This is it: championship week.
With Selection Sunday just days away, teams will have their last chance to impress the committee in their conference tournaments.
We've already seen upsets in some of the smaller conferences, with favorites Middle Tennessee and Iona going down before capturing an automatic bid. While these teams sport gaudy records, there's not much meat on their résumés. Therefore, they have very little chance, if any, of securing an at-large bid, so there will be no bid-stealing in those leagues.
There was nearly a bid stolen in the Ohio Valley until Murray State was able to overcome another stiff test by Tennessee State. Illinois State almost played spoiler before Creighton edged out the Redbirds in the Missouri Valley final.
So bubble teams can rest easy for now. There are still plenty of spots up for grabs. Unfortunately.
As always, I am not trying to guess how teams will finish the year. I am simply seeding them based on their current résumés.
I like to break teams down into three categories:
1. Wallflowers are bubble teams because everyone wants to go to the big dance, but not all have the guts to ask a girl out on the dance floor;
2. Elite teams that are safely in the field are dancing with a hottie;
3. In the middle are the schools that are dancing with their sister.
But in this final week, I have removed the "Dancing with their Sister" level, because at this point, you're either in or fighting for your life.
Last year, I had the most accurate bracket projections in the country, correctly predicting 67 of 68 teams and once again finishing way ahead of ESPN's Joe Lunardi.
I'll begin with the first two at-large bid games:
(12a) Texas vs. (12d) Saint Louis
(12b) Dayton vs. (12c) California
First 10 teams out: South Florida, Oregon, Tennessee, Mississippi State, NC State, Xavier, VCU, Iona, UCF, Middle Tennessee
The projections are presented in slideshow format, with slides consisting of the major conferences. First up is the ACC.