VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
BOX/MMA
CFL
More
Betting Tools

 
Seed Projections
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on college basketball winners from Bruce Marshall on VegasInsider.com. Click to win!

Update - Sunday, Mar. 11

SUNDAY SEED UPDATE...STILL ON BUBBLE THIEF WATCH

Consider ourselves fortunate to be in a March where there is still a bit of added mystery on the dawn of Selection Sunday beyond the normal bubble angst of teams hovering on the cut-line. That's because there is still a random element at play in the Atlantic 10 finale where Davidson can become a true bubble thief with a win over Rhode Island in Washington, D.C. With the Rams and likely St. Bonaventure already safely into the field, the A-10 almost surely becomes a three-bid league if the Wildcats turn the conference tourney hat-trick at Cap One Arena.

Elsewhere all remaining games involve either straight auto bids to the winner (Sun Belt, Ivy) or matchups (in the SEC and American) of teams already Big Dance-bound. The consequences of a Davidson win, however, are more impactful, effectively knocking a current "last four in" to the "first four out" category and off of the proverbial bubble entirely. The Selection Committee has already had to make that "cut" at least once in its deliberations this weekend when San Diego State stole a bid to make the Mountain West (with Nevada projected to safely qualify) a 2-bid league.

More ambiguous is what will happen in Conference USA and if tourney winner Marshall is a bubble thief or just the lone qualifier from the loop if Middle Tennessee doesn't make the final cut. That decision regarding the Blue Raiders might be pending the Davidson-Rhode Island outcome, so the Committee has a bit more on its plate in the final hours beyond the usual ho-hum of firming up a few seed lines, which has been the case in many past Selection Sundays.

Advertisement
Aside from Davidson staying alive in the A-10, Saturday proceeded without too many earth-shattering developments. Most of the "bubble teams" had already been eliminated in conference tourney play, save perhaps Alabama, which was likely playing with house money in the SEC semis vs. Kentucky. Popular opinion in the world of bracketologists was that the Crimson Tide did enough on Thursday (beating Texas A&M) and Friday (beating Auburn) to move to the safe side of the cut line while most other bubblers stayed parked in neutral. Indeed, there wasn't a team that improved its profile more in tournament week than Bama, and if the Committee uses conference tourney performance to solve remaining bubble issues (as is often the case, even if the Committee won't admit as much) , the Tide was the clear winner in the past couple of days.

Otherwise, there were a couple of surprises down the chain on Saturday, especially in the America East, where heavily-favored defending champ Vermont, projected by many to the 13-line, was shocked at home by upstart, double-digit dog UMBC. The Retrievers'',profile suggests they likely avoid one of the Dayton 16 vs. 16 "First Four" play-in games, too. Marshall's aforementioned win in Conference USA (where the Herd held on for dear life in the last minutes vs. Western Kentucky) was a mild, though not completely unexpected, surprise.

Elsewhere, NC Central (MEAC), Stephen F Austin (Southland), Texas Southern (SWAC), Buffalo (MAC), Cal State Fullerton (Big West), New Mexico State (WAC), and Montana (Big Sky) were other mid/low-majors securing bids on Saturday. They're still playing in the Sun Belt, where top seed UL-Lafayette suffered a mild upset at the hands of UT-Arlington on Saturday. The Movin' Mavs and Georgia State (both recent invitees to the Dance) will battle for the Belt bid on Sunday. The Ivy determines its champ, too, in a rubber match between Harvard and Penn (with home court edge) at the venerable Palestra

We suspect there is some potential seed-shuffling that could still transpire on Sunday, specifically in the SEC, where a Kentucky win over Tennessee in the finale would possibly vault the Wildcats into protected seed territory (likely on the 4-line). Perhaps at the expense of Wichita State, which might have a hard time staying on the 4-line, or being seeded above Saturday's American semi conqueror Houston, which won the season rubber match vs. the Shockers and has somewhat comparable power numbers (save Strength of Schedule). As for Tennessee, the Vols would have a strong case for the 2-line with a win over Coach Cal's Cats in St. Louis, otherwise expect UT to land at a 3. Kansas, which might have been vulnerable to losing a spot on the 1-line had it been KO'd at any point in the Big 12 Tourney (inflicting what would have been an 8th loss on the Jayhawks), instead put away West Virginia with a late surge in Kansas City and will almost assuredly be on the top line and competing in next weekend's nearby Wichita sub-regional.

