Sunday, January 08, 2017

W-9 BP68

With a full and healthy roster, I don't think there are a lot of questions that Duke has the most talented team in the nation. Of course, they might never be truly healthy and together all season long. Just as the freshmen are starting to get back to full strength, Amile Jefferson went down with an injury yesterday of unknown severity, and Grayson Allen might face yet another suspension for tripping. And Coach K will be out for at least a few more weeks. There is still plenty of time for Duke to get back on track, but at this point I have to drop them as the #1 overall projected seed. The ACC is just too good at the top to do otherwise.

There were three other changes to the Field of 68 this week. California moves in for Texas A&M. Two auto bid projections changed as well. Oakland is the new Horizon League favorite (replacing Valparaiso) and New Orleans is the new Southland favorite (replacing Stephen F Austin).

Capitalized teams are projected automatic bid winners. Remember that this is a projection of what the bracket will look like on Selection Sunday, and not a measure of where teams would be if the season ended now:

1. KENTUCKY (SEC)
1. VILLANOVA (BIG EAST)
1. KANSAS (BIG 12)
1. DUKE (ACC)

2. North Carolina
2. WISCONSIN (BIG TEN)
2. Virginia
2. Baylor

3. GONZAGA (WCC)
3. ARIZONA (PAC-12)
3. West Virginia
3. Louisville

4. Purdue
4. UCLA
4. Butler
4. Creighton

5. WICHITA STATE (MISSOURI VALLEY)
5. Oregon
5. Florida
5. Xavier

6. Indiana
6. CINCINNATI (AAC)
6. Florida State
6. Iowa State

7. Notre Dame
7. Saint Mary's
7. Clemson
7. SMU

8. South Carolina
8. USC
8. Michigan
8. Virginia Tech

9. Arkansas
9. Minnesota
9. Miami-Florida
9. DAYTON (ATLANTIC TEN)

10. Texas Tech
10. Kansas State
10. Maryland
10. Michigan State

11. Rhode Island
11. TCU
11. Houston
11. Ohio State

12. MIDDLE TENNESSEE (CONFERENCE USA)
12. Oklahoma State
12. California
12. UNC-WILMINGTON (COLONIAL)
12. NEVADA (MOUNTAIN WEST)
12. TEXAS-ARLINGTON (SUN BELT)

13. EAST TENNESSEE ST (SOCON)
13. OAKLAND (HORIZON)
13. FORT WAYNE (SUMMIT)
13. AKRON (MAC)

14. MONMOUTH (MAAC)
14. PRINCETON (IVY LEAGUE)
14. FLORIDA GULF COAST (ATLANTIC SUN)
14. NEW MEXICO STATE (WAC)

15. VERMONT (AMERICA EAST)
15. LEHIGH (PATRIOT)
15. BELMONT (OVC)
15. WINTHROP (BIG SOUTH)

16. LONG BEACH STATE (BIG WEST)
16. WEBER STATE (BIG SKY)
16. NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL (MEAC)
16. NEW ORLEANS (SOUTHLAND)
16. TEXAS SOUTHERN (SWAC)
16. WAGNER (NEC)

Teams seriously considered that just missed the cut:
North Carolina St, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, VCU, Marquette, Seton Hall, Northwestern, Texas A&M

Other teams with a decent shot, but that need to improve their resume:
UCF, Memphis, Syracuse, St. Bonaventure, Providence, Illinois, Nebraska, Illinois St, Colorado, Utah, Georgia, Tennessee, BYU

Other teams I'm keeping my eye on, but that need to dramatically improve their resume:
Temple, Davidson, La Salle, St. Joseph's, Georgetown, Iowa, Penn St, Oklahoma, Texas, Charleston, Valparaiso, Evansville, Boise St, New Mexico, San Diego St, Arizona St, Stanford, Washington, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Vanderbilt, Chattanooga

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