Bracketology, Dec. 13: 'Cuse, Ohio State, Kentucky, Duke in Line for Top Seeds
This bracketology will evaluate teams based on how they have performed this point in the season. It will not factor in how they are projected to do in the rest of the season.
A conference in parentheses next to a team indicates a team that would have an automatic bid as a conference champion.
With the 68-team format, there will 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 automatic bids.
In the bracket, the winner of the South Region plays the winner of the West Region, and the winner of the Midwest Region plays the winner of the East Region.
The South Region and the West Region hold the overall No. 1 and No. 4 seeds, respectively. The Midwest Region and East Region hold the overall No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, respectively.
No. 1 Syracuse (Big East) vs. No. 16 Alabama A&M (SWAC)/Campbell (Big South)
No. 8 Memphis (C-USA) vs. No. 9 Harvard (Ivy)
No. 5 Pittsburgh vs. No. 12 UCF/Texas
No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 13 Cleveland State (Horizon)
No. 6 San Diego State (Mountain West) vs. No. 11 Minnesota
No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 14 Iona (MAAC)
No. 7 Creighton (MVC) vs. No. 10 Gonzaga (WCC)
No. 2 Xavier (A-10) vs. No. 15 Norfolk State (MEAC)
No. 1 Duke (ACC) vs. No. 16 Lamar (Southland)
No. 8 Stanford vs. No. 9 Kansas State
No. 5 Michigan vs. No. 12 Seton Hall
No. 4 Missouri vs. No. 13 Long Beach State (Big West)
No. 6 Texas A&M vs. No. 11 Temple
No. 3 Wisconsin vs. No. 14 Denver (Sun Belt)
No. 7 California (Pac-12) vs. No. 10 Northwestern
No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 15 Nevada (WAC)
No. 1 Ohio State (Big Ten) vs. No. 16 Long Island (NEC)/Albany (A-East)
No. 8 Vanderbilt vs. No. 9 Murray State (OVC)
No. 5 Mississippi State vs. No. 12 Marshall/Oklahoma
No. 4 Connecticut vs. No. 13 VCU (CAA)
No. 6 Michigan State vs. No. 11 Northern Iowa
No. 3 Florida vs. No. 14 Belmont (A-Sun)
No. 7 Purdue vs. No. 10 West Virginia
No. 2 North Carolina vs. No. 15 South Dakota State (Summit)
No. 1 Kentucky (SEC) vs. American (Patriot)
No. 8 Virginia vs. No. 9 Arizona
No. 5 Georgetown vs. No. 12 St. Mary's
No. 4 Illinois vs. No. 13 Kent State (MAC)
No. 6 Indiana vs. No. 11 Florida State
No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 14 Davidson (SoCon)
No. 7 UNLV vs. No. 10 Saint Louis
No. 2 Baylor (Big 12) vs. No. 15 Weber State (Big Sky)
No. 1 Seeds
Syracuse is currently the No. 1 team in the nation in both the AP and ESPN/USA polls. The Orange play their first true road game of the season at NC State on Saturday.
Ohio State picked up its first loss of the year, falling to Kansas. However, the Buckeyes were playing without leading scorer and rebounder Jared Sullinger.
Kentucky was shocked by Indiana this week on a buzzer beater for its first loss of the season. The Wildcats have an easy stretch of games coming up before playing No. 4 Louisville on New Year's Eve.
Duke warded off a Washington comeback at Madison Square Garden on Saturday to win its second straight since getting blown out at Ohio State a few weeks ago.
No. 2 Seeds
Louisville is 9-0 with seven wins by double digits. The Cardinals host Memphis, which fell out of the top 25 this week, on Saturday.
Baylor blew out Northwestern in its first road game of the season. The Bears host Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday and are then back on the road to face BYU on Saturday.
North Carolina defeated Long Beach State 84-78 to improve to 8-2.
Xavier's 76-53 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday sent the Musketeers to 8-0. They will host Oral Roberts without Tu Holloway, Mark Lyons, and Dezmine Wells on Sunday.
No. 3 Seeds
Florida has a pair of losses to far this year, but both are to the then-No. 3 teams in the nation, Ohio State, and Syracuse. The Gators get their third top 25 matchup against Texas A&M on Saturday.
Wisconsin ended a two-game skid with wins over Green Bay and UNLV last week.
Marquette continues to roll along, currently 9-0 and No. 11 in the country.
Kansas upset a Sullinger-less Ohio State squad on Saturday, 78-67.
No. 4 Seeds
Missouri stands at 9-0 and has a pair of "gimme" games coming up against Kennesaw State and William & Mary.
Connecticut moved to 2-0 against top 25 teams with a 67-53 win over Harvard last week.
Illinois has had some struggles in each of its last four games but the Fighting Illini have managed to stay undefeated.
Alabama put its two-game slide to rest with a win over Detroit on Sunday.
No. 5 Seeds
Pittsburgh has won seven consecutive games since losing to Long Beach State early in the season.
Georgetown has won six straight games and has the 8-3 American Eagles next up on its schedule.
