USA TODAY Sports Bracketology: Duke vaults to No. 2, Arizona eyes No. 1 seed – USA TODAY
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Another great day of hoops and some teams really helped themselves, especially from a seeding standpoint.
Duke has fluctuated from the vulnerable No. 4 and No. 5 seed line throughout a hot-and-cold season, but after beating North Carolina (Tar Heels still remain a No. 1 seed) in the ACC tournament, they’re well positioned at the No. 2 line. Don’t let Arizona’s current No. 3 seed fool you in today’s bracket, the Wildcats are still very much in contention to shoot up to a No. 1 seed should they win the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. The No. 2 and No. 3 line difference is as close as it gets this year. Beating UCLA was big, but beating Oregon would speak volumes for Arizona nabbing a top seed when going against the likes of other contenders Kentucky and Gonzaga.
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On the bubble: Vanderbilt, which really enjoys beating Florida — three times now — and Michigan have moved up the most in the past few days while South Carolina has fallen quite a bit. Overall, the Gamecocks’ profile isn’t that bad, but other teams are passing them up and they didn’t need to lose to Alabama. Rhode Island has a chance to sneak, perhaps with a win today. Other than that, any “bid thief” would be just that — some team not on the radar right now (Davidson?).
► No. 1 seeds: Villanova, North Carolina, Kansas, Oregon
► Last four in: Providence, USC, Illinois, Kansas State
► First four out: Rhode Island, Georgia, Syracuse, Illinois State
► Others considered for at-large bids (in no particular order): Alabama, Nevada
► On life support: Houston, Clemson, Iowa, California, TCU, Indiana, Ole Miss
► No longer considered for at-large: UConn, Texas, Charleston, New Mexico, Boise State, LaSalle, Davidson, Chattanooga, Saint Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, BYU, Oklahoma, Charleston, Nebraska, Temple, North Carolina State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Memphis, Utah, Auburn, Texas Tech, Georgetown, Penn State, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Monmouth, Valparaiso, Ohio State.
► Multi-bid conferences: ACC (9), Big Ten (8), Big East (7), Big 12 (6), SEC (5), Pac-12 (4), A-10 (2), AAC (2), WCC (2).
► Or highest RPI from projected one-bid conferences – (23 total): Vermont (America East), Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun), North Dakota (Big Sky), Winthrop (Big South), UC Irvine (Big West), UNC-Wilmington (CAA), Middle Tennessee State (Conference USA), Northern Kentucky (Horizon), Princeton (Ivy League), Iona (MAAC), Akron (MAC), N.C. Central (MEAC), Wichita State (Missouri Valley), Nevada (Mountain West), Mount Saint Mary’s (Northeast), Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley), Bucknell (Patriot), East Tennessee State (Southern), New Orleans (Southland), Texas Southern (SWAC), South Dakota State (Summit), Texas-Arlington (Sun Belt), CSU Bakersfield (WAC).
- Banned from participating: Southern Mississippi, Alcorn State, Savannah State, Northern Colorado
- Transition Schools, ineligible for the tourney: Abilene Christian (Southland), Grand Canyon (WAC), Incarnate Word (Southland), Massachusetts-Lowell (American East)
Note: All RPI and statistical data is used from WarrenNolan.com.
About our bracketologist: Shelby Mast has been projecting the field since 2005 and has finished as one of the top 5 national bracketologists for his website, Bracket W.A.G. He’s predicted for The Indianapolis Star, collegeinsider.com and is an inaugural member of the Super 10 Selection Committee. Follow him on Twitter @BracketWag.
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