Following are the latest seed projections as of Sunday morning. And remember, there's still a bubble thief lurking. Teams with auto-bids as of Sunday morning are noted by an *.

Seed Projections 1-16

1) Virginia*, Xavier, Villanova*, Kansas*

2) Duke, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Michigan*

3) North Carolina, Purdue, Tennessee, Gonzaga*

4) Arizona*, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Kentucky

5) Wichita State, Clemson, Ohio State, Auburn

6) Arkansas, Florida, Miami-Florida, Houston

7) Butler, Nevada, Providence, Rhode Island

8) TCU, Seton Hall, St. Bonaventure, Kansas State

9) NC State, Creighton, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M

10) Notre Dame, Saint Mary's, Missouri, UCLA

11) Alabama, San Diego State*, Louisville, USC, Oklahoma, Florida State

12) Buffalo*, Loyola-Chicago*, South Dakota State*, Charleston*

13) NC-Greensboro*, Murray State*, New Mexico State*, Bucknell*

14) Marshall*, Montana*, Stephen F Austin*, Wright State*

15) Iona*, CS Fullerton*, Georgia State, Lipscomb*

16) Penn, LIU-Brooklyn*, Radford*, Texas Southern*, UMBC*, NC Central*

Last four byes...Notre Dame, UCLA, Missouri, Alabama

Last four in...Oklahoma, Florida State, USC, Louisville

First Four Out...Middle Tennessee, Texas, Penn State, Arizona State

Next Four Out...Marquette, Davidson, Syracuse, Oklahoma State

Update - Saturday, Mar. 10

Every March, the threat of Big Dance "bubble thieves" is usually a false alarm. Yet as we move to the precipice of Selection Sunday, we know for sure that the bubble has shrunk by at least one spot over the past 24 hours, and the door remains open for a couple of others as the next chapter of conference tourney drama unfolds on Saturday.

Who are those thieves? One will almost certainly come from the Mountain West, which now appears to be a two-bid league after conference tourney top seed Nevada was flattened by a surging San Diego State on Friday night in Las Vegas. With the Wolf Pack's bid apparently secure, the opportunity now awaits for the Aztecs or Saturday foe New Mexico (quietly surging with seven wins on the trot into Saturday) to earning the Mountain's auto bid. The extra day off might even help a dangerous but thin Wolf Pack roster. whose main Friday damage (other than to the team psyche) could be a seed demotion. Which in the long run could prove problematic; if Nevada drops into an 8-9 game instead of hanging on the 6-line where we projected the Pack before Friday, the San Diego State loss could have more serious consequences in Reno. Nonetheless, the Mountain West looks like a multi-bid league for the first time since 2015.

There are other potential "bubble thieves" lurking as well. In the Atlantic 10, an ascending St. Joseph's and dangerous Davidson have qualified for the semifinals of the conference tourney on Saturday at Cap One Arena in Washington, D.C. With St. Bonaventure having apparently moved safely from the cut line in recent weeks and Rhode Island secure, a couple of more upsets by the Hawks or Wildcats would make the A-10 a 3-bid league. Saturday's semis presents a couple of intriguing rematches from a week ago Tuesday, when Phil Martelli's Hawks scored a shocking 30-point road win over the Rams and Davidson pushed the Bonnies into 3 OTs in Olean in what might have been the game of the year. They'll all do it again on Saturday...stay tuned. Meanwhile we've still got Conference USA, where Marshall and Western Kentucky vie for the auto bid that went off script on Thursday when heavy tourney favorite Middle Tennessee was dumped in the quarterfinals by longshot Southern Miss. The Blue Raiders, however, are hardly as secure in their at-large status as Nevada from the Mountain West, or. should upsets occur on Saturday in the A-10, either Rhody or Bona. At worst, however, MTSU would appear to be hanging around the cut line, and likely cheering for Western Kentucky, a team the Blue Raiders beat twice, in the finale at Frisco.

