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Projecting the field of 68


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Remember that this is the first season of a 68-team field. There will be four play-in games this season: two involving teams that will be No. 12 seeds and two involving teams that will be No. 16 seeds. That's why there are six teams at the Nos. 12 and 16 seedings.

#1 Seeds

1. Ohio State

2. Kansas

3. Pittsburgh

4. Duke

BUZZ: Ohio State remains the nation's lone unbeaten, but has tough road games against Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue in the next three weeks. Pitt has a two-game lead in the Big East, but five of its next eight are on the road, including trips to West Virginia, Villanova and Louisville. Kansas plays at Nebraska in a potentially tricky contest Saturday. Duke bounced back from a poor performance against St. John's by whipping up on host Maryland on Wednesday. The first Duke-UNC game of the season is next Wednesday in Durham.

#2 Seeds

5. Texas

6. Connecticut

7. Purdue

8. Villanova

BUZZ: Texas has a legit shot at a No. 1 seed; the Longhorns have won seven in a row, each by double-digits. UConn has lost two home games in a row and now goes on the road for its next two. Purdue had a chance for a big road win against Wisconsin on Tuesday but let it slip away. The Boilermakers now trail Ohio State by three games in the loss column in the Big Ten race. Villanova has a big one Saturday against West Virginia, then another big one next Saturday against Pitt; both are at home.

#3 Seeds

9. San Diego State

10. Syracuse

11. Notre Dame

12. BYU

BUZZ: San Diego State's toughest remaining games are at UNLV on Feb. 12 and at home against BYU on Feb. 26. Syracuse got a sorely needed win Wednesday at UConn to stop a four-game losing streak. Notre Dame has won three in a row, including a huge road victory against Pitt on Jan. 24. But by the time the Irish hit the court tonight against DePaul, they will have gone nine days between games. BYU escaped with an ugly win Wednesday at Wyoming and has a big one Saturday when UNLV comes calling.

#4 Seeds

13. Georgetown

14. Kentucky

15. Washington

16. Texas A&M

BUZZ: Georgetown has followed a three-game losing streak with an impressive five-game winning streak, including back-to-back three-point victories over Villanova on the road and Louisville at home. Kentucky is 1-3 on the road in the SEC, including puzzling losses to Alabama and Ole Miss. The Wildcats have a big one Saturday at Florida. Washington plays five of its next seven on the road. Texas A&M has lost three of its past four, and the Aggies' offense has been atrocious.

#5 Seeds

17. Louisville

18. Florida

19. Wisconsin

20. Missouri

BUZZ: Louisville scoffs at close games -- the Cardinals' past four contests have been decided by a total of 10 points. Florida has Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee in its next three games, and they'll be in good shape to win the SEC East if they can win at least two of those. Wisconsin can put some more dirt on Michigan State when the Spartans come calling Sunday; the Badgers have won four of their past five, including a big win Tuesday over Purdue. Missouri has lost two in a row to fall below .500 in the Big 12; the Tigers have just one road win this season.

#6 Seeds

21. Xavier

22. Illinois

23. West Virginia

24. North Carolina

BUZZ: Xavier is coming off an upset loss at Charlotte and has three of its next four on the road. Illinois has lost four of its past six and has its next two on the road. WVU has a murderous stretch upcoming, facing Villanova, Pitt (twice), Syracuse and Notre Dame in the next three weeks. North Carolina looks to be the second-best team in the ACC; we should know for sure about that after the next three games -- vs. Florida State, at Duke and at Clemson.

#7 Seeds

25. Tennessee

26. Temple

27. Florida State

28. Minnesota

BUZZ: Tennessee has three of its next four on the road, including trips to Kentucky and Florida. Temple plays four of its next five at home, where the Owls are 9-0 this season. Florida State plays four of its next five on the road, and the Seminoles -- who already have beaten Duke -- remain within striking distance of first place in the ACC race. Minnesota has lost two in a row and has Ohio State and Illinois next; at least both of those are at home.

#8 Seeds

29. Vanderbilt

30. Boston College

31. Saint Mary's

32. Virginia Commonwealth

BUZZ: Vandy has lost two in a row and is in last place in the SEC East. But the Commodores play each of their next three games at home. Boston College has lost three in a row to fall out of the running for the ACC title. Saint Mary's won at Gonzaga last week to basically bury the Zags in the West Coast Conference race. VCU is coming off a disheartening loss at Northeastern and has a key three-game stretch in mid-February that sees the Rams play ODU, George Mason and Wichita State back-to-back-to-back.

#9 Seeds

33. UNLV

34. Old Dominion

35. Missouri State

36. Arizona

BUZZ: UNLV meets Mountain West frontrunners BYU and San Diego State in the next week. ODU has won four in a row and has a big game at George Mason on Saturday. Missouri State has dropped two in a row to fall out of the lead in the Missouri Valley. Arizona is tied for the Pac-10 lead with Washington, but the Wildcats have just one RPI top-50 win

#10 Seeds

37. Richmond

38. Michigan State

39. Marquette

40. UCLA

BUZZ: Richmond has won four of its past five, but it plays five of its next seven games on the road. Michigan State is in a freefall. The assumption is the Spartans will get out of it, but there's no question they're in danger of missing the NCAA field for the first time since 1997. Marquette has some key wins at home, but the Golden Eagles' road record is uninspiring. UCLA has won six of its past seven, and Saturday's game with St. John's is an opportunity for a "good" win -- and against their former coach, to boot.

#11 Seeds

41. Memphis

42. Colorado

43. Virginia Tech

44. Penn State

BUZZ: Memphis has lost two in a row and is entering a tough portion of its schedule, beginning with a game Saturday at Gonzaga. Colorado has been pitiful on the road and needs to get a road win or two to feel good about its NCAA chances. Virginia Tech has won five of its past six. Penn State has a bunch of nice home victories. But unless the Nittany Lions win some games on the road, they will be in the NIT.

#12 Seeds

45. Utah State

46. Georgia

47. George Mason

48. Oklahoma State

49. Maryland

50. Wichita State

BUZZ: Utah State is cruising to the WAC title; the Aggies are the only league team whose RPI is better than 129th. Georgia plays three of its next four at home, including important contests against Xavier and Vanderbilt. George Mason has won eight in a row and has moved into a tie for the CAA lead. Oklahoma State got an important win Wednesday against Missouri, but the Cowboys still have a lot of work to do. The same goes for Maryland, which was hammered at home by Duke on Wednesday. The Terps are 1-7 against teams in the RPI top 50. Wichita State has won four in a row and leads the MVC, but the Shockers have just one win over a team in the RPI top 100.

#13 Seeds

51. Cleveland State*

52. Princeton*

53. Coastal Carolina*

54. Belmont*

BUZZ: Cleveland State, whose RPI is 29th, owns a two-game lead in the loss column over Butler in the Horizon League, and the Vikings have a huge home game tonight against Valparaiso; first place in the league is at stake. Princeton is amidst a string in which its first five Ivy League games are at home; the Tigers meet Harvard in a big game on Friday night. Coastal Carolina leads Liberty by a game in the Big South standings, and the Chanticleers already have won at Liberty. Belmont leads the Atlantic Sun by a game, but five of its final seven regular-season games are on the road.

#14 Seeds

55. Oakland*

56. Kent State*

57. Fairfield*

58. College of Charleston*

BUZZ: Oakland, which won at Tennessee, has a three-game lead in the Summit standings. Kent State has won five of its past six in MAC play. Fairfield has a two-game lead in the MAAC and owns a 27-point win over second-place St. Peter's. Charleston plays host to Wofford tonight with first place in the South Division of the Southern Conference at stake.

#15 Seeds

59. Bucknell*

60. Montana*

61. Long Beach State*

61. North Texas*

BUZZ: Bucknell and American are the only Patriot League teams above .500 in conference play, and Bucknell already has won at American. Montana has won six in a row in Big Sky play and lead the league race by a game. Long Beach is one of just two Big West teams above .500 in league play. North Texas remains our pick -- albeit a shaky one -- out of the Sun Belt.

#16 Seeds

63. Austin Peay*

64. Long Island*

65. Maine*

66. Jackson State*

67. McNeese State*

68. Morgan State*

BUZZ: The move to a 68-team field means four conference champs are going to end up in the play-in games. Austin Peay won at Murray State to give the Governors the edge in the OVC race. LIU leads Central Connecticut by a game in the Northeast Conference race and already has won at CCSU. Maine is tied with Vermont for the America East lead, but the Black Bears already own a road win over Vermont. Jackson State is the only team in the SWAC that's above .500. Nine of the 12 teams in the Southland have three or four league losses, but McNeese is the only conference team with fewer than three. Morgan State is going for its third consecutive berth from the MEAC.

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Georgia wont make the tourney because they're not good. Next year they will be but if you watched them at all this year, you're not impressed.

False. Georgia has a good chance to make the tourney this year. They are on the bubble, and they just have to win the remaining home games to make it in. Georgia has a much better chance of making the tourney this year then next year b/c we lose all our bigs to graduation and Trey to the NBA.

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