)
No. 1 KANSAS
No. 16 TEXAS SOUTHERN

No. 8
 LSU
No. 9 Louisville

(Tulsa, Okla.)
No. 5 Clemson
No. 12 Oklahoma State vs. No. 12 Marquette

No. 4 Michigan
No. 13 BUCKNELL

(Tulsa, Okla.)
No. 6 OREGON
No. 11 Notre Dame / No. 11 Penn State

No. 3 Tennessee
No. 14 Belmont

(Salt Lake City, Utah)
No. 7 Ohio State
No. 10 BUFFALO

No. 2 NEVADA
No. 15 GEORGIA STATE


SOUTH REGIONAL | Louisville, Ky.

(Columbus, Ohio)
No. 1 KENTUCKY
No. 16 NORTHERN KENTUCKY vs. No. 16 Radford

No. 8 Arizona State
No. 9 Nebraska

(Des Moines, Iowa)
No. 5 Florida State
No. 12 DAVIDSON

No. 4 Kansas State
No. 13 NEW MEXICO STATE

(Hartford, Conn.)
No. 6 Texas Tech
No. 11 Arizona

No. 3 Virginia Tech
No. 14 RIDER

(Hartford, Conn.)
No. 7 Mississippi State
No. 10 Indiana

No. 2 VILLANOVA
No. 15 Northeastern


WEST REGIONAL | Anaheim, Calif.

(Salt Lake City, Utah)
No. 1 GONZAGA
No. 16 WAGNER

No. 8 
Vanderbilt
No. 9 Miami

(Seattle, Washington)
No. 5 TCU
No. 12 MARSHALL

No. 4 Syracuse
No. 13 MONTANA

(Columbus, Ohio)
No. 6 Butler
No. 11 LOYOLA-CHICAGO

No. 3 MICHIGAN STATE
No. 14 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 Cincinnati
No. 10 Seton Hall

No. 2 North Carolina
No. 15 ALBANY


And here’s a quick look at the bubble:

Last Four Byes
St. Bonaventure
NC State
USC
Oklahoma

Last Four In
UCLA
Louisville
Alabama
Texas

First Four Out
Arizona State
Syracuse
Oklahoma State
Saint Mary’s

Next Four Out
Baylor
Middle Tennessee
Notre Dame
Marquette

 

Sideline Intel Bracketology 2019: Pre-Draft Edition

Call me crazy, I already know I am.

