Sideline Intel Bracketology: Mar. 2

Yes, it is. There are conference tournaments under way across the country. Rutgers has won two games in Madison Square Garden — something the Scarlet Knights rarely did when they played there back in their Big East.

In just a few short days, we’ll have a handful of teams locked into the bracket, with the first bid going to the winner of the Ohio Valley title game on Saturday.

But, for now, let’s take one last look at the bracket before we gear up for true championship week, and the inevitable chaos that will ensue.

Ed. Note: all-caps denote a current conference leader.

~~~

SOUTH REGIONAL | Atlanta, Ga.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 VIRGINIA (27-2, 16-1 ACC)
No. 16 NICHOLLS STATE (21-9, 15-2 Southland) / No. 16 GRAMBLING (16-14, 12-5 SWAC)

No. 8
Seton Hall (20-10, 9-8 Big East)
No. 9 Arkansas (21-9, 10-7 SEC)

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 NEVADA (26-5, 15-2 Mountain West)
No. 12 VERMONT (25-6, 15-1 America East)

No. 4 Texas Tech (22-8, 10-7 Big 12)
No. 13 LOYOLA-CHICAGO (25-5, 15-3 Missouri Valley)

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 6 Michigan (25-7, 13-5 Big Ten)
No. 11 MIDDLE TENNESSEE (24-5, 16-1 Conference USA)

No. 3 AUBURN (24-6, 12-5 SEC)
No. 14 BUCKNELL (23-9, 16-2 Patriot)

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 Creighton (21-9, 10-7 Big East)
No. 10 St. Bonaventure (23-6, 13-4 Atlantic 10)

No. 2 MICHIGAN STATE (28-3, 16-2 Big Ten)
No. 15 CHARLESTON (23-7, 14-4 Colonial)


EAST REGIONAL | Boston, Mass.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 Villanova (26-4, 13-4 Big East)
No. 16 MONTANA (22-7, 15-2 Big Sky)

No. 8 
Florida State (19-10, 8-9 ACC)
No. 9 Houston (23-6, 13-4 American)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 Kentucky (21-9, 10-7 SEC)
No. 12 BUFFALO (22-8, 14-3 MAC)

No. 4 Clemson (22-7, 11-6 ACC)
No. 13 NEW MEXICO STATE (24-5, 11-2 WAC)

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 6 Texas A&M (19-11, 8-9 SEC)
No. 11 Louisville (19-11, 9-8 ACC)

No. 3 CINCINNATI (26-4, 15-2 American)
No. 14 NORTHERN KENTUCKY (22-8, 15-3 Horizon)

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 7 Michigan (25-7, 13-5 Big Ten)
No. 10 Alabama (17-13, 8-9 SEC)

No. 2 Duke (24-6, 12-5 ACC)
No. 15 UC DAVIS (20-9, 11-4 Big West)


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Omaha, Neb.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 XAVIER (26-4, 14-3 Big East)
No. 16 FLORIDA GULF COAST (23-10, 12-2 Atlantic Sun)  / No. 16 BETHUNE-COOKMAN (18-13, 12-4 Mid-Eastern)

No. 8 
Saint Mary’s (27-4, 16-2 West Coast)
No. 9 NC State (20-10, 10-7 ACC)

(Dallas, Tex.
No. 5 West Virginia (22-8, 11-6 Big 12)
No. 12 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (26-4, 16-1 Sun Belt

No. 4 Ohio State (24-7, 15-3 Big Ten)
No. 13 RIDER (22-8, 15-3 Metro Atlantic)

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 Florida (19-11, 10-7 SEC)
No. 11 Kansas State (20-10, 9-8 Big 12)

No. 3 Wichita State (24-5, 14-3 American)
No. 14 UNC GREENSBORO (24-7, 15-3 Southern)

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 Butler (19-11, 9-8 Big East)
No. 10 Virginia Tech (21-9, 10-7 ACC)

No. 2 Purdue (26-5, 15-3 Big Ten)
No. 15 PENNSYLVANIA (21-7, 11-1 Ivy)



WEST REGIONAL | Los Angeles, Calif.

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 1 KANSAS (24-6, 13-4 Big 12)
No. 16 UNC ASHEVILLE (21-11, 13-5 Big South)

No. 8 
Florida State (19-10, 8-9 ACC)
No. 9 Arizona State (20-9, 8-9 Pac-12)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 GONZAGA (27-4, 17-1 West Coast)
No. 12 Texas (17-13, 7-10 Big 12) / No. 12 Southern California (21-9, 12-5 Pac-12)

No. 4 Tennessee (22-7, 12-5 SEC)
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (25-6, 13-1 Summit)

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 6 RHODE ISLAND (23-5, 15-2 Atlantic 10)
No. 11 Providence (18-12, 9-8 Big East) / No. 11 Baylor (18-12, 8-9 Big 12)

No. 3 ARIZONA (23-7, 13-4 Pac-12)
No. 14 MURRAY STATE (24-5, 16-2 Ohio Valley)

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 Missouri (19-11, 9-8 SEC)
No. 10 Oklahoma (17-12, 7-10 Big 12)

No. 2 North Carolina (22-8, 11-6 ACC)
No. 15 WAGNER (22-8, 14-4 Northeast)


And here’s a look at the bubble:

Last Four Byes
Virginia Tech
Oklahoma
Louisville
Kansas State

Last Four In
Providence
Baylor
Texas
USC

First Four Out
Washington
Syracuse
UCLA
Boise State

Next Four Out
Nebraska
Temple
Penn State
Marquette

 

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Sideline Intel Bracketology: Feb. 26

It’s championship week! For a handful of small conferences — and the Big Ten — at least.

Entering the busiest couple of weeks of the college basketball season, there are bound to be surprise teams picking up steam — looking at you, Houston — and others falling off of cliffs.

We already talked about Oklahoma.

But before things get wild, let’s take one more crack at the field of 68 and beyond:

Ed. Note: all-caps denote a current conference leader.

