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Predicting the 2011 NCAA tournament field

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Updated Jan. 25, 2011

The format for the 2011 NCAA tournament gives us 37 at-large teams instead of 34, and four play-in games.

More Bracketology
Usually, we have a pretty good idea who at least one or two of the No. 1 seeds are going to be in the final bracket on Selection Sunday. This year, that's not really the case. Palm's Blog >>
Related links
Breaking down the bracket (Jan. 25)
Two of the "First Four" games will feature the four lowest-seeded teams in the field, and the other two will have the four lowest-rated at-large teams. The four lowest-rated teams will play to become 16-seeds, as they have in the past. The four at-large teams will play for a seed in the lower part of the bracket, wherever the last seeds would fit. Most of the time, it will likely fall into the 12- or 13-seed range.

Bracket projections are always based on "as if the tournament started today." I am not predicting how teams will finish the season.

The committee tries to place teams as close to home as possible without violating any of their other bracket rules (like conference separation). However, teams cannot play on their home floors or where they are the host school.

The conference "champion" is the team with the fewest conference losses, with ties broken by RPI. I am not predicting that team will win the league. It is just the current leader. As conference tournament seeding gets determined, the leader will be the highest remaining seed in the conference tournament.

Predicted Bracket
First Four
East Southeast Southwest West
16
16
Jackson State
Lamar
16
16
Long Beach
Bethune Cookman
11
11
Washington State
Oklahoma State
12
12
Miami (FL)
Gonzaga
East
1
16
Ohio State
First Four
Cleveland
March 18, 20
Newark
March 25, 27
8
9
St. John's
Virginia Tech
5
12
Cincinnati
Cleveland State
Tampa
March 17, 19
4
13
Missouri
VCU
6
11
Illinois
Kansas State
Chicago
March 18, 20
3
14
Notre Dame
Coastal Carolina
7
10
North Carolina
Arizona
Washington, DC
March 17, 19
2
15
Villanova
Fairfield
 
West
Anaheim
March 24, 26
Tucson
March 17, 19
San Diego State
Austin Peay
1
16
Florida State
Tennessee
8
9
Tucson
March 17, 19
Georgetown
First Four
5
12
Wisconsin
Utah State
4
13
Charlotte
March 18, 20
Vanderbilt
UCLA
6
11
Syracuse
Bucknell
3
14
Tulsa
March 18, 20
Michigan State
Marquette
7
10
Kansas
Maine
2
15
Final Four: Houston (April 2, 4)
Southwest
1
16
Duke
Long Island
Charlotte
March 18, 20
San Antonio
March 25, 27
8
9
UNLV
Georgia
5
12
West Virginia
Missouri State
Denver
March 17, 19
4
13
Texas A&M
Coll of Charleston
6
11
Florida
First Four
Chicago
March 18, 20
3
14
Purdue
Belmont
7
10
St. Mary's
Temple
Cleveland
March 18, 20
2
15
Pittsburgh
Ball State
 
Southeast
New Orleans
March 24, 26
Washington, DC
March 17, 19
Connecticut
First Four
1
16
Boston College
Old Dominion
8
9
Tampa
March 17, 19
Minnesota
Harvard
5
12
Kentucky
Oakland
4
13
Denver
March 17, 19
Washington
Memphis
6
11
BYU
Florida Atlantic
3
14
Tulsa
March 18, 20
Louisville
Xavier
7
10
Texas
Northern Colorado
2
15

Last four in: Gonzaga, Miami (FL), Oklahoma State, Washington State
First four out: Butler, Colorado State, Dayton, Richmond

Quick Breakdown
Conference Bids Conference Bids Conference Bids Conference Bids
ACC 6 Big 12 6 MEAC 1 Southern 1
America East 1 Big West 1 Missouri Valley 1 Southland 1
Atlantic Sun 1 Colonial 2 Mountain West 3 Summit 1
Atlantic 10 2 C-USA 1 Northeast 1 Sun Belt 1
Big East 11 Horizon 1 Ohio Valley 1 SWAC 1
Big Sky 1 Ivy 1 Pac-10 4 WAC 1
Big South 1 MAAC 1 Patriot 1 West Coast 2
Big Ten 6 MAC 1 SEC 5
Detailed Breakdown
ACC (6)
Projected champ: Duke
At-large: Boston College, Florida State, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Virginia Tech
On the fence: Clemson
 
AMERICA EAST (1)
Projected champ: Maine
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
ATLANTIC SUN (1)
Projected champ: Belmont
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
ATLANTIC 10 (2)
Projected champ: Xavier
At-large: Temple
On the fence: Dayton, Richmond
 
BIG EAST (11)
Projected champ: Pittsburgh
At-large: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, St. John's, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia
On the fence: None
 
BIG SKY (1)
Projected champ: Northern Colorado
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
BIG SOUTH (1)
Projected champ: Coastal Carolina
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
BIG TEN (6)
Projected champ: Ohio State
At-large: Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin
On the fence: None
 
BIG 12 (6)
Projected champ: Texas
At-large: Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M
On the fence: None
 
BIG WEST (1)
Projected champ: Long Beach
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
COLONIAL (2)
Projected champ: VCU
At-large: Old Dominion
On the fence: Drexel, George Mason
 
C-USA (1)
Projected champ: Memphis
At-large: None
On the fence: UCF
 
HORIZON (1)
Projected champ: Cleveland State
At-large: None
On the fence: Butler
 
IVY (1)
Projected champ: Harvard
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
MAAC (1)
Projected champ: Fairfield
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
MAC (1)
Projected champ: Ball State
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
MEAC (1)
Projected champ: Bethune Cookman
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
MISSOURI VALLEY (1)
Projected champ: Missouri State
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
MOUNTAIN WEST (3)
Projected champ: BYU
At-large: San Diego State, UNLV
On the fence: Colorado State
 
NORTHEAST (1)
Projected champ: Long Island
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
OHIO VALLEY (1)
Projected champ: Austin Peay
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
PAC-10 (4)
Projected champ: Washington
At-large: Arizona, UCLA, Washington State
On the fence: None
 
PATRIOT (1)
Projected champ: Bucknell
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
SEC (5)
Projected champ: Florida
At-large: Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
On the fence: South Carolina
 
SOUTHERN (1)
Projected champ: Coll of Charleston
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
SOUTHLAND (1)
Projected champ: Lamar
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
SUMMIT (1)
Projected champ: Oakland
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
SUN BELT (1)
Projected champ: Florida Atlantic
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
SWAC (1)
Projected champ: Jackson State
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
WAC (1)
Projected champ: Utah State
At-large: None
On the fence: None
 
WEST COAST (2)
Projected champ: St. Mary's
At-large: Gonzaga
On the fence: None
 
 
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