Bracketology, January 6: Who Is On The Bubble Early In The New Year?
This bracketology will evaluate teams based on how they have performed to this point in the season. It will not factor in how they are projected to do in the rest of the season. Teams that are currently in first place in their respective conference will be given an automatic bid from that conference. A conference in parentheses next to a team indicates a conference champion.
With the 68-team format, there will now be four play-in games. There will be two play-in games for the bottom four at-large teams, and two play-in games for the bottom four conference tournament winners who earned at-large bids.
The four play-in games are labeled "Play-In No. 1," "Play-In No. 2," "Play-In No. 3" and "Play-In No. 4." These four games will be listed at the bottom after all the seedings are given. The winners of each of these four play-in games will be seeded in the spots given.
Also, I am now adding in the actual matchups that would make up the bracket. These can be seen after all the seedings are listed.
No. 1 Seeds
Duke (ACC), Ohio State (Big Ten), Kansas (Big 12), Pittsburgh (Big East)
Duke moved to 14-0 with a win over UAB on Wednesday. Duke returns to ACC action on Sunday when it hosts Maryland.
Ohio State won a pair of road games to start Big Ten play at 2-0. The Buckeyes host Minnesota on Sunday.
Kansas finished off an easy stretch with a win over UMKC. The Jayhawks play three of their next four games on the road.
Pittsburgh survived a close game at Providence to move to 2-0 in Big East play.
No. 2 Seeds
Syracuse, Villanova, San Diego State (Mountain West), Kentucky (SEC)
Syracuse moved to 2-0 against top 25 teams with a win over Notre Dame.
Villanova picked up its seventh straight win with a 81-65 victory over Rutgers to open Big East play. Tonight, the Wildcats play at South Florida.
San Diego State opened up Mountain West play with a win over Texas Christian. The Aztecs play at Utah on Saturday.
Kentucky took care of a tough fight from Penn on Monday night. The Wildcats open up play against Georgia on Saturday.
No. 3 Seeds
Purdue, Missouri, Michigan State, Connecticut
Purdue has won nine straight games since losing to Richmond.
Missouri has won each of its last seven games by double digits. The Tigers open Big 12 play on Saturday at Colorado.
Michigan State has won four of its last five games. The Spartans look to move to 3-0 in the Big Ten at Penn State on Saturday.
Connecticut has dropped two of its last three games. The Huskies will get one more chance for another key OOC win when they play at Texas on Saturday.
No. 4 Seeds
Illinois, Brigham Young, Notre Dame, Texas
Illinois ended a two-game slide with wins over Iowa and Wisconsin.
Brigham Young took care of a tough UNLV team to win its fifth straight game. The Cougars will host Air Force on Saturday in their second Mountain West game.
Notre Dame has won five of its last six games. The Fighting Irish host a tough St. John's squad on Saturday.
Texas has won six straight games. This streak will be on the line when the Longhorns host Connecticut on Saturday.
No. 5 Seeds
Washington (Pac-10), Wisconsin, Kansas State, Georgetown
Washington has won four straight games including a pair of road wins to open up Pac-10 play. The Huskies play their next two games at home against Oregon and Oregon State.
Wisconsin's winning streak ended with a loss to Illinois, but the Badgers rebounded with a win over Michigan.
Kansas State rebounded from a two-game slide with three straight wins over mediocre teams.
Georgetown has lost two of its last three games. The Hoywas host West Virginia and Pittsburgh in their next two games.
No. 6 Seeds
Texas A&M, North Carolina, Temple (A-10), Baylor
Texas A&M has not lost since Thanksgiving. During this streak, the Aggies have beaten a pair of top 25 teams.
North Carolina is in the middle of a three-game winning streak. The Tar Heels open ACC play at Virginia on Saturday.
Temple could not pick up a key win at Villanova, but the Owls opened up A-10 play with a win at Fordham.
Baylor ended a rough slide with wins over Texas Southern and Morgan State.
No. 7 Seeds
Central Florida (C-USA), Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Minnesota
Central Florida kept its undefeated season alive with a win over Marshall in the Conference USA opener.
Vanderbilt has won four straight games. The Commodores open up SEC play at South Carolina on Saturday.
Cincinnati remained undefeated with a win over Seton Hall. The Bearcats are 2-0 in the Big East. Their game against Villanova on Sunday will be their first test against a top 25 team.
Minnesota ended a two-game slide with a win over Indiana.
No. 8 Seeds
Boston College, UNLV, Memphis, Louisville
Boston College has lost two of its last three games. The Eagles lost to Harvard for the third straight year.
UNLV's three-game winning streak ended with a loss to Brigham Young. The Rebels host Texas Christian on Saturday.
Memphis was not match for Tennessee on Wednesday, losing 104-84. The Tigers have allowed for than 85 points in three of their last four games.
Louisville has won four of its last five games. The Cardinals go on the road to play South Florida and Villanova.
No. 9 Seeds
Florida, Wichita State (MVC), West Virginia, St. John's
Florida rebounded from a rough loss to Jacksonville with wins over Xavier and Rhode Island.
Wichita State opened up MVC play at 3-0. The Shockers play at Wichita State on Friday.
West Virginia defeated DePaul for its first Big East win. The Mountaineers wrap up a three-game road trip at Georgetown on Saturday.
St. John's has won five straight games and is 3-0 in the Big East. The Red Storm's next seven games are against top 25 teams.
No. 10 Seeds
Gonzaga, Cleveland State (Horizon), St. Mary's (WCC), Tennessee
Gonzaga has won six straight games. The Bulldogs open up WCC play against Portland on Saturday.
Cleveland State has been outstanding in Horizon League play, winning its first four games with ease. The Vikings play at Butler on Friday night.