So, we're looking at a certainty of one Big Dance bubble thief and as many as three as of Saturday morning. Which has goosed the drama meter just a bit more before Selection Sunday.

Other developments on Friday happened further down the food chain, where there were a couple of upsets in mid and low-major leagues that changed some projected qualifiers in the Big West (where both favored UC Davis and UCSB went down), and in the Southland, where the projected qualifier of many, Nicholls, was KO'd by Stephen F Austin (though that does not qualify as an upset as the victorious Lumberjacks were favored in the game). Champions in those leagues and others will be determined on Saturday, which includes an all-Orange County battle in the Big West between UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

At the bubble, the big winner for the second day in a row was Alabama, which picked up another valuable Quadrant 1 neutral win (over Auburn). Thus, while most of those on the cut line have stayed parked in neutral and done little to enhance their profiles in conference tourney week, Bama has significantly bolstered its credentials. Yes, it's the same Tide that had lost five straight entering the SEC Tourney, but the trending suddenly looks good for the prospects of Avery Johnson's team. We'd also be remiss if not mentioning Providence, which by all accounts had already moved safely away from the cut line, but now appears to be making a late move up the seed ladder with another valuable win over projected top-line Xavier. The Friars now appear to be into the single-digit seed category, though that could turn into a curse if Providence lands on the 8 of 9 line (as it appears could be the case) instead of 10 or 11. We shouldn't be surprised, however, as Ed Cooley's team won the Big East Tourney as recently as 2014, and another win on Saturday over Villanova might rocket the Friars further ahead in the seeding queue.

Lastly, mention of the Xavier loss on Friday reminds that another lane to the top-line might have suddenly opened up for Duke, which was becoming a chic pick to grab a number one seed on Selection Sunday if it could win the ACC Tourney, and either Kansas (in the Big 12) or Musketeers (in the Big East) went down. Any such ideas, however, are now dashed as the Blue Devils lost to North Carolina and now wait to hear if they are placed on the 2 or 3-line. Might the Tar Heels land on the 1-line if they can beat Virginia for the ACC crown on Saturday? Unlikely, as Carolina looks destined for the 2-line or 3-line depending upon its result vs. the Cavs on Saturday night in Brooklyn. Elsewhere, Auburn's status as a protected seed is now subject to review after the collapse on Friday vs. Bama in the aforementioned SEC quarterfinals. Moving into position to leapfrog the Tigers and onto our 4-line is Bob Huggins' West Virginia, which qualified for the Big 12 finale vs. Kansas with a hard-fought win over Texas Tech in Kansas City on Friday night.

Following are the latest seed projections as of Saturday morning. Not too late, however, for some things to change in the next 24 hours; remember, a number of bubble thieves are still lurking. Teams with auto-bids as of Saturday morning are noted by an *.

Seed Projections 1-16

1) Virginia, Xavier, Villanova, Kansas

2) Duke, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Michigan*

3) North Carolina, Purdue, Tennessee, Gonzaga*

4) Arizona, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Wichita State

5) Florida, Clemson, Ohio State, Auburn

6) Arkansas, Kentucky, Miami-Florida, Houston

7) Butler, Kansas State, Nevada, Rhode Island

8) TCU, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, Providence

9) Saint Mary’s, Creighton, Virginia Tech, St. Bonaventure

10) Notre Dame, NC State, Missouri, UCLA

11) USC, San Diego State, Louisville, Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida State

12) Western Kentucky, Loyola-Chicago*, South Dakota State*, Charleston*

13) UL-Lafayette, Buffalo, Vermont, Bucknell*

14) Murray State*, NC-Greensboro*, New Mexico State, Iona*

15) Wright State*, Montana, Stephen F Austin, Lipscomb*

16) Harvard, LIU-Brooklyn*, Radford*, Texas Southern, UC Irvine, Hampton

Last four byes...Notre Dame, UCLA, Missouri, USC

Last four in...Oklahoma, Florida State, Alabama, Louisville

First Four Out...Middle Tennessee, Texas, Penn State, Arizona State

Next Four Out...Marquette, Baylor, Syracuse, Oklahoma State

Update - Friday, Mar. 9

We’re at the end of the road for our “Bracketology” updates this season, as Selection Sunday looms this weekend. Thursday action provided the latest opportunity to update our projected field, with several developments.

