Bracketology Predictions 2012: Seed and Region Projections for All 68 Teams

T.J. McaloonContributorMarch 7, 2012

LEXINGTON, KY - FEBRUARY 18:  Marquis Teague #25 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball during the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Rupp Arena on February 18, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NCAA Tournament field is starting to fill out as teams are punching their dance tickets every night by winning their conference tournament. There have been 14 teams that have already secured their spots in the field of 68 teams all vying for the chance to play for the NCAA College Basketball Championship. 

However, selection Sunday is just a few days away, so we do not know where teams will be seeded. 

Here is a breakdown of who may go where when the tournament starts on March 15th. 

EAST (Boston)

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 11:  Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange talks with (in uniform L-R) Scoop Jardine #11, Brandon Triche #20, C.J. Fair #5, Baye Moussa Keita #12 and Kris Joseph #32 during a timeout against the Villanova Wildcats at the
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

No. 1 Syracuse vs. No. 16 Western Kentucky/Stony Brook

No. 8 New Mexico vs. No. 9 Southern Miss. 

No. 5 Temple vs. No. 12 Brigham Young 

No. 4 UNLV vs. No. 13 Long Beach St. 

No. 6 Iowa St. vs. No. 11 South Florida

No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 14 Nevada

No. 7 New Mexico vs. No. 10 West Virginia 

No. 2 North Carolina vs. No. 15 Davidson

In this bracket the top seed goes to the Syracuse Orange of the Big East. They will win their conference tournament and will be rewarded with the opportunity of opening their quest to the top of the NCAA college basketball world in Pittsburgh, then Boston before playing in the Final Four at New Orleans. 

However, the sleeper team in this bracket is the UNLV Rebels. 

They are ranked 20th in the ESPN/USA Today rankings and have an RPI of 14. They own six wins over teams ranked in the top 50 of the RPI, including a victory over the No. 2 seed in this bracket, North Carolina. 

But, in the end the winner out of the East will be Syracuse. 

MIDWEST (St. Louis)

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 25:  Head coach Bill Self of the Kansas Jayhawks reacts from the bench during the game against the Missouri Tigers on February 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 UNC-Asheville 

No. 8 Connecticut vs. No. 9 Virginia 

No. 5 Murray St. vs. No. 12 Drexel 

No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 Akron

No. 6 Notre Dame vs. No. 11 Harvard

No. 3 Georgetown vs. No. 14 Bucknell

No. 7 Kansas St. vs. No. 10 Washington

No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 15 Detroit 

This will be the hardest bracket to choose a winner from. 

For starters you have a deep pool of teams, with 10 teams in the RPI’s top 50 and two of the best mid-majors that may enter the tournament playing each other in the first round between Murray St. and Drexel. 

Plus, there are some interesting matchups in the first round with Notre Dame versus Harvard and Michigan versus Detroit in Columbus, Ohio. Then in the second round there is the potential of seeing the defending champion, Connecticut, facing off against Kansas and a Big East conference meeting in Pittsburgh between Georgetown and Notre Dame. 

The winner—or survivor—of this bracket could be No. 12 Drexel, but will more than likely be No. 4 Wisconsin. 

SOUTH (Atlanta)

LEXINGTON, KY - FEBRUARY 18:  Marquis Teague #25 and Doron Lamb #20 of the Kentucky Wildcats  celebrate during the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Rupp Arena on February 18, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 16 LIU Brooklyn/Savannah St.

No. 8 Purdue vs. No. 9 Alabama 

No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 12 Xavier/Northwestern 

No. 4 Baylor vs. No. 13 Belmont 

No. 6 St. Mary’s vs. No. 11 South Dakota St.

No. 3 Michigan St. vs. No. 14 Virginia Commonwealth 

No. 7 Gonzaga vs. No. 10 Cincinnati

No. 2 Missouri vs. No. 15 Montana

This bracket features the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Kentucky. This bracket, much like the NCAA Tournament, is the Wildcats' to lose. They have the most talented team, have a record of 30-1 and should be able to cruise through this bracket to the Final Four. 

However, the surprise team in this bracket will be either No. 10 Cincinnati or No. 4 Baylor. 

Baylor is a top-10 RPI team and has won eight of its last 12 games. Cincinnati may have an RPI outside of the top 50, but it has six wins over teams in the top 50 of the RPI and has seven wins in its last nine games. 

But, in the end, Kentucky wins the South Region. 

WEST (Phoenix) 

DURHAM, NC - MARCH 03:  Seth Curry #30 of the Duke Blue Devils drives to the basket on James Michael McAdoo #43 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 3, 2012 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lec
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 16 Mississippi Valley State

No. 8 Memphis vs. No. 9 Creighton 

No. 5 Florida St. vs. No. 12 Colorado St. 

No. 4 Florida vs. No. 13 Seton Hall/Texas 

No. 6 Vanderbilt vs. No. 11 California 

No. 3 Indiana vs. No. 14 Valparaiso 

No. 7 San Diego St. vs. No. 10 St. Louis 

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Texas-Arlington

The West Region is tough, in that there isn’t a clear-cut favorite. There are four possible favorites who could make a run to the Final Four: Duke, Ohio State, Indiana and Florida. 

However, this field is deep with sleepers who could string together four or five tournament wins to make the Final Four: California, Seton Hall, Texas or Florida State. 

But, the team that will make its way to New Orleans to play in the Final Four will be THE Ohio State Buckeyes. 

The Final Four will consist of two great games of Kentucky vs. Ohio State and Syracuse vs. Wisconsin. From there it looks like Kentucky will play Syracuse in the final game with Kentucky cutting down the nets in the end.