St. Mary's has won its last six games. The Gaels play at Loyola Marymount tonight to open up WCC play.
Tennessee has won three of its last four games. The Volunteers open up SEC play at Arkansas on Saturday.
No. 11 Seeds
Oklahoma State, Miami, Utah State (WAC), Marquette
Oklahoma State's seven-game winning streak was snapped by Gonzaga on New Year's Eve. The Cowboys rebounded with a win over Texas-San Antonio.
Miami picked up a loss at Duke in its ACC opener. The Hurricanes play at Clemson on Saturday.
Utah State defeated Hawaii and San Jose State to start WAC play at 2-0. The Aggies start a three-game road trip at Nevada on Saturday.
Marquette moved to 2-0 in Big East play with a win over Rutgers.
No. 12 Seeds
Old Dominion, Dayton, Play-In No. 1, Play-In No. 2
Old Dominion rebounded from a loss at Missouri with a pair of CAA wins. The Monarchs are a game behind undefeated Hofstra for first place in the CAA.
Dayton won its A-10 opener 60-50 over Saint Louis on Wednesday.
No. 13 Seeds
Princeton (Ivy), Oakland (Summit), Vermont (A-East), Kent State (MAC)
Princeton's winning streak came to and end at Central Florida. The Tigers rebounded with a win over Marist.
Oakland is tied with IPFW at 4-0 in the Summit League. Tonight, the Golden Grizzlies will host IUPUI.
Vermont has won its last three games and is 1-0 in the America East Conference.
Kent State has lost four of its last six games, but the Golden Flashes still have the highest RPI in the MAC entering conference play.
No. 14 Seeds
Hofstra (CAA), Long Beach State (Big West), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Charleston (SoCon)
Hofstra defeated George Mason and Drexel to move to 3-0 in CAA play. The Pride is the only undefeated team remaining in the CAA.
Long Beach State opened up Big West play at 3-0. The 49ers host UC Irvine on Saturday.
Coastal Carolina has not lost since November 18. The Chanticleers are 3-0 in the Big South.
Charleston has lost two of its last three games. The Cougars play at Furman in their next game.
No. 15 Seeds
Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt), Hampton (MEAC), Austin Peay (OVC), St. Peter's (MAAC)
Florida Atlantic finished 3-2 during a five-game road trip.
Hampton has won four of its last five games. The Pirates play at Coppin State on Saturday.
Austin Peay has won its last four games. The Governors start a three-game road trip at Murray State on Saturday.
St. Peter's is one of two undefeated teams left in the MAAC. The Peacocks play at Iona on Friday.
No. 16 Seeds
Jacksonville (A-Sun), Nicholls State (Southland), Play-In No. 3, Play-In No. 4
Jacksonville has won its last three games. The Dolphins host Lipscomb on Saturday.
Nicholls State could not pull off an upset at Texas A&M on Monday. The Colonels open Southland play against Texas-Arlington on Saturday.
Play-In No. 1
North Carolina State vs. USC
North Carolina State has won six of its last seven games. The Wolfpack opens up ACC play against Wake Forest on Saturday.
USC has won three of its last four games. The Trojans host UCLA on Sunday.
Play-In No. 2
Georgia vs. Northwestern
Georgia has not lost since the Old Spice Classic in November. The Bulldogs host Kentucky in their SEC opener.
Northwestern has lost three of its last four games. Tonight, the Wildcats play their third straight game against a top 25 team at Illinois.
Play-In No. 3
Wagner (NEC) vs. Jackson State (SWAC)
Wagner upset Quinnipiac to take control of the NEC. Tonight, the Seahawks host 1-1 Robert Morris.
Jackson State defeated Alabama State in overtime to open up SWAC play at 1-0.
Play-In No. 4
Montana (Big Sky) vs. American (Patriot)
Montana has won five straight games and is 2-0 in the Big Sky.
American has won its last three games. The Eagles host Lehigh in the Patriot League opener on Saturday.
Last Four In
North Carolina State, USC, Georgia, Northwestern
First Four Out
Arizona, Richmond, Butler, Virginia Tech
Next Four Out
Maryland, Portland, UAB, UCLA
No. 1 Duke vs. No. 16 Montana/American
No. 8 Memphis vs. No. 9 St. John's
No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Georgia/Northwestern
No. 4 Notre Dame vs. No. 13 Vermont
No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 11 Marquette
No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Hofstra
No. 7 Central Florida vs. No. 10 Cleveland State
No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 15 Austin Peay
No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. No. 16 Nicholls State
No. 8 UNLV vs. No. 9 Florida
No. 5 Georgetown vs. No. 12 Dayton
No. 4 Texas vs. No. 13 Kent State
No. 6 Texas A&M vs. No. 11 Miami (FL)
No. 3 Connecticut vs. No. 14 Coastal Carolina
No. 7 Minnesota vs. No. 10 Gonzaga
No. 2 Syracuse vs. No. 15 Hampton
No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 16 Wagner/Jackson State
No. 8 Boston College vs. No. 9 West Virginia
No. 5 Kansas State vs. No. 12 NC State/USC
No. 4 Illinois vs. No. 13 Princeton
No. 6 North Carolina vs. No. 11 Utah State
No. 3 Missouri vs. No. 14 Charleston
No. 7 Vanderbilt vs. No. 10 Tennessee
No. 2 San Diego State vs. No. 15 Florida Atlantic
No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Jacksonville
No. 8 Louisville vs. No. 9 Wichita State
No. 5 Washington vs. No. 12 Old Dominion
No. 4 Brigham Young vs. No. 13 Oakland
No. 6 Temple vs. No. 11 Oklahoma State
No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 14 Long Beach State
No. 7 Cincinnati vs. No. 10 St. Mary's
No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 St. Peter's
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