Bracketology: With Duke Down, Who Takes Over at the Top of the Men's Bracket?

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Bracketology: With Duke Down, Who Takes Over at the Top of the Men's Bracket?

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

Ohio State (Big Ten), Kansas (Big 12), Syracuse (Big East), Duke (ACC)

Ohio State takes over for Duke as the overall No. 1 seed. The Buckeyes are 18-0 in mid-January and have won their first five Big Ten games. The Buckeyes host Iowa on Wednesday.

Kansas has survived close games in its last three matchups. However, a win is a win, and Kansas remains without a loss. The Jayhawks play at Baylor in their next game.

Syracuse remains undefeated here in mid-January. The Orange play their next two games against top 10 teams, playing at Pitt on Monday and at home against Villanova on Saturday.

Duke picked up its first loss of the season at Florida State. The Blue Devils struggled with Virginia in their following game, but a second-half surge led the them to their 16th win of the season.


No. 2 Seeds

Villanova, Pittsburgh, San Diego State (Mountain West), Connecticut

Villanova has not lost since late November. The Wildcats won back-to-back games against top 25 teams and then warded off a tough Maryland squad on Saturday. The Wildcats start a three-game road trip at Connecticut on Monday.

Pittsburgh has jumped out to a 5-0 start in Big East play. The Panthers host Syracuse on Monday.

San Diego State has looked strong so far in Mountain West play. After a game against Air Force, the Aztecs have a Jan. 26 date at BYU.

Connecticut has ganged up on a few of the bottom teams in the Big East to move to 3-2 in conference play. The Huskies, who are 0-2 against top 25 teams from the Big East, host Villanova on Monday.


No. 3 Seeds

Texas A&M, BYU, Kentucky, Purdue

Texas A&M survived against Missouri in overtime to stay undefeated in Big 12 play. The Aggies play at Texas on Wednesday.

BYU has won all three of its conference games by double digits. If the Cougars take advantage of their opportunities, they could find themselves in first place come Jan. 26.

After a loss to Georgia to open up SEC play, Kentucky crushed Auburn and LSU. 

Purdue's 10-game winning streak ended with back-to-back losses on the road. 


No. 4 Seeds

Texas, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin

Texas will play its next two games against top 25 opponents. The Longhorns have taken advantage of games against the weaker teams in the Big 12, advancing to a 2-0 start in conference play with wins over Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

Michigan State has won back-to-back games in overtime. The Spartans now go on the road to play Illinois and Purdue.

Notre Dame has dropped back-to-back contests for the first time this season. The Fighting Irish host Cincinnati and Marquette in their next two games.

Wisconsin has won two of its last three games. The Badgers need to take advantage of an easy game against Indiana on Thursday.

 

 

No. 5 Seeds

Missouri, Illinois, Florida, Washington (Pac-10)

Missouri lost a heartbreaker at Texas A&M in overtime. The Tigers host Kansas State on Monday.

Illinois has dropped its last two games. The Fighting Illini desperately need a win against Michigan State on Tuesday.

Florida lost to South Carolina on Saturday, dropping to 2-1 in SEC play.

Washington lost a close game at Stanford, but rebounded with a win at California.


No. 6 Seeds

West Virginia, Kansas State, Louisville, Boston College (ACC)

West Virginia has won four straight games. The Mountaineers play Marshall on Wednesday.

Kansas State ended a two-game slide with a win over Texas Tech. The Wildcats play their next two games against top 25 teams on the road, playing Missouri on Monday and Texas A&M on Saturday.

Louisville has won three of its last four games. The Wildcats are in fourth place in the Big East.

Boston College picked up its first ACC loss at Miami (FL) on Saturday.


No. 7 Seeds

Georgetown, Minnesota, UNC, UNLV

Georgetown ended a three-game slide with a win at Rutgers. The Hoyas play at Seton Hall on Tuesday.

Minnesota has won its last two games, including a win over top 10 Purdue. The Golden Gophers play their next game at Michigan on Saturday.

UNC picked up its first loss in conference play at Georgia Tech on Sunday night. 

UNLV was unable to defeat BYU and San Diego State, dropping the Rebels to 2-2 against the Top 25 on the season.


No. 8 Seeds

Gonzaga (WCC), Temple, Arizona, Vanderbilt

Gonzaga has looked good in WCC play so far. The Bulldogs play at Santa Clara on Thursday.

Temple picked up its first loss in conference play at Duquesne on Saturday. The Owls host Penn on Wednesday.

Arizona has won three straight games. The Wildcats play at Washington on Thursday.

Vanderbilt has lost two of its last three games. The Commodores host Mississippi, which is 0-3 in SEC play, on Wednesday.


No. 9 Seeds

St. Mary's, Georgia (SEC), St. John's, Cincinnati

St. Mary's has won all four of its WCC games by double digits. After a game against San Diego, the Gaels play a very tough three-game road trip, which includes games against Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, and Portland.

Georgia came back down to earth after an upset over Kentucky with a loss to Vanderbilt. However, the Bulldogs' 2-1 conference record is enough to put them in first place early in the season.

St. John's responded from back-to-back losses with a win over Notre Dame on Sunday. The Red Storm play at Louisville on Wednesday.

Cincinnati has lost two of its last three games. The Bearcats play at Notre Dame on Wednesday.


No. 10 Seeds

Marquette, Missouri State (MVC), Xavier (A-10), Central Florida

Marquette has lost two of its last three games. The Golden Eagles play what should be an easy win at home against DePaul on Tuesday.

Missouri State has been red hot in conference play and is still yet to lose. The Bears play at Indiana State on Wednesday. The winner of that game will be in first place in the conference.

Xavier has won three straight games and is in first place in the A-10. 

Central Florida has lost two straight games after starting the season at 14-0. 


No. 11 Seeds

Oklahoma State, UTEP (C-USA), Old Dominion, Baylor

Oklahoma State has dropped back-to-back games. Three of the Cowboys' four losses have come to unranked teams.

UTEP responded from a triple-overtime loss to UAB with wins over Tulane and Rice.

Old Dominion handed Hofstra its first loss in conference play with a 75-64 victory on the road. The Monarchs host James Madison and VCU in their next two games.

Baylor's four-game winning streak ended with a loss at Iowa State.


No. 12 Seeds

Utah State (WAC), Valparaiso (Horizon), Play-In No. 1, Play-In No. 2

Utah State won all three games on a road trip and now come home, looking to continue undefeated play in the WAC.

Valparaiso has won four straight games to move into first place in the Horizon League. The Crusaders' one conference loss came at Butler. 


No. 13 Seeds

Belmont (A-Sun), Charleston (SoCon), James Madison (CAA), Oakland (Summit)

Bemont has absolutely demolished all its competition in conference play. The Bruins have won every conference game by at least 17 points and every home conference game by at least 21 points. The Bruins will play their next three games on the road, including a matchup with second-place East Tennessee State on Sunday.

Charleston defeated Wofford to gain control of the SoCon South. The Cougars play at Chattanooga, who leads to SoCon North, on Monday.

James Madison is 5-1 in CAA play, but the Dukes' wins have mainly come against the weaker teams in the conference. 

Oakland has dominated the Summit League so far. The Golden Grizzlies started a three-game road trip with a win over IPFW and continue the trip against South Dakota State on Thursday.


No. 14 Seeds

Harvard (Ivy), Iona (MAAC), Long Beach State (Big West), Coastal Carolina (Big South)

Harvard has won five straight games and is 1-0 in Ivy League play. 

Iona survived Rider in overtime and then demolished Marist to move to 6-1 in MAAC play. The Gaels take a trip up north this week to play Canisius and Niagara.

Long Beach State has dominated Big West play so far at 6-0. The 49ers play their next three games on the road, starting with Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday.

Coastal Carolina is 7-0 in Big South play.


