ACC Basketball

Here Come My Brackets

Andrew Shurtleff / AP

With Notre Dame falling to Syracuse, Kansas losing yet again, I’m willing to argue the top eight are just about locked in stone.

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

Go ahead and take all the starters you want, it only makes Virginia stronger. I don’t even care if they drop another game on the road at Syracuse or Louisville, the Cavaliers still deserve the top spot in the East. The Wildcats are for real after crushing Providence, the 22nd best team in the RPI, by 28 points. Since February 7, they’ve beaten four teams in the RPI’s top-25 and none have been competitive.

With their big home win over Wisconsin, the Terrapins move all the way to the 3-seed. Seem high? It’s not. Maryland is 6-3 against the top-50 and their worst loss was to Illinois (59th in the RPI). The Sooners beat out Wichita State because the last four top-40 teams they’ve faced, they’ve beaten.

MIDWEST REGION
1. Kentucky
2. Wisconsin
3. Northern Iowa
4. Notre Dame

Kentucky…overall number one seed. Done. Joe Lunardi has finally caught up to my amazing thinking and moved Wisconsin out of the South and into the Midwest where I’ve had them for weeks. Northern Iowa doesn’t have the resume yet to earn the 3-seed, but if they take care of business against Wichita State (which I expect to happen) and then win their conference tournament (which I expect to happen), then the three seed will be theirs. The Fighting Irish lost a tough one at home, which is typically not a huge deal, but when you have their awful NCSOS and a low RPI, a home loss hurts a bit.

SOUTH REGION
1. Duke
2. Kansas
3. Utah
4. Baylor

If the Blue Devils would have lost to Virginia Tech Wednesday night, they would have fallen out of the top spot. This is risky, because as the two-seed, they can’t go to the east with Virginia, but could get stuck in the Midwest with Kentucky. Kansas has fallen out of the number one spot in the RPI, as they have dropped three of five, including a rough one to Kansas State.

The road loss to Oregon will sting Utah, because it hurts their chances at winning their conference regular season title outright. Yet, all will be forgiven if they take out Arizona at home on March 5. Baylor has won three straight, including a big one at Iowa State. Huge.

WEST REGION
1. Gonzaga
2. Arizona
3. Iowa State
4. Louisville

Don’t discount the Bulldogs win at St. Mary’s, improving to 8-1 against the top-50. However, if Arizona beats Utah on the road, I might have to consider swapping them and Gonzaga, not that it really matters much. The home loss to Oklahoma is not helpful, but the Cyclones still have 13 games against the top-50, winning eight of them. In my heart I truly believe a fifth ACC team will be a 4-seed or higher. With Louisville’s win at Georgia Tech and the Tar Heels losing five of seven, I have to give it to the Cardinals, but I still believe when it’s all said and done, North Carolina will finish higher.

MY FULL NCAA TOURNAMENT LIST

ACC Big EastBig 12Big Ten
Virginia*
Duke
Notre Dame
North Carolina
Louisville
NC State
Villanova*
Georgetown
Butler
Providence
St. John's
Xavier
Kansas*
Oklahoma
Iowa St.
Baylor
West Virginia
Wisconsin*
Maryland
Ohio State
Michigan St.
Iowa
Purdue
SECPac 12West CoastAtlantic 10
Kentucky*
Arkansas
Mississippi
Texas A&M
Georgia
Arizona*
Utah
Oregon
UCLA
Gonzaga*
BYU
Saint Mary's
Dayton*
Davidson
Rhode Island
VCU
AACMissouri ValleyMid AmericanMountain West
SMU*
Cincinnati
Temple
Wichita St.*
Northern Iowa
Buffalo*Boise State*
San Diego St.
Colorado St.
Big WestHorizonIvy LeagueC. USA
UC Davis*Valparaiso*Harvard*Louisiana Tech*
ColonialMetro AtlanticSun BeltSummit
William & Mary*Iona*Georgia St.*S. Dakota St.*
Ohio ValleyPatriotBig SouthSouthern
Murray St.*Bucknell*High Point*Wofford*
Big SkySouthlandNortheastAmerican East
Sacramento St.*Stephen F. Austin*St. Francis NY*Albany*
Atlantic SunWACMid-EasternSouthwestern
North Florida*New Mexico St.*N.C. Central*Texas Southern*
JUST MISS THE CUT IN THE ACC:
Miami, Pittsburgh

* Automatic bid

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