The 2018-19 college basketball season is over 200 days away. There are still several recruits to be signed, transfers to be locked up and draft decisions to be made, but, for now, here’s an early look at the 68 teams who will fight to cut down the nets in Minneapolis next April.

~~~

EAST REGIONAL | Washington, D.C.

(Columbia, S.C.)
No. 1 DUKE
No. 16 LIBERTY / No. 16 UC DAVIS

No. 8
LSU
No. 9 Houston

(Hartford, Conn.)
No. 5 Texas Tech
No. 12 PENNSYLVANIA

No. 4 CINCINNATI
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

(Jacksonville, Fla.)
No. 6 Maryland
No. 11 Louisville

No. 3 Virginia
No. 14 FLORIDA GULF COAST

(Columbus, Ohio)
No. 7 Butler
No. 10 NC State

No. 2 Kentucky
No. 15 Hampton


SOUTH REGIONAL | Louisville, Ky.

(Hartford, Conn.)
No. 1 VILLANOVA
No. 16 TEXAS SOUTHERN

No. 8
 Mississippi State
No. 9 Wichita State

(Seattle, Wash.)
No. 5 Virginia Tech
No. 12 RHODE ISLAND

No. 4 OREGON
No. 13 BUCKNELL

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

No. 3 Michigan
No. 14 BELMONT

(Columbia, S.C.)
No. 7 TCU
No. 10 Creighton

No. 2 North Carolina
No. 15 GEORGIA STATE


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Kansas City, Mo.

(Des Moines, Iowa)
No. 1 KANSAS
No. 16 NORTHERN KENTUCKY / No. 16 WOFFORD

No. 8 Ohio State
No. 9 Arkansas

(Salt Lake City, Utah)
No. 5 Kansas State
No. 12 LOYOLA-CHICAGO

No. 4 Florida
No. 13 MONTANA

(Salt Lake City, Utah)
No. 6 UCLA
No. 11 Wake Forest / No. 11 Seton Hall

No. 3 NEVADA
No. 14 IONA

(Columbus, Ohio)
No. 7 Notre Dame
No. 10 Oklahoma State

No. 2 MICHIGAN STATE
No. 15 NORTHEASTERN


WEST REGIONAL | Anaheim, Calif.

(Jacksonville, Fla.)
No. 1 AUBURN
No. 16 WAGNER

No. 8 
Purdue
No. 9 Xavier

(Tulsa, Okla.)
No. 5 Syracuse
No. 12 MARSHALL

No. 4 West Virginia
No. 13 NEW MEXICO STATE

(Tulsa, Okla.)
No. 6 Clemson
No. 11 Miami / No. 11 Nebraska

No. 3 Tennessee
No. 14 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN

(Seattle, Wash.)
No. 7 Florida State
No. 10 Penn State

No. 2 GONZAGA
No. 15 ALBANY


And here’s one last look at the bubble:

Last Four Byes
Creighton
Oklahoma State
NC State
Louisville

Last Four In
Wake Forest
Seton Hall
Miami
Nebraska

First Four Out
Boston College
Texas A&M
Texas
Marquette

Next Four Out
Baylor
Wisconsin
Indiana
Alabama

How to cope with your inevitable post-college basketball depression

If college basketball isn’t your No. 1 sport, you might want to stop reading.

Thanks for the click, though. 

This is a pretty tough weekend for me.

I’m a huge college hoops fan. No, junkie. No, addict. Final Four weekend should be the pinnacle of my calendar year.

In some ways, it is. It’s a weekend full of coverage devoted to the college basketball world, all leading up to the biggest games of the year. It’s great.

But man, I can never seem to kick the voice in the back of my head, reminding me that there are already 347 teams that won’t see the floor again until November 6.

Okay, 345. Penn State and Utah are still duking it out for an NIT title.

In just a few short weeks, all 351 Division I teams will be in that category. It’s a scary reality we face every year when the calendar flips to April.

Maybe your team missed the tournament and you’ve already come to terms with the next several months of emptiness. Maybe your team had an early exit, or even went deeper than expected, and you’re just now starting to come to the realization that it’s truly over.

November 6 is 225 days away. Here’s a seven-step process that’ll help you cope with the loss of your favorite pastime.

Step One: Try to enjoy baseball for a little while

Make the early-season hype you have for baseball last as long as you possibly can. If you’re like me, it’s difficult to really lock into a 162-game season from start to finish. You may love the sport and enjoy watching it, but once you’re 20 or 30 games in and the season’s not even close to ending, it can start to get a little bland.

No offense, baseball fans. Your sport rocks. But if the college basketball season is what’s most ingrained in your sports-fan heart, MLB can be a rough follow.

Give it a shot, though. Pick up a team in your city, or one you have connections to. Maybe put some effort into the first several weeks of a fantasy baseball league.

Just, please, for the love of God, don’t join a buy-in league. You’re going to lose focus, and eventually, money.

