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Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 02/17/2012

NCAA tournament bracketology: Eric Prisbell’s field of 68

Here’s my latest projected NCAA tournament field of 68 (* = conference champion).

Boston Region

Seed Team Conference
1 Syracuse* Big East
2Ohio State* Big Ten
3 Baylor Big 12
4Indiana Big Ten
5 San Diego State Mountain West
6Florida State ACC
7 Vanderbilt SEC
8 Memphis Conference USA
9 Alabama SEC
10 Connecticut Big East
11 BYU West Coast
12 Kansas State/Miami Play-in
13 Akron* MAC
14 Iona* MAAC
15 Bucknell* Patriot
16 Vermont*/Long Island* Play-in

Atlanta Region

Seed Team Conference
1 Kentucky* SEC
2North Carolina ACC
3 Georgetown Big East
4Michigan Big Ten
5 Wichita State* Missouri Valley
6Temple* Atlantic 10
7 Notre Dame Big East
8 Southern Mississippi* Conference USA
9 Harvard* Ivy
10 Iowa State Big 12
11 Illinois Big Ten
12 Texas/N.C. State Play-in
13 Middle Tennessee* Sun Belt
14 Davidson* Southern
15 Belmont* Atlantic Sun
16 Miss. Valley State*/UNC Asheville* Play-in

St. Louis Region

Seed Team Conference
1 Missouri* Big 12
2Michigan State Big Ten
3 Marquette Big East
4Wisconsin Big Ten
5 Gonzaga West Coast
6Creighton Missouri Valley
7 New Mexico* Mountain West
8 Virginia ACC
9 Mississippi State SEC
10 California* Pac-12
11 Seton Hall Big East
12 Xavier Atlantic 10
13 Oral Roberts* Summit
14 George Mason* CAA
15 Valparaiso* Summit
16 Texas-Arlington* Southland

Phoenix Region

Seed Team Conference
1 Duke* ACC
2Kansas Big 12
3 UNLV Mountain West
4Louisville Big East
5 Florida SEC
6Saint Mary's* West Coast
7 Murray State* Ohio Valley
8 Purdue Big Ten
9 Saint Louis Atlantic 10
10 West Virginia Big East
11 Minnesota Big Ten
12 Central Florida Conference USA
13 Long Beach State* Big West
14 Nevada* WAC
15 Weber State* Big Sky
16 Norfolk State* MEAC

Top seeds

Kentucky: Shot-blocking freshman Anthony Davis reminds John Calipari of one player: Marcus Camby. 

Syracuse: The once-beaten Orange could be unbeaten had Fab Melo not missed three games. 

Missouri: Why are the Tigers good? No team shoots better than the Tigers from inside the three-point arc.

Duke: Sure, they have their flaws, but smart scheduling helped Duke rank in the top two in RPI and strength of schedule.

 Rising

Wichita State: The class of the Valley has lost just one game – in triple overtime – since New Year’s.

New Mexico: Impressive win at San Diego State lifted the Lobos into first place in the nation’s fifth-best league (in terms of RPI).

Texas: The Longhorns, who have not missed the NCAA tournament since 1998, are starting to pick up steam. 

Marquette: Buzz Williams’s team could be the most unsung of all teams in contention for a top four NCAA tourney seed. 

Falling

Virginia: After a strong first three months of season, the Cavaliers are beginning to slide in less-than-elite ACC.

Illinois: Disastrous slide could ultimately cost team tournament bid and Coach Bruce Weber his job.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers do not have enough quality nonconference wins to survive further fall in standings. 

Saint Mary’s: The Gaels look to halt current skid Saturday at Murray State in the best BracketBusters matchup.

Sleepers

Oral Roberts: One of the nation’s best free throw-shooting teams, they are as hot as anyone, losing one game since Dec. 15.

Saint Louis: Coach Rick Majerus, a man who knows how to win in March, has not seen his team lose yet this month.

California: Everyone is so down on the Pac-12, perhaps it can find a Cinderella team out of its one-bid league.

Xavier: The Musketeers, ranked 14th in the preseason, have been such a disappointment, perhaps they can now surprise folks.


By  |  10:50 AM ET, 02/17/2012

 
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