Boise State was at the top of the list of teams that hurt themselves on Thursday; the Broncos are now NIT-bound after the Mountain West quartefinal loss to Utah State. Middle Tennessee has put its bid in serious jeopardy by getting KO’d in the Conference USA quarters.

The likes of Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas, Notre Dame, Louisville, and Marquette had chances at big wins, and while losses to their power team foes don’t necessarily hurt their profiles, given the timing they were huge opportunities missed.

The biggest winner of Thursday was probably Alabama, which actually notched a road/neutral quality win over Texas A&M (in thrilling fashion) at the SEC Tourney to stay on the cut-line.

Providence was not in as much risk as 'Bama but nonetheless should have cemented its place in the field of 68 with a Big East Tourney win over Creighton.

Meanwhile, UCLA and Southern Cal avoided potential damaging losses in the Pac-12 Tourney, which was as good as either side could have done on Thursday.

Potential bid thieves are still alive in many remaining tourneys save the ACC, Big East, and Big 12, and any ongoing low-major tourneys. But into Friday, bid thieves still lurk in the Pac-12, SEC, A-10, American, Conference USA, and the Mountain West.

To finish our ongoing Big Dance projections, one final look at how we believe the eventual seeds are going to sort out, as we see them on the evening of March 8. Teams with auto-bids as of Thursday night are noted by an *.

Seed Projections 1-16

1) Virginia, Xavier, Villanova, Duke

2) Kansas, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Michigan*

3) North Carolina, Purdue, Tennessee, Gonzaga*

4) Arizona, Texas Tech, Auburn, Wichita State

5) Florida, Clemson, Ohio State, West Virginia

6) Nevada, Kentucky, Miami-Florida, Houston

7) Butler, Kansas State, Arkansas, Rhode Island

8) TCU, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, St. Bonaventure

9) Saint Mary’s, Creighton, Virginia Tech, Providence

10) Notre Dame, NC State, Missouri, UCLA

11) USC, Louisville, Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida State, Middle Tennessee

12) Western Kentucky, Loyola-Chicago*, South Dakota State*, Charleston*

13) UL-Lafayette, Buffalo, Vermont, Bucknell*

14) Murray State*, NC-Greensboro*, New Mexico State, Iona*

15) Wright State*, Montana, UCSB, Lipscomb*

16) Harvard, LIU-Brooklyn*, Radford*, Texas Southern, Nicholls, North Carolina A&T

Last four byes...Notre Dame, UCLA, Louisville, USC

Last four in...Oklahoma, Florida State, Alabama, Middle Tennessee

First Four Out...Oklahoma State, Texas, Penn State, Arizona State

Next Four Out...Marquette, Baylor, Syracuse, Mississippi State

  
HEADLINES
· Barrett helps Duke win Canadian finale
· Duke says G Alex O'Connell injured
· Feds to review Ohio State response
· Barrett drops 34 in Duke exhibition debut
· UConn greats expect program to climb
· Court dismisses Pitino lawsuit vs. Adidas
· Wake AD sits 'tight' with coach in limbo
· Coach K: No 'plan of execution' for reforms
· Parents of victim say condolences late
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAA BK College Basketball Expert Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2017 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 6267
Antony Dinero + 2956
Kyle Hunter + 2411
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Marc Lawrence 58 %
Joe Nelson 57 %
Bruce Marshall 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2773
Jimmy Boyd + 1758
Micah Roberts + 1439
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 5769
Micah Roberts + 3736
Kyle Hunter + 3448
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 3822
Antony Dinero + 3380
Bill Marzano + 1479
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership