ACC Basketball

Final NCAA Tournament Predictions

Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Here are my final predictions for the NCAA Tournament. Here is where I believe all ACC teams will be seeded in the Big Dance, plus the top-four seeds in each region and a list of all 68 teams in the field.

ACC SEEDING

Duke will get the 1-seed in the South Region
They didn’t win the regular season or the conference tournament, but I don’t think the committee can overlook the team with the best wins, including a pair over two potential one seeds (Wisconsin & Virginia), both on the road.

Virginia will get the 2-seed in the East Region
As I stated yesterday, I think the Cavaliers, based on a solid SOS and a full season resume, deserve the top seed. However, I think the committee is begging for a reason to put Wisconsin and Villanova first in a region. I think the Badgers go out west, the Wildcats get the top-seed in the East, while Virginia will have to settle for the two-seed up in Syracuse.

Notre Dame will get the 3-seed in the Midwest Region
Despite winning the ACC Tournament, the Irish’s SOS is too weak to move up beyond a three-seed and because location means more to the committer than any other factor, Notre Dame gets stuck in the same bracket as Kentucky, although they wouldn’t face them until the Elite 8. For the record, I have Gonzaga holding the two-seed in this region.

North Carolina will get the 4-seed in the West Region
A win against Notre Dame might have moved them to a three-seed, but no matter what I have the Tar Heels going out west in what could be the toughest region. I got Wisconsin (assuming they beat Maryland on Sunday) getting the one, Arizona getting the two. Two spots back you’ll find UNC.

Louisville will get the 5-seed in the Midwest Region
The Cardinals are tough team to place, but I like them at the five, but will join Notre Dame in the midwest, without an outside shot at the four.

NC State gets the 8-seed in the East Region
The Wolfpack are a lock for either an 8/9 seed and those two are basically the same, as they’ll have to face the 1-seed (in this case Villanova) in the “real” second round (sorry, I can’t stand the first four).

TOP-FOUR SEEDS BY REGION

EAST REGION
1. Villanova
2. Virginia
3. Maryland
4. West Virginia

While Villanova doesn’t have the truly great wins this season, they have plenty of top-50 victoies. Of course I wouldn’t be shocked if the committee simply swapped them with Virginia as well. The Terps could earn a possible two-seed if they beat Wisconsin today, but I think they would prefer a 3-seed in the East. West Virginia is one of five Big 12 teams to earn a 4-seed or higher.

MIDWEST REGION
1. Kentucky
2. Gonzaga
3. Iowa State
4. Utah

Obviously Kentucky is the top overall team. ESPN has Kansas as the two-seed, but that seems too cruel to make the Wildcats potentially face two teams they’ve already beaten in the second weekend (I have Louisville as the 5-seed) Gonzaga to the South is the popular pick, but when has the committee ever done what was popular? As for the Cyclones, they stay close to home, while Utah fights off Louisville and Wichita State for the final 4-spot.

SOUTH REGION
1. Duke
2. Kansas
3. Northern Iowa
4. Baylor

Duke gets the top seed, but this is a tough bracket. Kansas has the toughest SOS, while Baylor would be playing semi-home games in the tournament’s second weekend. Northern Iowa could really go anywhere, so I filled them in last and the south was the final spot to fill on my bracket.

WEST REGION
1. Wisconsin
2. Arizona
3. Oklahoma
4. North Carolina

Wisconsin gets the top seed, despite the lack of great wins, but Arizona gets to stay closer to home. The Sooners have played the toughest schedule of all these teams, while Carolina gets both a tough region and a tough trip across country.

ALL 68 TOURNAMENT TEAMS

Here are my final “field of 68″ predictions. My first four out are Indiana, Miami, UConn (if they lose to SMU today) and Murray State.

Atlantic Coast Conference
Notre Dame*
Duke
Virginia
North Carolina
Louisville
NC State

Big 12 Conference
Iowa State*
Kansas
Oklahoma
Baylor
West Virginia
Texas

Big East Conference
Villanova*
Georgetown
Butler
Providence
St. John’s

Big Ten Conference
Wisconsin*
Maryland
Michigan St.
Iowa
Purdue

Southeastern Conference
Kentucky*
Arkansas
Georgia
LSU
Mississippi

Pac 12 Conference
Arizona*
Utah
Oregon
UCLA

West Coast Conference
Gonzaga*
BYU

Atlantic 10 Conference
VCU*
Davidson
Dayton
Rhode Island

American Athletic Conference
SMU*
Cincinnati
Temple

Mid American Conference
Buffalo*

Missouri Valley Conference
Northern Iowa*
Wichita St.

Mountain West Conference
Wyoming*
San Diego St.
Boise St.
Colorado St.

Big West Conference
UC Irvine*

Ivy League
Harvard*

Horizon League
Valparaiso*

Southwestern Athletic Conference
Texas Southern*

Conference USA
UAB*

Colonial Athletic Association
Northeastern*

Sun Belt Conference
Georgia St or Georgia Southern*

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Manhattan*

Summit League
North Dakota State*

Ohio Valley Conference
Belmont*

Patriot League
Lafayette*

Big South Conference
Coastal Carolina*

Southern Conference
Wofford*

Big Sky Conference
Eastern Washington*

Southland Conference
Stephen F. Austin*

Northeast Conference
Robert Morris*

America East Conference
Albany*

Atlantic Sun Conference
North Florida*

Western Athletic Conference
New Mexico State*

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Hampton*

Southwestern Athletic Conference
Texas Southern*

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