March Madness 2018: Top Bracketology Predictions from Around the Web

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 7, 2018

LAWRENCE, KS - FEBRUARY 26: Jacob Young #3 of the Texas Longhorns lays the ball up against the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on February 26,  2018 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Over the next five days, we'll hear plenty of talk about who is in and out of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

As all of the major conference tournaments get underway, the focus is on the bubble and the teams jockeying for the four No. 1 seeds.

Since this season has been so up and down for countless programs, the resumes of the bubble teams are less than stellar compared to past years.

Just because the bubble teams don't intrigue you that much doesn't mean the drama entering Selection Sunday will be tempered, as each bracket expert has a different set of teams on their respective bubbles.

Although most bracketologists have different opinions on the bubble teams, there's more of a consensus when it comes to the No. 1 seeds.


Predictions from Around the Web

Joe Lunardi, ESPN

No. 1 Seeds: Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Kansas

Last 4 In: Texas, USC, UCLA, Alabama

First 4 Out: Syracuse, Louisville, Marquette, Oklahoma State

Next 4 Out: Notre Dame, Penn State, Boise State, Nebraska

Each of Joe Lunardi's last four in have opportunities to improve their respective resumes in the coming days.

Texas opens its Big 12 tournament slate Wednesday night, as it faces Iowa State in the opening round in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Longhorns must avoid a bad loss to the Cyclones to set up a quarterfinal contest with Texas Tech Thursday.

USC and UCLA earned byes into the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals Thursday, with the Trojans awaiting Oregon State or Washington as the No. 2 seed and UCLA most likely taking on Stanford as the No. 4 seed.

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Alabama has the toughest opening game of the four against Texas A&M Thursday. If the Crimson Tide lose to the Aggies, it could open the door for Syracuse and Louisville, who are in need of victories at the ACC tournament Wednesday. 


Jerry Palm, CBS Sports

No. 1 Seeds: Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Kansas

Last 4 In: Texas, Syracuse, USC, Marquette

First 4 Out: Louisville, Utah, Washington, Boise State

CBS Sports' Jerry Palm holds more stock in Syracuse and Marquette, while he carries more value in the Pac-12, as Utah and Washington sit in his first four out.

Marquette, who is his last team in, opens the Big East tournament with DePaul Wednesday, a game the Golden Eagles should win to set up a contest with Villanova.

MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 03:  Sam Hauser #10 of the Marquette Golden Eagles dribbles the ball while being guarded by Davion Mintz #1 of the Creighton Bluejays in the first half at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on March 3, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Much like Texas, Marquette's goal is to stay alive Wednesday and avoid a bad loss on its resume before facing the heavy-hitters of its conference.

Boise State is an intriguing mid-major at-large prospect, but the Broncos could throw a wrench in the bubble discussion if they beat Nevada as the No. 2 seed in the Mountain West tournament.

However if Boise State slips up before the final, it could have a tough time getting into the NCAA tournament with other bubble teams earning key victories.


Chris Dobbertean, SB Nation

No. 1 Seeds: Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Duke 

Last 4 In: Marquette, Saint Mary's, Arizona State, Alabama

First 4 Out: Syracuse, Louisville, Utah, Baylor

Next 4 Out: Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Washington, Boise State

SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean rates Duke over Kansas, and there's a legitimate argument to be made for the Blue Devils as a No. 1 seed, especially if they win the ACC tournament.

Saint Mary's and Arizona State didn't receive mention from Lunardi and Palm in their bubble discussions, but there's a chance we see the Gaels and Sun Devils fighting for life in the Big Dance.

The Gaels took a hit to their resume by losing to BYU in the West Coast Conference tournament semifinals, which hands them a nervous next few days of bubble watching despite residing in the AP Top 25 for the majority of the year.

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 05:  Jock Landale #34 of the Saint Mary's Gaels is guarded by Yoeli Childs #23 of the Brigham Young Cougars during a semifinal game of the West Coast Conference basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on March 5, 2018 in Las Vegas
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Arizona State was a lock to make the field of 68 following nonconference wins over Xavier and Kansas, but after going 8-10 in the Pac-12, some experts like Dobbertean have the Sun Devils languishing on the bubble.

The Sun Devils need to beat Colorado Wednesday in order to keep the doubters at bay while setting up a quarterfinal clash with rival Arizona.


Kerry Miller, Bleacher Report

No. 1 Seeds: Virginia, Villanova, Xavier, Kansas

Last 4 In: Alabama, Marquette, Baylor, Providence

First 4 Out: Saint Mary's, LSU, Syracuse, UCLA

Baylor and Providence appear as the last two teams in on the projected bracket from Bleacher Report's Kerry Miller.

The Bears finished 8-10 in a difficult Big 12, and they face West Virginia in the Big 12 quarterfinals Thursday.

As long as they beat the Mountaineers, the Bears should be safe, but a loss may hurt their chances depending on what happens elsewhere.

MANHATTAN, KS - MARCH 03:  Manu Lecomte #20 of the Baylor Bears puts up a shot against Barry Brown #5 of the Kansas State Wildcats during the first half on March 3, 2018 at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kansas.  (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Providence's resume contains wins over Villanova and Xavier and bad losses to DePaul and Minnesota. In order for the Friars to eliminate any doubt about their NCAA tournament potential, they need to take care of business against Creighton in the Big East quarterfinals.

LSU appears in Miller's last four out because of nonconference wins over Michigan and Houston, but a loss by the Tigers to Mississippi State on Thursday damages their hopes of making the Big Dance.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90


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