~~~

SOUTH REGIONAL | Atlanta, Ga.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 VIRGINIA
No. 16 MONTANA

No. 8 
Alabama
No. 9 Seton Hall

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 NEVADA
No. 12 VERMONT

No. 4 Clemson
No. 13 LOYOLA-CHICAGO

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 6 Michigan
No. 11 Virginia Tech

No. 3 AUBURN
No. 14 BUCKNELL

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 Butler
No. 10 MIDDLE TENNESSEE

No. 2 North Carolina
No. 15 CHARLESTON


EAST REGIONAL | Boston, Mass.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 Villanova
No. 16 FLORIDA GULF COAST / No. 16 BETHUNE-COOKMAN

No. 8 
Florida State
No. 9 Houston

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 GONZAGA
No. 12 USC / No. 12 Baylor

No. 4 Tennessee
No. 13 NEW MEXICO STATE

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

No. 3 CINCINNATI
No. 14 NORTHERN KENTUCKY

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 Miami
No. 10 Oklahoma

No. 2 MICHIGAN STATE
No. 15 UC IRVINE


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Omaha, Neb.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 XAVIER
No. 16 NICHOLLS STATE / No. 16 GRAMBLING

No. 8 
TCU
No. 9 NC State

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 West Virginia
No. 12 BUFFALO

No. 4 Ohio State
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 Texas A&M
No. 11 Kansas State

No. 3 Wichita State
No. 14 UNC GREENSBORO

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 Creighton
No. 10 Arkansas

No. 2 Purdue
No. 15 PENNSYLVANIA


WEST REGIONAL | Los Angeles, Calif.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 Duke
No. 16 UNC ASHEVILLE

No. 8 
Saint Mary’s
No. 9 Arizona State

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 5 RHODE ISLAND
No. 12 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE

No. 4 Texas Tech
No. 13 RIDER

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 6 Kentucky
No. 11 Texas / No. 11 Providence

No. 3 ARIZONA
No. 14 MURRAY STATE

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 7 Missouri
No. 10 St. Bonaventure

No. 2 KANSAS
No. 15 WAGNER


Oh, and here’s a look at the bubble:

Last Four Byes
St. Bonaventure
Virginia Tech
Louisville
Kansas State

Last Four In
Providence
Texas
USC
Baylor

First Four Out
Syracuse
Boise State
Washington
Temple

Next Four Out
UCLA
Nebraska
Penn State
Maryland

Four More
Marquette
Western Kentucky
Mississippi State
Georgia

Sideline Intel Bracketology: Feb. 23

 

You’ll notice there’s not a lot of movement his week.

Most of the top seeds held serve. Even a lot of the teams below them did the same.

And then there’s Oklahoma.

Trae Young and his perceived one-trick-pony Sooners have been on a tailspin into the finally week of the season, losing six straight and seven of their last eight. They may just miss the tournament, but we’ll get to that in a week or so…

But, yeah, other than Oklahoma falling five seed lines — I had been trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, I’ll admit — this bracket won’t look much different than Monday’s iteration.