Before you know it, your new favorite team will be 15 games under .500 and it won’t even be Memorial Day.

Now what?

Step Two: Give the NBA playoffs another shot…

…because this year, they should provide more excitement — in terms of potential for surprises and quality matchups in each round, not just the conference finals and finals — than we’ve seen in a long time.

I’ll be honest. As someone who loves college hoops, I’ve struggled to truly enjoy the NBA the last several years. Sure, Warriors-Cavaliers was certainly an exciting series all three times it happened, but it was hard to follow six weeks’ worth of playoff basketball, knowing full well those two teams were going to meet in early June.

Keep an eye on the Houston Rockets. Or the Toronto Raptors. Or the Boston Celtics. Look out for names of rising stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell,  and Victor Oladipo. See how far “The Process” can carry itself in its first year of relevance. See if Lebron can get to an eighth straight finals.

Check on Steph Curry, and how his Warriors will fare without him for at least the first round. Spoiler: They’ll probably be fine. Find out if the red-hot Trail Blazers are for real.

The storylines go on. The basketball is high-quality. Maybe you’ll even see a recent alum of your favorite college team score two points and pick up three fouls in seven minutes. The memories are already flooding back!

The moral of the story? Give the NBA playoffs a shot. You’ll probably enjoy them.

Step Three: Get a summer job

I don’t know, just make some money. Pick up a few extra shifts. It passes the time.

Step Four: Attach yourself to a random World Cup team

Yes, the World Cup is awesome.

No, the United States didn’t make it this year. I know.

Yes, it’s still going to be awesome.

Find a group of friends, head to a sports bar, and go watch some soccer. There will be tons of amazing athletes — some you know, some you don’t — competing at the highest level this summer in Russia.

Or, go ahead and latch on to Iceland in its first-ever World Cup appearance. Get everyone to start this chant when they stun Argentina in their opening match:

Egypt is also making its World Cup debut in 2018. Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Tunisia and Iran will be there as well. One of them’s bound to shock us. Why not let it be the team whose bandwagon you join?

Step Five: Follow the recruiting landscape

Your team’s coaching staff is already preparing to hit the recruiting trail in hopes to find a diamond in the rough for their 2019 class. You should be, too!

There are tons of ways to keep track of basketball recruiting. Follow along with The Hoop Group’s recruiting events. Keep track of some of the country’s best AAU circuits.

Or, to make it easy on yourself, just run a quick twitter search every once in a while, either of your school’s name or the name of a player your school has its eye on.

There are some outstanding players in the 2019 class, headlined by names like James Wiseman, Vernon Carey, Cole Anthony, Scottie Lewis and Charles Bassey. You’ve probably never heard of any of them.

Understandable. That won’t last long, though. If all goes well, maybe you’ll be watching one of them light it up for your team in a year’s time. You might as well follow along and hope for the best.

Step Six: Football!

Football. College football, pro football, I don’t care. It’s fun and easy to follow. Time’s just flying by now, isn’t it?

Step Seven: Give baseball one more go

What’s that? The baseball team you absolutely fell madly in love with back in April has slipped into a Wild Card spot in the MLB postseason?

Now, you’ve got four more weeks of excitement to fill the month of October. The MLB playoffs are electric, even if baseball’s not your forté. Fill out a playoff bracket with some buddies and watch the games. You’ll be surprised how similar the division series round feels to the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

Okay, it’s only three or four games a day. But still, it’s something.

Maybe your boys will win a World Series. Maybe they’ll get walked off in the bottom of the 11th in the AL Wild Card game on a three-run home run against a division rival. Either way, you had a fun ride.

And suddenly, after less than a month, it’s all over. The New York Yankees are hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy for the 28th time.

