2023 NCAA Tournament Bracketology Predictions

Bracketology Predictions

2023 NCAA Tournament Futures Odds

Enjoy the Big 12-SEC Challenge this weekend while you can; next year, the SEC swaps out the Big 12 for the ACC for this late-midseason showcase, though Texas and Oklahoma won’t have to wait long before rejoining the fun in a couple of years.

Regardless the composition of the power leagues involved, this late-January Challenge is always the last significant dose of inter-sectionals that we will see before Selection Sunday.

Come then, and a couple of these Saturday matchups might have bearing upon seeding for the Big Dance, as well as possible cut-line implications for sides that could probably use one more high-profile win on their resume’. 

With that in mind, here a couple of Big 12-SEC Challenge matchups with bracket implications.

Bracket Busters - Big 12 vs. SEC

Kansas at Kentucky

Saturday - ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET

What a difference a couple of weeks can make!  In mid-January, Kansas was riding high at No. 2 in the polls and Kentucky was likely sitting on the wrong side of the cut-line.  Two weeks later, and the Jayhawks are sliding, with three losses in a row and now technically sitting in sixth place in the crowded Big 12, while Coach Cal’s Cats have caught an updraft with four wins in a row, including a couple of good ones vs. Tennessee and Texas A&M.   

Our latest bracket projections below reflect these recent developments, as we have moved Kentucky off of the play-in line and into safer territory on the 11-line (with the arrow pointing upward), while the Jayhawks have fallen to the 3-line. A loss at Rupp Arena would look even more ominous for Bill Self’s bunch, which is staring at Kansas State-Iowa State-Texas immediately lined up in the queue.  If the Jayhawks aren’t careful, they could fall a couple of more seed lines by Lincoln’s Birthday. 

Alabama and freshman Brandon Miller will be tested at Oklahoma on Saturday. (Getty)

Alabama at Oklahoma

Saturday - ESPN, 2:00 p.m. ET

Nate Oats suggests that was a wake-up call for his high-flying Tide at midweek, when Bama was sleepwalking thru the first half and would finally jar itself awake just in time to avert what would have been a significant upset at the hands of Mississippi State, which had lost seven of eight previously.  But this Challenge matchup has far more implications for Porter Moser’s Sooners, who have fallen out of many bracket projections across the past two weeks and looking like a potential casualty of the deep and rugged Big 12.  A win here by OU would go a long to toward reviving its Selection Sunday prospects.  

Florida at Kansas State

Saturday - ESPN2, 6:00 p.m. ET

Though still not yet appearing in bracket projections, we have the Gators moving closer to the cut-line with wins in five of their last six.  Still time for Todd Golden’s bunch to make a legit case to the Selection Committee in what shapes up as the biggest week of the season for Florida, with back-to-back cracks at two top five teams (K-State on Saturday, Tennessee on Wednesday) in a four-day span, followed by Kentucky next Saturday.  If the Gators can score the upset at Manhattan and do no worse than split their next two, they will set themselves up nicely for a legit run at an at-large berth into the SEC Tourney.  

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Bracketology Seed Predictions

Projections as of January 26, 2023

  1. Houston, Purdue, Alabama, Tennessee
  2. UCLA, Arizona,  Xavier, Iowa State
  3. Kansas, Texas, Kansas State, Virginia
  4. Gonzaga, Baylor, Marquette, TCU
  5. Miami-Fl, Illinois, North Carolina, Providence
  6. Auburn, Rutgers, St Mary’s, Michigan State 
  7. UConn, Arkansas, Clemson, Creighton
  8. NC State, Charleston, Florida Atlantic, San Diego State
  9. Duke, Missouri, Pitt, Arizona State
  10. Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky
  11. Boise State, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, USC
  12. Oral Roberts, Kent State, New Mexico*, Nevada*, Memphis*, Wake Forest*
  13. Southern Illinois, Princeton, Marshall, Liberty
  14. UC Santa Barbara, Colgate, Samford, Seattle
  15. SIU-Edwardsville, Eastern Washington, Iona, Milwaukee
  16. UNC-Asheville, Vermont, Howard*, Southern U*, Fairleigh Dickinson*, SE Louisiana*  
Updated on 07/24/2024
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Last Four In...

New Mexico, Nevada, Memphis, Wake Forest

First Four Out...

Northwestern, Penn State, West Virginia, Maryland

Next Four Out...

Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, Florida 

Bracketology Conference Big Predicitions

  • ACC: 8
  • SEC: 7
  • Big Ten: 7
  • Big 12: 6
  • Big East: 5
  • Mountain West: 4
  • Pac-12: 4
  • West Coast: 2

In this Week: Memphis
Out this Week: Oklahoma

Biggest Movers Since Last Update:

January 18 - Bracketology Update

  • Kansas (1 to 3)
  • Gonzaga (2 to 4)
  • NC State (6 to 8)
  • Arizona State (7 to 9)
  • Iowa (8 to 10)
  • New Mexico (10 to Play-in)
  • North Carolina (7 to 5)
  • San Diego State (11 to 9)
  • Indiana (Play-in to 10)
  • Kentucky (Play-in to 10)

Bracketology Teams to Watch

Northwestern

Conference: Big Ten
Record: 14-5 SU, 11-8 ATS
Futures Odds: +20000

We considered putting the Wildcats into the field after a couple of consecutive wins out of their recent Covid postponements, with a make-up date vs. Iowa on deck for next week. Though the break could also have proven a temporary refresh for Chris Collins’ Wildcats, whose at-large candidacy is still to be crafted by difficult upcoming slate beginning with the make-up game vs. the Hawkeyes next Wednesday and continuing all of the way to the Big Ten Tourney, with teams either safely on the right side of the cut-line or on the bubble the rest of the way after this weekend’s game vs. Minnesota.

Northwestern and Chris Collins need to pick up the pace to secure a NCAA bid. (Getty)

Saint Louis

Conference: Atlantic 10
Record: 14-6 SU, 10-10 ATS
Futures Odds: +50000

The A-10’s best chance to become a two-bid league likely rests with the Billikens, who are giving chase to loop leader VCU and bring a five-game win streak into Friday’s night’s tricky test at Davidson.  Non-conference wins over Memphis and Providence are aging well as the season progresses, and there are still a pair of games to go against the table-topping Rams, the first of those next Friday in St. Louis.