Ed. Note: all-caps denote a current conference leader.

~~~

EAST REGIONAL | Boston, Mass.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 Villanova (25-3, 12-3 Big East)
No. 16 GRAMBLING (15-12, 11-3 SWAC) / No. 16 NC A&T (17-11, 10-3 MEAC)

No. 8 
Alabama (17-11, 8-7 SEC)
No. 9 Florida State (19-8, 8-7 ACC)

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 5 NEVADA (24-5, 13-2 Mountain West)
No. 12 Syracuse (18-10, 7-8 ACC) / No. 12 Texas (16-12, 6-9 Big 12)

No. 4 Ohio State (23-7 14-3 Big Ten)
No. 13 LOYOLA-CHICAGO (24-5, 14-3 Missouri Valley)

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 6 Florida (17-11, 8-7 SEC)
No. 11 Louisville (18-10, 8-7 ACC)

No. 3 CINCINNATI (24-4, 13-2 American)
No. 14 BUCKNELL (21-9, 15-2 Patriot)

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 Michigan (23-7, 12-5 Big Ten)
No. 10 St. Bonaventure (21-6, 11-4 Atlantic 10)

No. 2 North Carolina (22-7, 11-5 ACC)
No. 15 CHARLESTON (23-6, 14-3 Colonial)


SOUTH REGIONAL | Atlanta, Ga.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 VIRGINIA (25-2, 14-1 ACC)
No. 16 MONTANA (20-7, 13-2 Big Sky)

No. 8 
Creighton (19-9, 8-7 Big East)
No. 9 MIDDLE TENNESSEE (22-5, 14-1 Conference USA)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 GONZAGA (26-4, 16-1 West Coast)
No. 12 VERMONT (23-6, 13-1 America East)

No. 4 Clemson (20-7, 9-6 ACC)
No. 13 NEW MEXICO STATE (23-5, 10-2 WAC)

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 Texas A&M (17-11, 6-9 SEC)
No. 11 Virginia Tech (20-8, 9-6 ACC)

No. 3 Texas Tech (22-6, 10-5 Big 12)
No. 14 NORTHERN KENTUCKY (20-8, 13-3 Horizon)

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 7 Miami (19-8, 8-7 ACC)
No. 10 Arkansas (19-9, 8-7 SEC)

No. 2 KANSAS (22-6, 11-4 Big 12)
No. 15 UC IRVINE (15-5, 10-4 Big West)


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Omaha, Neb.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 XAVIER (25-4, 13-3 Big East)
No. 16 PENNSYLVANIA (19-7, 9-1 Ivy)

No. 8 
Arizona State (19-8, 7-8 Pac-12)
No. 9 Oklahoma (16-11, 6-9 Big 12)

(San Diego, Calif.
No. 5 West Virginia (20-8, 9-6 Big 12)
No. 12 BUFFALO (20-8, 12-3 MAC)

No. 4 Wichita State (22-5, 12-3 American)
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (24-6, 12-1 Summit)

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 6 Saint Mary’s (26-4, 15-2 West Coast)
No. 11 USC (20-9, 11-5 Pac-12)

No. 3 MICHIGAN STATE (27-3, 15-2 Big Ten)
No. 14 EAST TENNESSEE STATE (23-6, 14-2 Southern)

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 Missouri (18-10, 8-7 SEC)
No. 10 Houston (21-6, 11-4 American)

No. 2 Purdue (25-5, 14-3 Big Ten)
No. 15 WAGNER (21-7, 14-3 NEC)


WEST REGIONAL | Los Angeles, Calif.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 Duke (23-5, 11-4 ACC)
No. 16 FLORIDA GULF COAST (21-10, 12-2 Atlantic Sun / No. 16 NICHOLLS ST. (19-9, 13-2 Southland)

No. 8 
TCU (19-9, 7-8 Big 12)
No. 9 Seton Hall (19-9, 8-7 Big East)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 RHODE ISLAND (22-4, 14-1 Atlantic 10)
No. 12 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (24-4, 14-1 Sun Belt)

No. 4 Tennessee (20-7, 10-5 SEC)
No. 13 MURRAY STATE (23-5, 15-2 Ohio Valley)

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 6 Kentucky (19-9, 8-7 SEC)
No. 11 Providence (17-11, 8-7 Big East) / No. 11 Kansas St. (20-8, 9-7 Big 12)

No. 3 ARIZONA (22-6, 12-3 Pac-12)
No. 14 RIDER (21-8, 14-3 Metro Atlantic)

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 7 Butler (19-10, 9-7 Big East)
No. 10 NC State (19-9, 9-6 ACC)

No. 2 AUBURN (24-4, 12-3 SEC)
No. 15 UNC ASHEVILLE (20-10, 13-4 Big South)


Oh, and here’s a look at the bubble:

Last Four Byes
St. Bonaventure
Louisville
Virginia Tech
USC

Last Four In
Providence
Kansas State
Texas
Syracuse

First Four Out
UCLA
Boise State
Baylor
Maryland

Next Four Out
Washington
Penn State
Nebraska
Marquette

Four More
Temple
Utah
LSU
Western Kentucky

Sideline Intel Bracketology: Feb. 19

We didn’t exactly learn a ton this weekend. At least, not nearly as much as we’ve learned over the last couple weeks of upset-filled, action-packed hoops.

We learned that Baylor — now that it’s finally healthy — may be a legitimate tournament contender after knocking off both Kansas and Texas Tech. We learned that Purdue isn’t actually imploding, although the Boilermakers nearly picked up a third-straight loss, at home, against Penn State. We learned that Kentucky may not be done yet when the Wildcats fended off Collin Sexton and his feisty Alabama side.

That’s about it.

But what we did get was a reminder.

In case you forgot, Villanova has been the most consistently elite team in college hoops over the last four years. Yes, the Wildcats took a couple of recent losses to St. John’s and Providence, but when they went into Cincinnati and absolutely ran away from then-No. 4 Xavier, they reminded us that they’re one of the most fearsome teams in the country.

So, for that reason, ‘Nova is back in the No. 1 overall spot in our latest bracket. Here’s the rest of the field:

Ed. Note: all-caps denote current conference leaders.

~~~

EAST REGIONAL | Boston, Mass.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 Villanova (24-3, 11-3 Big East)
No. 16 GRAMBLING (15-12, 11-3 SWAC) / No. 16 SAVANNAH STATE (13-14, 10-2 Mid-Eastern)

No. 8 
Alabama (17-10, 8-6 SEC)
No. 9 Florida State (19-8, 8-7 ACC)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 Tennessee (19-7, 9-5 SEC)
No. 12 VERMONT (22-6, 12-1 America East)

No. 4 Ohio State (22-7, 13-3 Big Ten)
No. 13 LOYOLA-CHICAGO (23-5, 13-3 Missouri Valley)

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 6 Florida (17-10, 8-6 SEC)
No. 11 St Bonaventure (20-6, 10-4 Atlantic 10)

No. 3 Michigan State (26-3, 14-2 Big Ten)
No. 14 BUCKNELL (20-9, 14-2 Patriot)

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 St. Mary’s (25-4, 14-2 West Coast)
No. 10 Arkansas (19-8, 8-6 SEC)

No. 2 North Carolina (21-7, 10-5 ACC)
No. 15 CHARLESON (22-6, 13-3 Colonial)


SOUTH REGIONAL | Atlanta, Ga.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 VIRGINIA (24-2, 13-1 ACC)
No. 16 MONTANA (20-7, 13-2 Big Sky)

No. 8 
Houston (21-5, 11-3 American)
No. 9 Seton Hall (18-9, 7-7 Big East)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 NEVADA (23-5, 12-2 Mountain West)
No. 12 UCLA (19-8, 10-5 Pac-12) vs. No. 12 Kansas St. (19-8, 8-6 Big 12)

No. 4 Clemson (20-6, 9-5 ACC)
No. 13 NEW MEXICO STATE (22-5, 9-2 WAC)

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 6 Texas A&M (17-10, 6-8 SEC)
No. 11 Texas (16-11, 6-8 Big 12)

No. 3 CINCINNATI (23-4, 12-2 American)
No. 14 WRIGHT STATE (20-8, 12-3 Horizon)

(Nasvhille, Tenn.)
No. 7 Miami (18-8, 7-7 ACC)
No. 10 MIDDLE TENNESSEE (22-5, 14-1 Conference USA)

No. 2 AUBURN (23-4, 11-3 SEC)
No. 15 UC SANTA BARBARA (20-6, 9-3 Big West)


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Omaha, Neb.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 XAVIER (24-4, 12-3 Big East)
No. 16 FLORIDA GULF COAST  (20-10, 11-2 Atlantic Sun) / No. 16 NICHOLLS STATE (18-9, 12-2 Southland)

No. 8 
Arizona State (19-7, 7-7 Pac-12)
No. 9 TCU (18-9, 6-8 Big 12)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 West Virginia (19-8, 8-6 Big 12)
No. 12 BUFFALO (20-7, 12-2 MAC)

No. 4 Wichita State (21-5, 11-3 American)
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (23-6, 11-1 Summit)

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 Kentucky (18-9, 7-7 SEC)
No. 11 USC (19-9, 10-5 Pac-12)

No. 3 Texas Tech (22-5, 10-4 Big 12)
No. 14 BELMONT (22-7, 14-2 Ohio Valley)

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 Missouri (18-9, 8-6 SEC)
No. 10 NC State (!8-9, 8-6 ACC)

No. 2 Purdue (24-5, 13-3 Big Ten)
No. 15 WAGNER (20-7, 13-3 Northeast)


WEST REGIONAL | Los Angeles, Calif.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 DUKE (22-5, 10-4 ACC)
No. 16 PENNSYLVANIA (19-7, 9-1 Ivy)

No. 8 
Creighton (19-8, 8-6 Big East)
No. 9 Butler (18-10, 8-7 Big East)

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 Oklahoma (16-10, 6-8 Big 12)
No. 12 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (23-4, 13-1 Sun Belt)

No. 4 GONZAGA (25-4, 15-1 West Coast)
No. 13 EAST TENNESSEE STATE (23-5, 14-1 Southern)

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 6 RHODE ISLAND (21-4, 13-1 Atlantic 10)
No. 11 Providence (17-10, 8-6 Big East) / No. 11 Virginia Tech (19-8, 8-6 ACC)

No. 3 ARIZONA (21-6, 11-3 Pac-12)
No. 14 RIDER (21-7, 14-2 Metro Atlantic)

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 7 Michigan (22-7, 11-5 Big Ten)
No. 10 Louisville (18-9, 8-6 ACC)

No. 2 Kansas (21-6, 10-4 Big 12)
No. 15 WINTHROP (18-9, 12-4 Big South)


Oh, and here’s a look at the bubble:

Last Four Byes
NC State
St. Bonaventure
Texas
USC

Last Four In
Virginia Tech
Providence
UCLA
Kansas State

First Four Out
Syracuse
Baylor
Boise State
Washington

Next Four Out
Penn State
Maryland
Nebraska
Marquette

Four More
Temple
Utah
LSU
Western Kentucky

Sideline Intel Bracketology: Feb. 16

There I was, Thursday afternoon, thinking to myself, “Man, there’s not a ton of change on this bracket I’m going to be releasing tomorrow.”

And then college basketball decided to be college basketball.

On Thursday night alone, Villanova fell at Providence, Saint Mary’s lost to San Francisco, Penn State obliterated Ohio State, Purdue lost to Wisconsin, and a wild night-cap saw Arizona take down rival Arizona State on the road.

Okay, now things are looking a bit different. And the bubble certainly isn’t immune to such movement.

Let’s take a look:

Last Four Byes
NC State
USC
Providence
Virginia Tech

Last Four In
Texas
UCLA
St. Bonaventure (NEW)
Kansas State

First Four Out
Syracuse
Baylor
Boise State
Temple

Next Four Out
Nebraska
Penn State
Washington
Maryland

Four More
Marquette
SMU
Utah
Western Kentucky

As for the rest of the field…

Ed. Note: all-caps denote current conference leaders.

~~~

SOUTH REGIONAL | Atlanta, Ga.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 VIRGINIA (24-2, 13-1 ACC)
No. 16 WINTHROP (17-9, 11-4 Big South)

No. 8 
Butler (17-10, 7-7 Big East)
No. 9 MIDDLE TENNESSEE (21-5, 13-1 Conference USA)

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 Wichita State (20-5, 10-3 American)
No. 12 BUFFALO (19-7, 11-2 MAC)

No. 4 Tennessee (19-6, 9-4 SEC)
No. 13 NEW MEXICO STATE (22-4, 9-1 WAC)

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 6 Florida (17-9, 8-5 SEC)
No. 11 Virginia Tech (18-8, 7-6 ACC)

No. 3 CINCINNATI (23-3, 12-1 American)
No. 14 NORTHERN KENTUCKY (19-7, 12-2 Horizon)

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 7 Kentucky (17-9, 6-7 SEC)
No. 10 Seton Hall (17-9, 6-7 Big East)

No. 2 Duke (21-5, 9-4 ACC)
No. 15 BUCKNELL (19-9, 13-2 Patriot)


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Omaha, Neb.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 XAVIER (24-3, 12-2 Big East)
No. 16 PENNSYLVANIA (17-7, 7-1 Ivy) / No. 16 GRAMBLING (14-12, 10-3 SWAC)

No. 8 
Michigan (21-7, 10-5 Big Ten)
No. 9 Florida State (18-8, 7-7 ACC)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 RHODE ISLAND (21-3, 13-0 Atlantic 10)
No. 12 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (22-4, 12-1 Sun Belt)

No. 4 Oklahoma (16-9, 6-7 Big 12)
No. 13 LOYOLA-CHICAGO (22-5, 12-3 Missouri Valley)

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 6 Miami (18-7, 7-6 ACC)
No. 11 USC (18-9, 9-5 Pac-12)

No. 3 MICHIGAN STATE (25-3, 13-2 Big Ten)
No. 14 UCSB (20-5, 9-2 Big West)

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 7 Missouri (18-8, 8-5 SEC)
No. 10 NC State (17-9, 7-6 ACC)

No. 2 TEXAS TECH (22-4, 10-3 Big 12)
No. 15 CHARLESTON (21-9, 12-3 Colonial)


EAST REGIONAL | Boston, Mass.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 Villanova (23-3, 10-3 Big East)
No. 16 SAVANNAH ST. (13-13, 10-1 Mid-Eastern) / No. 16 NICHOLLS ST. (17-9, 11-2 Southland)

No. 8 
Arizona State (19-7, 7-7 Pac-12)
No. 9 TCU (17-9, 5-8 Big 12)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 West Virginia (19-7, 8-5 Big 12)
No. 12 VERMONT (22-5, 12-0 America East)

No. 4 Ohio State (22-6, 13-2 Big Ten)
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE  (22-6, 10-1 Summit)

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 6 Texas A&M (17-9, 6-7 SEC)
No. 11 Texas (15-11, 5-8 Big 12) / No. 11 UCLA (18-8, 9-5 Pac-12)

No. 3 North Carolina (20-7, 9-5 ACC)
No. 14 BELMONT (21-7, 13-2 Ohio Valley)

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 Alabama (17-9, 8-5 SEC)
No. 10 Louisville (18-8, 8-5 ACC)

No. 2 Purdue (23-5, 12-3 Big Ten)
No. 15 WAGNER (19-7, 12-3 Northeast)


WEST REGIONAL | Los Angeles, Calif.

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 1 AUBURN (23-3, 11-2 SEC)
No. 16 FLORIDA GULF COAST (20-9, 11-1 Atlantic Sun)

No. 8 
Saint Mary’s (24-4, 13-2 West Coast)
No. 9 Houston (20-5, 10-3 American)

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 NEVADA (22-5, 11-2 Mountain West)
No. 12 St. Bonaventure (19-6, 9-4 Atlantic 10) / No. 12 Kansas St. (18-8, 7-6 Big 12)

No. 4 ARIZONA (21-6, 11-3 Pac-12)
No. 13 EAST TENNESSEE STATE (22-5, 13-1 Southern)

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 GONZAGA (24-4, 14-1 West Coast)
No. 11 Providence (17-9, 8-5 Big East)

No. 3 Clemson (20-5, 9-4 ACC)
No. 14 RIDER (20-7, 13-2 Metro Atlantic)

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 7 Creighton (19-7, 8-5 Big East)
No. 10 Arkansas (18-8, 7-6 SEC)

No. 2 Kansas (20-6, 9-4 Big 12)
No. 15 MONTANA (20-6, 13-1 Big Sky)

Weekend Preview: Big Ten headliners, bounce-back opportunities, bubbles to be burst

We’ve only got about four more of these left in the dwindling college basketball season. You know, those weekends where you can wake up in the late morning and spend your whole day bouncing around the country as the entire hoops landscape explodes with storylines.

February 10 and 11 will be no different.

If you’re a college hoops addict like myself, here’s how you should be spending your next 48 hours:

Saturday

Butler @ No. 1 Villanova | Noon EST | FOX
Up until its loss to St. John’s at home Wednesday, Villanova seemed pretty much unbeatable this season — other than, of course, its eight-point loss at Butler. The Bulldogs have recently become a kryptonite for ‘Nova in Big East play, having now won three in a row in the series, two of which coming when the Wildcats were ranked No. 1 in the nation. Villanova’s sometimes-suspect defense will be once again put to the test, as a Butler team that ranks No. 26 in KenPom’s offensive efficiency ratings posted 101 when it hosted ‘Nova on December 30. Prediction: Villanova 92, Butler 87 // Chances of Upset: 45%

No. 10 Kansas @ Baylor | 2 p.m. EST | CBS
Baylor? Really? Yes, really. Just a week ago, the Bears sat at 12-10 with a dismal 2-7 mark in Big 12 play, and had taken single-digit losses to Kansas State, Oklahoma and Kansas. Two impressive wins over Iowa State and at Oklahoma State over the past seven days have Baylor back in the tournament conversation. On the flip side, the Jayhawks, which recently lost by five to those same Cowboys, have a brutal stretch ahead with a trip to Ames, followed by home tilts with West Virginia and Oklahoma, followed only by a trip to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech. I don’t think Kansas slips up here, but if they do, they could find themselves in a tough spot going into the final week of the season. Prediction: Kansas 74, Baylor 66 // Chances of Upset: 30%

No. 21 North Carolina @ NC State | 2 p.m. EST | ACCN
Who on earth is NC State? My best answer: A bonafide giant killer. The Wolf Pack continue to hover on the bubble despite wins over Duke, North Carolina and Arizona. The biggest reason is inconsistency. A loss to Virginia Tech and a scare against Pittsburgh have kept NC State from building real momentum, but that could change with a sweep of the Heels. The Wolf Pack, after Saturday, enter a stretch of three winnable games (@ SYR, @ WAKE, vs. BC). I’m not saying Saturday’s game will be an upset, but UNC is riding a high and could easily fall into a trap when it visits Raleigh. Prediction: North Carolina 88, NC State 84 // Chances of Upset: 42%

Texas @ TCU | 2 p.m. EST | ESPNU
The Big 12 bubble landscape is one of the most intriguing in any league and these two teams epitomize it. The difference? TCU got to this point by starting red-hot and then opening conference play 2-6, whereas the ‘Horns took a few early-season losses but gradually put together a decent résumé. Texas got the better of TCU by just a point in Austin earlier this month in 2OT and I have a feeling this matchup will be just as exciting. The Horned Frogs, though, get it done and stay on the right side of the bubble. Prediction: TCU 85, Texas 83 

No. 3 Purdue @ No. 4 Michigan State | 4 p.m. EST | ESPN
This one just speaks for itself — the Big Ten’s best, two top-five teams, two bonafide No. 1 seed candidates, a handful of NBA prospects. Miles Bridges. Isaac Haas. Vincent Edwards. The Izzone. Matt Painter. Not much more needs to be said. Just watch this one, okay? You won’t be sorry. Prediction: Purdue 68, Michigan State 67

No. 15 Tennessee @ Alabama | 6 p.m. EST | SECN
Collin Sexton. Collin Sexton. Collin Sexton. Oh, yeah, Tennessee is pretty darn good, too. The Volunteers’ recent win over Kentucky solidified them as an SEC contender and a potential top-four seed in March. Going into Tuscaloosa will be no easy task, though, as the Vols will have their hands full with Sexton —  whose 18 points recently led ‘Bama over Trae Young and Oklahoma — and the Crimson Tide. I’m going to go ahead and call upset, but certainly believe Tennessee could get through this test and ultimately go on to compete for an SEC title. Prediction: Alabama 74, Tennessee 71 // Chances of Upset: 64%

UCLA @ Arizona State | 7 p.m. EST | PAC12
Pac-12 basketball just got very interesting with the rise of the Bruins. When UCLA took three losses in a row against Colorado, Oregon State and Oregon, it was a mile away from the Tournament conversation. The Bruins covered that mile in about two weeks, lopping off California, Stanford, USC and Arizona all in a row to revive their season. Coming off a win of its own over USC, Arizona State is looking to do the same and get itself essentially within one or two wins of a locked-up March bid. UCLA’s hot, ASU’s seemingly figuring things out, both teams need it. This one should be fun. Prediction: UCLA 78, Arizona State 74 

No. 7 Texas Tech @ Kansas State | 8 p.m. EST | ESPNU
At this point, it’s pretty hard to watch a Big 12 game without there being some kind of intriguing storyline. This one pits arguably the nation’s most surprising team as it competes for a conference title and a No. 1 seed. No one saw that coming. What no one else would also see coming would be a Kansas State upset, as the Wildcats — a bubble team in the truest sense of the term — look to pick up another résumé win. They’ve already beaten Oklahoma by 18, TCU by five, and came just one point from beating Kansas. There’s also the revenge factor — Tech took down K-State by 16 on January 7. For those reasons, I’m giving the Wildcats a good chance to win, but favoring Texas Tech in a close one. Prediction: Texas Tech 76, Kansas State 70 // Chances of Upset: 38%

No. 24 Kentucky @ Texas A&M | 8:15 p.m. EST | ESPN
Speaking of the revenge factor, enter Texas A&M. The Aggies came inches from a win at Rupp Arena back on January 9, as a full-court pass went out of bounds beyond the outstretched hands of center Tyler Davis, who was arguably fouled by UK’s Wenyen Gabriel as time expired. Reed Arena will be electric in a whiteout and I don’t think Kentucky’s young team will be ready for a red-hot A&M team on the road, especially one that just topped Auburn on the road. Prediction: Texas A&M 77, Kentucky 74 // Chances of Upset: 70%

No. 12 Gonzaga @ No. 11 Saint Mary’s | 10 p.m. EST | ESPN2
Ah, yes, the one time the country pays attention to West Coast Conference basketball. It’s for good reason, especially this year. Saint Mary’s has pretty clearly been the better of the two WCC Goliaths, with losses only to Washington State (by 5) and Georgia (by 2) on neutral courts in early December. This team is a deep tournament threat and you should start getting to know them before you see them pop up as a five- or six-seed in your bracket. The Gaels toppled Gonzaga in Spokane earlier this season, 74-71. The Bulldogs have the pieces for revenge, but I’ve got Saint Mary’s taking a stranglehold on the WCC with the conference tourney just three weeks away. Prediction: Saint Mary’s 79, Gonzaga 72 // Chances of “Upset:” 35%

USC @ No. 13 Arizona | 10:15 p.m. EST | ESPN
Pac-12 after dark at its finest! Arizona, the odds on favorite to win this chaotic league, has lost two in a row for the first time since its dismal trip to the Bahamas back in November. As for USC, blowing a nine-point lead to ASU means they’re right back in the thick of the bubble, and another loss or two away from trouble. Another situation out in the Pac-12 where two of the league’s likely four or five tournament teams both need key victories. Don’t count out USC — which matches up well with the Wildcats, especially down low — but Arizona’s going to get it done on their home court before a monumental trip to Tempe Thursday. But if you’re not asleep yet, give this one a watch to close out a jam-packed day of hoops. Prediction: Arizona 82, USC 72 // Chances of Upset: 20%

Sunday

No. 6 Cincinnati @ SMU | 2 p.m. EST | ESPN
Yes, more basketball on Sunday, thanks to the American Athletic Conference! If you haven’t noticed yet, the Cincinnati Bearcats are a legitimate contender; I don’t think they’ll compete for a No. 1 seed due to their conference’s reputation, but they’ll be a dangerous No. 2 or No. 3 seed. SMU’s dangerous, too, having beaten Wichita State on the road, not to mention neutral victories over Arizona and USC. But coming off of two tough road losses, the Mustangs need this one to get back on the right side of the bubble. Cincinnati doesn’t have any particular “need” in this one, aside from keeping first place in the American to themselves, but they’ll probably get it done anyway. Check this game out if for no other reason than to get an early look at one of the most physical teams you’ll be seeing in the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Prediction: Cincinnati 68, SMU 60 // Chances of Upset: 25%

Tulane @ Houston | 4 p.m. EST | ESPNU
Okay, you’re only going to want to check this one out if you’re truly a college basketball junkie, but Houston is worth watching as a potential upset special with a No. 10 or No. 11 seed in March. Tulane’s got some unfinished business, too, with a few impressive wins over SMU and Temple under their belt. In order to make some tournament noise, though, they’ll need to erase their recent 1-4 stretch, pick up this win in Houston, and probably win five of the six contests that follow. All of that is pretty unlikely, but Tulane’s nine-point home win over Houston earlier in the season proves they’ve at least got a good shot on Sunday. Prediction: Houston 77, Tulane 68

Sideline Intel Bracketology: Feb. 9

Great, more chaos.

Ohio State beats Purdue. Texas A&M beats Auburn. Bubble teams drop like flies — and some step up to take their spots, for now. St. John’s beats Duke and Villanova.

No, St. John’s is not in the field of 68. I mean, not yet at least. When they beat Xavier, Creighton, Seton Hall and Marquette I’m sure we’ll have a spot for them.

But with all that said, this week’s field is extremely shaken up from even just a week ago. The biggest drop? Louisville down from a No. 5 seed to a No. 8 seed. The biggest jump? Texas A&M up from a No. 8 seed to a No. 6 seed.

Even the bubble looks a whole lot different, as you can see:

Last Four Byes
Houston
Providence
Alabama
NC State

Last Four In
Missouri
Syracuse
Virginia Tech
UCLA

First Four Out
Kansas State
Washington
Marquette
SMU

Next Four Out
Western Kentucky
Nebraska
St. Bonaventure
Temple

Four More
Wyoming
Maryland
Baylor
Penn State

Looking at the bubble, there are a few teams who’ve made some noise and a few who’d rather kill the noise they made this week. Syracuse and UCLA caught the right side of the bubble with key wins. While the Orange won at Louisville, the Bruins defeated both USC and Arizona to jump from completely off the bubble to in the tournament field.

Fellow Pac-12 school Washington played its way out of the field with a 65-40 loss at Oregon. With its win over Texas, Kansas State was a tough team to keep out, but a 38-point loss to West Virginia and an RPI outside the Top 50 were tough to forgive.

But enough about the bubble, here’s how the full tournament field shakes out:

Ed. Note: all-caps denote current conference leaders

