The third edition of Bauertology is here. The bracket has a new look from last week, as Kentucky’s win over Tennessee dropped the Volunteers from the No. 2 overall seed to the No. 4 overall seed. When shake-ups like this occur at the top of the bracket, things often change dramatically, as we see here. There’s no doubt that bracketology is a complex process, but let’s take a look at the newest Bauertology projections anyway.
EAST (Washington, D.C.)
1 Duke vs. 16 Canisius / Saint Francis PA
8 Baylor vs. 9 Ohio State
5 Wisconsin vs. 12 Seton Hall / Utah State
4 LSU vs. 13 Hofstra
6 Maryland vs. 11 Temple / Arizona State
3 Marquette vs. 14 Old Dominion
7 Cincinnati vs. 10 TCU
2 Michigan vs. 15 Montana
MIDWEST (Kansas City)
1 Tennessee vs. 16 Bucknell
8 Washington vs. 9 Syracuse
5 Louisville vs. 12 Belmont
4 Nevada vs. 13 Yale
6 Iowa vs. 11 UCF
3 Kansas vs. 14 Texas State
7 Auburn vs. 10 Oklahoma
2 Michigan State vs. 15 UC Irvine
1 Virginia vs. 16 Sam Houston State
8 Texas vs. 9 Ole Miss
5 Virginia Tech vs. 12 Liberty
4 Iowa State vs. 13 South Dakota State
6 Kansas State vs. 11 Minnesota
3 Houston vs. 14 Northern Kentucky
7 Buffalo vs. 10 St. John's
2 Kentucky vs. 15 Loyola Chicago
Salt Lake City
1 Gonzaga vs. 16 Norfolk State / Prairie View A&M
8 Wofford vs. 9 NC State
Salt Lake City
5 Florida State vs. 12 New Mexico State
4 Texas Tech vs. 13 Vermont
6 Villanova vs. 11 Florida
3 Purdue vs. 14 Bowling Green
7 Mississippi State vs. 10 VCU
2 North Carolina vs. 15 Radford
Last Four Byes: TCU, UCF, Minnesota, Florida
Last Four In: Temple, Arizona State, Seton Hall, Utah State
First Four Out: Clemson, Alabama, Lipscomb, Furman
Next Four Out: Butler, San Francisco, Nebraska, Indiana
Even with the loss to North Carolina, Duke remains the No. 1 overall team. This is largely due to the fact that Duke defeated the No. 2 overall team, Virginia, twice during the regular season. However, if Zion Williamson decides to sit out the rest of the season after Wednesday night’s shoe incident, the Blue Devils may have to adjust to life without him, which would be a huge damper on the tournament hopes.
The Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC are all projected to have eight teams in the tournament at the moment. The Big Ten’s hopes of having 10 participants are looking shot, while the ACC could still earn nine bids if Clemson can reverse its losing ways.
The bubble has one spot more in breathing room after Davidson’s most recent loss, handing the Atlantic 10 auto-bid to at-large contender VCU. Because of it, fresh faces that have never been projected in the tournament before, like Temple, Arizona State and Utah State, are all within the last four teams in. Despite this fact, the bubble continues to grow weaker, as teams like Indiana and Nebraska reside in “next four out” territory, even though their tournament hopes are falling fast. By the time the final whistle has blown on Selection Sunday, we may end up with a very clear idea of who should be included in March Madness and should be sent to the NIT.
A potential matchup to look out for in this projection is the possible second-round game between Gonzaga and Wofford. These two teams have been two of the best mid-major teams all year, and neither has dropped a conference game yet. Although Gonzaga has a more well-rounded roster with the likes of Brandon Clarke, Rui Hachimura and Zach Norvell, Wofford’s secret weapon Fletcher Magee can use his shooting prowess to keep the Terriers afloat. Should Wofford and Gonzaga meet in the tournament, it would be one exciting game for fans of teams outside of the major conferences.
That’s it for this week’s edition of Bauertology. There’s still plenty of basketball to go before Selection Sunday arrives, so check back in next Thursday for another update.
DJ Bauer is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.