No. 15 Seeds

Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt), Ball State (MAC), Austin Peay (OVC), McNeese State (Southland)

Florida State is 6-0 in the Sun Belt. The Owls start a three-game homestand against Arkansas-Little Rock on Saturday,

Ball State has won its last five games. 

Austin Peay picked up its first loss in OVC play in overtime at Tennessee State. 

McNeese State has looked good in conference play so far, standing at 3-0. The Cowboys will play their next five games on the road. 


No. 16 Seeds

Long Island (NEC), Bucknell (Patriot), Play-In No. 3, Play-In No. 4

Long Island has won five straight NEC games and seven straight games overall. The Blackbirds start a four-game road trip at Robert Morris on Thursday.

Bucknell is the only undefeated team left in the Patriot League. The Bison have won six straight games.


Play-In No. 1

Miami (FL) vs. Butler

Miami struggled on a two-game road trip, but defeated Boston College in its ACC home opener on Saturday.

Butler lost to Wright State on Sunday, and the Bulldogs dropped down to third place in the Horizon League as a result.


Play-In No. 2

Florida State vs. Tennessee

Florida State currently has the best win in all of college basketball after defeating No. 1 Duke on Wednesday. 

Tennessee has lost three of its last four games. The Volunteers play a must-win game in order to stay in the bracket at Georgia on Tuesday.


Play-In No. 3

Maine (A-East) vs. Texas Southern (SWAC)

Maine defeated Binghamton on Saturday to move into first place in the America East Conference. The Black Bears look to defend their spot atop the conference at Vermont on Tuesday.

Texas Southern moved into first place in the SWAC with a four-point win over Jackson State on Saturday. 


Play-In No. 4

Northern Colorado (Big Sky) vs. Morgan State (MEAC)

Northern Colorado has won its first five games in conference play. The Bears play at Sacramento State, who is 0-6 in the Big Sky, on Thursday.

Morgan State has started conference play at 4-0 after struggling in non-conference play. 


First Four Out

Virginia Tech, Richmond, Colorado, Wichita State

Next Four Out

Rhode Island, Maryland, NC State, Southern Mississippi

 

East Region

No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 16 Northern Colorado/Morgan State

No. 8 Vanderbilt vs. No. 9 St. Mary's

No. 5 Missouri vs. No. 12 Florida State/Tennessee

No. 4 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 Belmont

No. 6 Boston College vs. No. 11 Oklahoma State

No. 3 Brigham Young vs. No. 14 Coastal Carolina

No. 7 Minnesota vs. No. 10 Central Florida

No. 2 Connecticut vs. No. 15 Florida Atlantic

 

West Region

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 16 Long Island

No. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Cincinnati

No. 5 Washington vs. No. 12 Utah State

No. 4 Texas vs. No. 13 Oakland

No. 6 West Virginia vs. No. 11 Baylor

No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Harvard

No. 7 UNLV vs. No. 10 Missouri State

No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 McNeese State

 

Southeast Region

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Maine/Texas Southern

No. 8 Arizona vs. No. 9 St. John's

No. 5 Illinois vs. No. 12 Florida State/Tennessee

No. 4 Notre Dame vs. No. 13 Charleston

No. 6 Louisville vs. No. 11 UTEP

No. 3 Texas A&M vs. No. 14 Long Beach State

No. 7 Georgetown vs. No. 10 Xavier

No. 2 San Diego State vs. No. 15 Ball State

 

Southwest Region

No. 1 Syracuse vs. No. 16 Bucknell

No. 8 Temple vs. No. 9 Georgia

No. 5 Florida vs. No. 12 Valparaiso

No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 13 James Madison

No. 6 Kansas State vs. No. 11 Old Dominion

No. 3 Kentucky vs. No. 14 Iona

No. 7 North Carolina vs. No. 10 Marquette

No. 2 Pittsburgh vs. No. 15 Austin Peay

 

For more college basketball news, click here to follow Jesse Kramer on Twitter.

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