~~~

SOUTH REGIONAL | Atlanta, Ga.

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 1 VIRGINIA (23-1, 12-0 ACC)
No. 16 NICHOLLS ST. (15-9, 9-2 Southland) / No. 16 WAGNER (18-6, 11-2 NEC)

No. 8 
Texas Christian (16-8, 4-7 Big 12)
No. 9 Arizona State (18-6, 6-6 Pac-12)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 Oklahoma (16-7, 6-5 Big 12)
No. 12 VERMONT  (20-5, 10-0 America East)

No. 4 Miami (18-5, 7-4 ACC)
No. 13 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (20-4, 10-1 Sun Belt)

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 6 RHODE ISLAND (19-3, 11-0 Atlantic 10)
No. 11 Houston (18-5, 8-3 American)

No. 3 Tennessee (18-5, 8-3 SEC)
No. 14 UC SANTA BARBARA (19-5, 8-2 Big West)

(Charlotte, N.C.)
No. 7 Seton Hall (17-7, 6-5 Big East)
No. 10 Alabama (15-9, 6-5 SEC)

No. 2 North Carolina (18-7, 7-5 ACC)
No. 15 BUCKNELL (17-9, 11-2 Patriot)


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Omaha, Neb.

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 1 Michigan State (23-3, 11-2 Big Ten)
No. 16 NC A&T (15-9, 8-1 MEAC)

No. 8 
Gonzaga (22-4, 12-1 West Coast)
No. 9 Butler (17-8, 7-5 Big East)

(Boise, Idaho)
No. 5 ARIZONA (19-6, 9-3 Pac-12)
No. 12 NEW MEXICO STATE (21-3, 8-0 WAC)

No. 4 West Virginia (18-6, 7-4 Big 12)
No. 13 EAST TENNESSEE STATE (21-4, 12-0 Southern)

(Dallas, Tex.) 
No. 6 Kentucky (17-7, 6-5 SEC)
No. 11 Syracuse (16-8, 5-6 ACC) / No. 11 UCLA (17-7, 8-4 Pac-12)

No. 3 Texas Tech (20-4, 8-3 Big 12)
No. 14 BELMONT (19-7, 11-2 Ohio Valley)

(Nashville, Tenn.)
No. 7 Florida State (17-7, 6-6 ACC)
No. 10 Providence (16-8, 7-4 Big East)

No. 2 CINCINNATI (22-2, 11-0 American)
No. 15 CHARLESTON (19-6, 10-3 Colonial)


EAST REGIONAL | Boston, Mass.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 XAVIER (22-3, 10-2 Big East)
No. 16 FGCU (19-8, 10-0 Atlantic Sun)

No. 8 
MIDDLE TENNESSEE (19-5, 11-1 Conference USA)
No. 9 Michigan (19-7, 8-5 Big Ten)

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 Florida (16-8, 7-4 SEC)
No. 12 BUFFALO (18-6, 10-1 MAC)

No. 4 Clemson (20-4, 9-3 ACC)
No. 13 LOYOLA-CHICAGO (20-5, 10-3 Missouri Valley)

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 6 Texas A&M (16-8, 5-6 SEC)
No. 11 BOISE STATE (20-4, 10-2 Mountain West)

No. 3 Duke (19-5, 7-4 ACC)
No. 14 RIDER (18-7, 11-2 Metro Atlantic)

(Detroit, Mich.)
No. 7 Nevada (20-5, 9-2 Mountain West)
No. 10 Texas (15-9, 5-6 Big 12)

No. 2 Purdue (23-3, 12-1 Big Ten)
No. 15 MONTANA (19-5, 12-0 Big Sky)


WEST REGIONAL | Los Angeles, Calif.

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)
No. 1 Villanova (22-2, 9-2 Big East)
No. 16 UNC ASHEVILLE (17-9, 10-3 Big South)

No. 8 
Louisville (17-8, 7-5 ACC)
No. 9 Arkansas  (16-8, 5-6 SEC)

(San Diego, Calif.)
No. 5 Wichita State (18-5, 8-3 American)
No. 12 Missouri (16-8, 6-5 SEC) / No. 12 Virginia Tech (17-7, 6-5 ACC)

No. 4 OHIO STATE (21-5, 12-1 Big Ten)
No. 13 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (21-6, 9-1 Summit)

(Dallas, Tex.)
No. 6 SAINT MARY’S (24-2, 13-0 West Coast)
No. 11 NC State (16-8, 6-5 ACC)

No. 3 AUBURN (21-3, 9-2 SEC)
No. 14 WRIGHT STATE (19-7, 11-2 Horizon)

(Wichita, Kan.)
No. 7 Creighton (18-6, 8-4 Big East)
No. 10 Southern California (17-8, 8-4 Pac-12)

No. 2 KANSAS (19-5, 8-3 Big 12)
No. 15 PENNSYLVANIA (16-6, 6-0 Ivy)

Sideline Intel Bracketology: Feb. 2

As the calendar turns to February, a handful of teams are starting to make their mark as Final Four contenders.

Take the Villanova Wildcats, who have lost just once — at Butler. The ‘Cats are ripping through a deep and competitive Big East with ease, most recently victimizing Creighton by 20. It’s the same deal for teams like Virginia and Purdue, which are both firmly on top of their respective leagues with unblemished conference records.

Others are seeing their résumés take serious hits entering the final month of the season. Arizona StateTCU, and Texas A&M have all gone from former spots in the AP top 10 to now being dangerously close to the bubble.

Speaking of the bubble, as it stands today…

Last Four Byes
Virginia Tech
NC State
Houston
Boise State

Last Four In
Kansas State
Providence
Marquette
Syracuse

First Four Out
Washington
SMU
Missouri
UCLA

Next Four Out
Western Kentucky
Nebraska
Georgia
Utah

Without further ado, the first addition of Sideline Intel’s NCAA Tournament bracket predictions:


EAST REGIONAL | Boston, Mass.

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 4.28.15 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 4.28.30 PM.png


SOUTH REGIONAL | Atlanta, Ga.

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 4.28.48 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 4.28.56 PM.png


MIDWEST REGIONAL | Omaha, Neb.

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 4.29.31 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 4.29.39 PM.png


WEST REGIONAL | Los Angeles, Calif.

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 4.29.46 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 4.29.52 PM.png