It's the most wonderful time of the year: Championship Week.
Scores of teams still have a shot at a National Championship, however slim it might be. But only a small percentage of those schools can afford to lose a game in their conference tournaments.
Conservatively, there are currently 54 spots locked up by automatic bids and teams that are certain to receive at-large berths, meaning there are 14 spots available to the 21 bubble teams in play.
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 get into the Big Dance, but not all have the guts to ask a girl out onto 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 with less than one week remaining until Selection Sunday, the Dancing with their Sister category has been removed. There just aren't enough games remaining for teams projected as 5-8 seeds to fall out of the field.
Last year, I placed 22nd out of 83 bracketologists across the country in my final projections—ahead of Joe Lunardi of ESPN, Yahoo!, Rivals.com and the two other guys from Bleacher Report.
The tournament will be expanding from 65 to 68 teams for the first time this year. While that is completely ridiculous, at least it's not 96 teams. Because of this, I'll begin my projections this season with my two First Four at-large matchups. The two First Four automatic bid games will be listed at the bottom of this article:
(12a) Richmond vs. (12d) Gonzaga
(12b) Memphis vs. (12c) Boston College
First seven teams out: Alabama, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska, Baylor
The projections are presented in slideshow format, with each major conference receiving its own slide. First up is the ACC.