Oh, look at that, you’re just a few days away from the return of the college basketball season. You made it. And if you followed this process, it probably didn’t feel too long.

But for now, just enjoy the Final Four. It’s the last sliver of college hoops you’ll have for a long time. The 2018-19 season is just 225 sleeps away.

Chaos: A look back at the NCAA Tournament first weekend

Chaos, madness, insanity, mayhem, anarchy.

Pick one. This weekend in college basketball was all of them.

Let’s recap.

Thursday, March 15

  • 12:15 PM ET: No. 10 Rhode Island downs No. 7 Oklahoma in overtime, 83-78. Trae Young’s breakout season comes to an end, despite his 28 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
  • 3:10 PM ET: No. 11 Loyola-Chicago becomes America’s sweetheart, downing No. 6 Miami on a Donte Ingram buzzer-beating triple, 64-62.

  • 7:20 PM ET: Rob Gray introduces himself to the world, with 39 points and a heroic game-winning layup in No. 6 Houston’s 67-65 defeat of No. 11 San Diego State.

  • 9:40 PM ET: Buffalo. Feels like that’s all that needs to be said.

Friday, March 16

  • 1:30 PM ET: Dan D’Antoni and No. 13 Marshall pull the day’s first upset and the tournament’s second example of a No. 13 seed toppling a No. 4, as the Thundering Herd downed Wichita State, 81-75.

  • 4:30 PM: No. 7 Nevada comes up with its first thrilling victory, picking off No. 10 Texas in overtime,
  • 9:20 PM ET: History.

  • 9:40 PM ET: Another No. 6 seed falls, as Jim Boeheim leads No. 11 Syracuse into the second round in another low-scoring affair, winning 57-52 over TCU and old foe Jamie Dixon.

Saturday, March 17

  • 12:10 PM ET: Villanova’s still rolling, by the way. The No. 1 seeded Wildcats roll past Collin Sexton and No. 9 Alabama, 81-58, behind 23 points from Mikal Bridges.
  • 2:40 PM ET: The same is true for No. 2 Duke; the Blue Devils blasted Rhode Island, 87-62 in a wire-to-wire performance.
  • 6:10 PM ET: Loyola-Chicago does it again. The Ramblers stun No. 3 Tennessee in Dallas, winning on another late basket, this time by Clayton Custer. Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt has officially become America’s favorite 98-year-old basketball fan.

  • 9:40 PM ET: Jordan Poole. Night-cap. Onions.

Sunday, March 18

  • 2:40 PM ET: Tom Izzo and No. 3 Michigan State become the latest victim of Boeheim’s 2-3 zone, shooting just 17-of-66 from the field and missing their last 14 field goal attempts in a 55-53 loss to No. 11 Syracuse. Walk-on Braedon Bayer makes his NCAA Tournament debut, spending six minutes on the floor after the fifth foul of starting point guard Frank Howard.

  • 5:15 PM ET: No. 7 Texas A&M looks like its mid-season self, picking apart the defending champions, No. 2 North Carolina, in an 86-65 rout in Charlotte.
  • 6:10 PM ET: No. 7 Nevada claws back from down by as many as 22 to stun No. 2 Cincinnati in Nashville. Cody Martin contributes 25 points, six rebounds and seven assists, but head coach Eric Musselman stole the hearts of twitter with his boisterous post-game celebration.

  • Sometime between 7 and 9 PM ET: We all realize that No. 5 Clemson is beating No. 4 Auburn by 40 points. The Tigers went on to win, 84-53.
  • 4:45 PM ET: Cinderella’s night comes to an end, as No. 9 Kansas State holds off No. 16 UMBC, 50-43, in a game that was absolutely disgusting to watch, but no one cared.

  • 8:40 PM ET: No. 9 Florida State knocks off No. 1 Xavier to cap off an insane weekend of NCAA Tournament basketball. The Seminoles win, 75-70, behind 15 points from Brian Angola.

That’s about it.

This weekend gave us more upsets, more buzzer-beaters and less bracket success than we’ve seen in years, and send two No. 7 seeds, two No. 9 seeds and two No. 11 seeds into the Sweet 16.

So, what’s next?

Sideline Intel Bracketology: Final Edition

This is it. Happy Selection Sunday!

I’ve got nothing left to say. Here are my final brackets, and now it’s up to the committee. Enjoy:

Note: all-caps denote a conference champion.

And another note… The group of teams between seed Nos. 7-10 was an absolute muddled mess of conference affiliation issues. If you have an issue with a team’s seeding in that range, your answer probably has something to do with that. The committee will often make procedural movements between seed lines to avoid early matchups of teams of the same conference. The actual bubble picture can be seen below the bracket.

