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March Madness winners and losers: Updated NCAA tournament bracket projection

By Patrick Stevens

March 9, 2018 at 10:33 AM

Watch more!
The Post's Neil Greenberg analyzed NCAA statistics from the past seven March Madness tournaments to give you pointers on how to make a winning bracket. (Monica Akhtar, John Parks, Sarah Hashemi/The Washington Post)

Where does your college basketball team stand as Selection Sunday draws closer? We’ll break down the winners and losers from all the conference tournament action, with an eye on how the results will affect the NCAA tournament bracket. Check back for updates.  

There are three more days of conference tournaments, with plenty of seeding and automatic bids at stake. The edge of the NCAA tournament field, outside the lingering possibility of bid snatchers, might have sorted itself out early.

The list of teams sent packing in conference tournaments the last two days reads like a who’s who of programs scrambling for the last few at-large spots: Baylor, Boise State, Florida State, Marquette, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Syracuse, Utah and Washington.

Whether those teams can make the cut is a matter of debate. What isn’t is whether their resumes will change much. With no games left, the arguments for and against are pretty much set.

It also means both Alabama and Providence, as perhaps the only borderline tournament teams still playing, enjoy great opportunities to further distinguish themselves. Maybe they remove any lingering doubts. Maybe they can bypass a play-in game. The next day or two (or three) could prove most helpful.

For the rest at the edge, it’s just a matter of waiting. There’s little else to do now.

Related: [Why isn’t the NCAA tournament selection show on CBS? Where did it go?]

Friday’s early bracket projection

SOUTH REGION

Charlotte
(1) ATLANTIC COAST/Virginia vs. (16) BIG SOUTH/Radford — SOUTHWESTERN ATHLETIC/Arkansas-Pine Bluff winner
(8) Missouri vs. (9) MOUNTAIN WEST/Nevada

San Diego
(5) Ohio State vs. (12) WESTERN ATHLETIC/New Mexico State
(4) Texas Tech vs. (13) AMERICA EAST/Vermont

Wichita
(3) AMERICAN ATHLETIC/Cincinnati vs. (14) COLONIAL/Charleston
(6) Miami vs. (11) Saint Mary’s

Nashville
(7) Creighton vs. (10) Kansas State
(2) SOUTHEASTERN/Auburn vs. (15) BIG WEST/UC Davis

Related: [Michael Porter Jr. and Missouri just became the biggest mystery of March Madness]

EAST REGION

Pittsburgh
(1) Villanova vs. (16) SOUTHLAND/Southeastern Louisiana — NORTHEAST/LIU Brooklyn winner
(8) N.C. State vs. (9) Southern California

Boise, Idaho
(5) Florida vs. (12) OHIO VALLEY/Murray State
(4) West Virginia vs. (13) SUMMIT/South Dakota State

Detroit
(3) BIG TEN/Michigan vs. (14) PATRIOT/Bucknell
(6) Arkansas vs. (11) Florida State-Providence winner

Pittsburgh
(7) Houston vs. (10) St. Bonaventure
(2) North Carolina vs. (15) METRO ATLANTIC/Iona

MIDWEST REGION

Nashville
(1) BIG EAST/Xavier vs. (16) MID-EASTERN ATHLETIC/Hampton
(8) UCLA vs. (9) MOUNTAIN WEST/Nevada

Boise, Idaho
(5) Clemson vs. (12) MISSOURI VALLEY/Loyola Chicago
(4) Wichita State vs. (13) CONFERENCE USA/Old Dominion

Dallas
(3) Tennessee vs. (14) SOUTHERN/UNC Greensboro
(6) Seton Hall vs. (11) Alabama-Syracuse winner

Detroit
(7) Texas Christian vs. (10) Virginia Tech
(2) Purdue vs. (15) HORIZON/Wright State

WEST REGION

Wichita
(1) BIG 12/Kansas vs. (16) IVY/Harvard
(8) ATLANTIC 10/Rhode Island vs. (9) Butler

San Diego
(5) WEST COAST/Gonzaga vs. (12) MID-AMERICAN/Buffalo
(4) PAC-12/Arizona vs. (13) SUN BELT/UL Lafayette

Dallas
(3) Michigan State vs. (14) BIG SKY/Montana
(6) Kentucky vs. (11) Texas

Charlotte
(7) Texas A&M; vs. (10) Arizona State
(2) Duke vs. (15) ATLANTIC SUN/Lipscomb