After an upsetting loss to Akron in its second game of the season, Mississippi State has won eight straight games.
Michigan held off Oakland for a 90-80 win on Saturday.
No. 6 Seeds
Indiana proved its credibility with a 73-72 win over No. 1 Kentucky on Saturday. The Hoosiers take on Tim Abromaitis-less Notre Dame this coming Saturday.
Texas A&M has won its previous six games entering a big game against No. 13 Florida on Saturday.
Michigan State picked up its first win over a top 25 win with a 74-67 win at Gonzaga on Saturday.
San Diego State avoided another second half collapse, defeating California 64-63.
No. 7 Seeds
UNLV has lost two of its last three, most recently falling to Wisconsin.
Purdue defeated Eastern Michigan for its second straight win. The Boilermakers take on the struggling Butler Bulldogs on Saturday.
California picked up a pair of easy wins in its last two games and takes on Weber State on Friday.
Creighton's undefeated season came to an end with a loss at St. Joe's on Saturday afternoon.
No. 8 Seeds
Memphis will have a chance for a huge win at No. 4 Louisville on Saturday.
Stanford started its six-game homestand with a 76-72 win over NC State.
Vanderbilt bounced back from back-to-back overtime losses with a 87-83 win at Davidson last week.
Virginia heads out west to take on Oregon and Seattle next week.
No. 9 Seeds
Harvard has the next 10 days off before going up against Florida Atlantic.
Arizona rebounded from a loss to Florida with a 63-47 win over Clemson.
Murray State stayed undefeated with a 76-72 win at Memphis on Sunday night. With their toughest games out of the way, the Racers have an outside chance of finishing the regular season without a loss.
Kansas State will play its first game against a top 25 team at Alabama on Saturday.
No. 10 Seeds
Northwestern lost to Baylor in its toughest game to this point in the season.
West Virginia plays a pair of easy, home games against Texas A&M-CC and Tennessee Tech this week.
Saint Louis continues to impress, with its only loss coming at Loyola Marymount.
Gonzaga has lost back-to-back games since winning its first five.
No. 11 Seeds
Northern Iowa has won eight straight games. The Panthers play a solid mid-major, Ohio, next Tuesday.
Temple takes a three-game winning streak to Texas on Saturday.
Florida State hosts Loyola Marymount, which has a pair of wins over top 25 teams, on Sunday.
Minnesota has won three straight games by double digits.
No. 12 Seeds
St. Mary's has an easy four-game stretch coming up before traveling to Baylor on December 22.
Oklahoma's win over Arkansas this weekend gets them into the field of 68 this week.
Seton Hall defeated Wake Forest 68-54 for its fifth straight win.
Central Florida has beaten Connecticut and Charleston this year and its two losses are to Florida State and Harvard.
Marshall ended a two-game losing streak with a 82-63 win over Iona.
Texas has won five straight since losing a pair in East Rutherford at the Legends Classic.
No. 13 Seeds
Cleveland State has its last four games by a combined 14 points.
Kent State travels to Logan, Utah for the Athletes in Action Classic this week.
Virginia Commonwealth blew away Richmond on national television for its first best win of the year.
Long Beach State has lost four of its last five but three of the losses have been to top 15 teams.
No. 14 Seeds
Denver picked up a heart-breaking overtime loss to Iona last week.
Belmont has won six straight since losing its first two of the season to Duke and Memphis.
Iona had a seven-game winning streak snapped at Marshall on Sunday.
Davidson takes on No. 12 Kansas next Monday.
No. 15 Seeds
Norfolk State lost to Virginia Tech on Sunday but the Spartans stand at 2-0 in the MEAC.
South Dakota State has won five straight games to improve to 9-3.
Weber State plays at California on Friday.
Nevada won a pair of road games last week over Arizona State and Montana.
No. 16 Seeds
Lamar is 4-0 at home this season. The Cardinals take on No. 2 Ohio State next Tuesday.
American's eight-game winning streak ended with a 66-61 loss at St. Francis (PA).
Long Island has defeated Wagner and Mount St. Mary's to start NEC play at 2-0.
Albany starts a two-game road trip at Cornell on Saturday.
Campbell's only loss is at Creighton.
Alabama State starts a three-game road trip at Saint Louis on Saturday.
Last Four in
Oklahoma, Seton Hall, UCF, Texas
First Four out
Virginia Tech is back on a winning track after beating Rhode Island and Norfolk State last week.
Wichita State has won five consecutive games.
St. Joseph's picked up a key win over No. 17 Creighton last week.
Ole Miss is 8-1, and its only loss is to Marquette at the Paradise Jam.
Next Four out
Washington only has one truly bad loss (at Nevada), but the Huskies need to take advantage of their upcoming five-game homestand,
Dayton is back in the tourney talk after beating Alabama last week.
Richmond was looking like of the "Last Four In," but the loss to VCU puts the Spiders on the wrong side of the bubble in December.
Southern Mississippi has won three straight games since losing to Murray State in double overtime.