~~~

SOUTH REGIONAL | Atlanta, Ga.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 VIRGINIA
No. 16 TEXAS SOUTHERN / No. 16 LIU BROOKLYN

No. 8
Butler
No. 9 St. Bonaventure

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 Clemson
No. 12 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

No. 4 KENTUCKY
No. 13 MURRAY STATE

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 6 Arkansas
No. 11 LOYOLA-CHICAGO

No. 3 Michigan State
No. 14 LIPSCOMB

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 7 Texas A&M
No. 10 Kansas State

No. 2 Duke
No. 15 IONA


EAST REGIONAL | Boston, Mass.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 VILLANOVA
No. 16 GEORGIA STATE / No. 16 NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL

No. 8
 Missouri
No. 9 Virginia Tech

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 Texas Tech
No. 12 SAN DIEGO STATE

No. 4 West Virginia
No. 13 MARSHALL

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 Miami
No. 11 UCLA / No. 11 Texas

No. 3 Auburn
No. 14 WRIGHT STATE

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 7 Nevada
No. 10 Oklahoma

No. 2 CINCINNATI
No. 15 PENNSYLVANIA


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Omaha, Neb.

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 1 KANSAS
No. 16 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN

No. 8 Providence
No. 9 Florida State

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 5 GONZAGA
No. 12 DAVIDSON

No. 4 Wichita State
No. 13 UNC GREENSBORO

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 6 Houston
No. 11 Louisville / No. 11 Alabama

No. 3 Tennessee
No. 14 MONTANA

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 Creighton
No. 10 USC

No. 2 North Carolina
No. 15 CAL STATE FULLERTON


WEST REGIONAL | Los Angeles, Calif.

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 1 Xavier
No. 16 RADFORD

No. 8 
TCU
No. 9 NC State

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 Ohio State
No. 12 NEW MEXICO STATE

No. 4 ARIZONA
No. 13 BUCKNELL

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 6 Florida
No. 11 BUFFALO

No. 3 MICHIGAN
No. 14 CHARLESTON

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 Rhode Island
No. 10 Seton Hall

No. 2 Purdue
No. 15 MARYLAND-BALTIMORE COUNTY


And here’s one last look at the bubble:

Last Four Byes
St. Bonaventure
NC State
USC
Oklahoma

Last Four In
UCLA
Louisville
Alabama
Texas

First Four Out
Arizona State
Syracuse
Oklahoma State
Saint Mary’s

Next Four Out
Baylor
Middle Tennessee
Notre Dame
Marquette

Sideline Intel Bracketology: Mar. 10

With the NCAA Tournament bracket release just over 24 hours away and still more than 20 bids left to be locked up.

But Friday wasn’t about the bids being clinched. It was about the bids being stolen.

San Diego State and New Mexico will play to steal a spot in the NCAA Tournament with the Aztecs having blitzed Nevada. The same will be true in the Conference-USA, where top-seed Middle Tennessee could sneak in, along with its league’s champion.

With all this considered, as well as a few surprise results that went final right before this bracket was set to publish — looking at you, UMBC — here’s Saturday’s bracket update.