Friday’s early NCAA field notes

Last four included: Florida State, Providence, Alabama, Syracuse
Four just on the outside: Louisville, Marquette, Baylor, Notre Dame
Next four on the outside: Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Penn State, Middle Tennessee
Moving in: Old Dominion, Syracuse
Moving out: Marquette, Middle Tennessee
Clinched automatic bids: Bucknell (Patriot), Charleston (Colonial), Gonzaga (West Coast), Iona (Metro Atlantic), Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun), LIU Brooklyn (Northeast), Loyola Chicago (Missouri Valley), Michigan (Big Ten), Murray State (Ohio Valley), Radford (Big South), South Dakota State (Summit), UNC Greensboro (Southern), Wright State (Horizon)
Conference call: Atlantic Coast (10), Southeastern (8), Big 12 (7), Big East (6), Big Ten (4), Pac-12 (4), American Athletic (3), Atlantic 10 (2), West Coast (2)

*****

THURSDAY’S LATE WINNERS AND LOSERS

It’s just not enough for Notre Dame.

The first 12 minutes of Notre Dame’s ACC quarterfinal against Duke on Thursday was a glimpse of what could have been. Matt Farrell conducting the Fighting Irish’s offense. Bonzie Colson collecting baskets thanks to both skill and savvy. Skip passes, bounce passes, and flat-out smart passes. It was a lot like how Notre Dame played the last three seasons.

It wasn’t always so during league play this season. Colson’s nearly two-month absence because of a broken foot sapped the Irish of one of the nation’s best interior players. Farrell missed time, too, and it contributed to the Irish’s midseason seven-game slide.

When they returned healthy, Notre Dame’s postseason hopes were boosted during the final week of the regular season. Against postseason-worthy competition, the Irish played Virginia tough on the road, rallied past Virginia Tech in the second round of the ACC tournament and then traded baskets with Duke before fading to an 88-70 loss.

At full strength and regular rest, few would argue the Irish aren’t dangerous. But they weren’t at full strength for much of the season, and they only did so much (beating Wichita State in Maui, knocking off Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, upending Florida State and N.C. State at home).

In the end, teams have to prove it in the win column, and Notre Dame didn’t do it enough. Some of that was a function of injuries, but that’s probably not going to be enough to receive clemency from the NCAA basketball committee.

Where, exactly, are the Cowboys?

The Second Most Interesting Team in the Country made a run at top honors when it built a 10-point lead in the first half against Kansas. Oklahoma State taking three from the Jayhawks would have helped the Cowboys’ stealth campaign at an out-of-nowhere at-large bid.

Instead, Kansas gathered itself and earned an 82-68 victory, leaving the Cowboys (19-14) with quite a set of victories and virtually no help from any metrics to boost their cause.

Oklahoma State beat Kansas twice and both Texas Tech and West Virginia once. It was also dominated by the middle of the Big 12 pack, going a combined 0-6 against Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Christian. But at their best, the Cowboys were awfully dangerous.

Oklahoma State also entered the day ranked No. 85 in the RPI, a metric that isn’t (and shouldn’t be) the final arbiter for selection. It is a sorting tool, and it does have importance. But there’s never been an at-large selection with an RPI in the 80s, a stat Oklahoma State is unlikely to change.

More college basketball:

One crying moment: 15 of the toughest defeats in NCAA tournament history

This time, Virginia skips the drama vs. Louisville in ACC tournament quarterfinals

Jenkins: Virginia basketball isn’t a highlight reel. It’s a how-to video.

Bennett and Virginia aren’t for everyone, but ‘it’s okay to be different’

Bubble teams Arizona State, Oklahoma and Notre Dame are flirting with historic sadness

Feinstein: Atlantic 10 tournament follows its season M.O.: Not always pretty, but always close

Tournament schedules and updates: ACC | Big East | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC

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Sports | Analysis

March Madness winners and losers: Updated NCAA tournament bracket projection

By Patrick Stevens

March 9, 2018 at 10:33 AM

Watch more!
The Post's Neil Greenberg analyzed NCAA statistics from the past seven March Madness tournaments to give you pointers on how to make a winning bracket. (Monica Akhtar, John Parks, Sarah Hashemi/The Washington Post)

Where does your college basketball team stand as Selection Sunday draws closer? We’ll break down the winners and losers from all the conference tournament action, with an eye on how the results will affect the NCAA tournament bracket. Check back for updates.  

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