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

~~~

SOUTH REGIONAL | Atlanta, Ga.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 VIRGINIA
No. 16 LIU-BROOKLYN / No. 16 ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF

No. 8
Missouri
No. 9 Butler

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 GONZAGA
No. 12 NEW MEXICO STATE

No. 4 Texas Tech
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 6 Houston
No. 11 UCLA

No. 3 TENNESSEE
No. 14 UC IRVINE

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 Creighton
No. 10 Kansas State

No. 2 Duke
No. 15 WRIGHT STATE


EAST REGIONAL | Boston, Mass.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 Villanova
No. 16 RADFORD

No. 8
 Virginia Tech
No. 9 St. Bonaventure

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 Kentucky
No. 12 SAN DIEGO STATE

No. 4 Clemson
No. 13 MURRAY STATE

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 6 Texas A&M
No. 11 Texas / No. 11 Arizona State

No. 3 Michigan State
No. 14 MONTANA

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 7 Arkansas
No. 10 Providence

No. 2 North Carolina
No. 15 LIPSCOMB


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Omaha, Neb.

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 1 KANSAS
No. 16 SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA / No. 16 HAMPTON

No. 8 Florida State
No. 9 Seton Hall

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 Ohio State
No. 12 WESTERN KENTUCKY

No. 4 Wichita State
No. 13 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 Miami
No. 11 Alabamaa / No. 11 USC

No. 3 AUBURN
No. 14 CHARLESTON

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 NEVADA
No. 10 Louisville

No. 2 Purdue
No. 15 IONA


WEST REGIONAL | Los Angeles, Calif.

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 1 XAVIER
No. 16 MARYLAND-BALTIMORE COUNTY

No. 8 
TCU
No. 9 NC State

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 ARIZONA
No. 12 BUFFALO

No. 4 West Virginia
No. 13 UNC GREENSBORO

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 Florida
No. 11 LOYOLA-CHICAGO

No. 3 MICHIGAN
No. 14 BUCKNELL

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 Rhode Island
No. 10 Oklahoma

No. 2 CINCINNATI
No. 15 PENNSYLVANIA


And here’s a look at the bubble:

Last Four Byes
Kansas State
Providence
Louisville
UCLA

Last Four In
Texas
Alabama
USC
Arizona State

First Four Out
Syracuse
Oklahoma State
Saint Mary’s
Baylor

Next Four Out
Middle Tennessee
Notre Dame
Marquette
Penn State

 

Sideline Intel Bracketology: Mar. 9

 

Things are getting weird.

Middle Tennessee lost to Southern Miss and a Missouri team that finally has Michael Porter Jr. was picked off by Georgia. The bubble is shrinking as teams lose left and right, and somehow, mostly chalk has risen out of power-five leagues so far.

There’s some decent shake-up today, especially, of course, on the bubble. Check it out:

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

~~~

SOUTH REGIONAL | Atlanta, Ga.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 VIRGINIA
No. 16 NICHOLLS STATE / No. 16 HAMPTON

No. 8
Arkansas
No. 9 Butler

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 ARIZONA
No. 12 NEW MEXICO STATE

No. 4 West Virginia
No. 13 VERMONT

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 6 Miami
No. 11 Texas / No. 11 Arizona State

No. 3 AUBURN
No. 14 UC DAVIS

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 7 Creighton
No. 10 Saint Mary’s

No. 2 Duke
No. 15 MONTANA


EAST REGIONAL | Boston, Mass.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 Villanova
No. 16 IONA

No. 8 
Florida State
No. 9 St. Bonaventure

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 GONZAGA
No. 12 WESTERN KENTUCKY

No. 4 Clemson
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 6 Texas A&M
No. 11 UCLA

No. 3 CINCINNATI
No. 14 CHARLESTON

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 RHODE ISLAND
No. 10 Kansas State

No. 2 Michigan State
No. 15 WRIGHT STATE


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Omaha, Neb.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 XAVIER
No. 16 RADFORD

No. 8 
Houston
No. 9 NC State

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 Ohio State
No. 12 BUFFALO

No. 4 Texas Tech
No. 13 MURRAY STATE

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 Florida
No. 11 Syracuse / No. 11 USC

No. 3 Wichita State
No. 14 BUCKNELL

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 TCU
No. 10 Louisville

No. 2 Purdue
No. 15 PENNSYLVANIA


WEST REGIONAL | Los Angeles, Calif.

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 1 KANSAS
No. 16 LIU BROOKLYN No. 16 ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF

No. 8 
Virginia Tech
No. 9 Seton Hall

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 Kentucky
No. 12 LOYOLA-CHICAGO

No. 4 MICHIGAN
No. 13 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 NEVADA
No. 11 Providence

No. 3 Tennessee
No. 14 UNC GREENSBORO

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 Missouri
No. 10 Oklahoma

No. 2 North Carolina
No. 15 LIPSCOMB


And here’s a look at the bubble:

Last Four Byes
Kansas State
Saint Mary’s
Providence
UCLA

Last Four In
Texas
Syracuse
USC
Arizona State

First Four Out
Oklahoma State
Alabama
Middle Tennessee
Baylor

Next Four Out
Notre Dame
Marquette
Penn State
Boise State