Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 NCAA Tournament Bracket Predictions: Third Edition

by John Huffstetler


1 Syracuse 27-1-
They have essentially locked up a #1 seed barring complete collapse.
16 NC Asheville 19-9 (Big South)/ Norfolk St. 19-9 (MEAC)

8 St. Mary's 23-5 (Prev: 5)-A disastrous two-week stretch with blowout losses to Gonzaga, Murray St., and LMU drop the Gaels dramatically. They are a definite tourney team, but their seed takes a huge hit.
9- Texas 17-10 (Prev: 9)- The Longhorns benefit from a strong strength of schedule. They still have the potential to miss the tourney altogether should the last few weeks go poorly.

4 Wichita St. 24-4 (Prev: 7)- The Shockers have lost 1 game this year (In 3OT's at Drake) and are one of the hottest teams in the country. Recent road beatings of quality foes in Creighton and Davidson have them poised to potentially be the highest seeded mid-major in the tourney.
13 Davidson 20-7 (Southern) (Prev: 11)- The losses to Wichita St. and College of Charleston drop Davidson down a few lines. The 10-14 seeds include many tightly grouped teams, and any loss can severely damage seeding.

5 Wisconsin 20-7 (Prev: 7) - With many teams in the 4-7 range floundering, Wisconsin makes a jump in seeding based on the strength of their losses (at Ohio St. and Mich St.) and the weakness of several competitors last few weeks of play.
12 Southern Miss 22-5

3 Michigan (Prev: 4)- They survived the toughest part of the schedule gaining huge wins over Ohio St., Mich St., and Indiana. A 3-1 finish to the season guarantees them a 3 seed.
14 Weber St. (Big Sky) (Prev: 15)

6 Murray St. 26-1 (OVC) (Prev: 7)- The high quality win over St. Mary's virtually ensures the Racers of a high at-large bid should they lose their conference tourney.
11 Memphis 19-8 (Prev: 12)

7 Iowa St. 19-8 (Prev: 10)
10 West Virginia 17-10 (Prev: 6)- WVA has lost 5 of 7, including 3 at home. A .500 Big East record should get them in, but they are squarely on the bubble now.

2 Duke 23-4 (Prev: 3)- The Blue Devils somehow end up in a position to get a high seed every year no matter how much they struggle during the season. The recent road win over UNC was crucial for seeding purposes. A home win over UNC would push them to the brink of yet another 1 seed.
15 Akron 19-8 (MAC) (Prev: Out)


1 Kansas 22-5 (Prev:2)- The recent struggles of UNC and Ohio St. push the Jayhawks to the 1 line. They continue to earn quality wins in a top-heavy Big 12.
16 UT Arlington 20-6 (Southland)

8 Cal 22-6 (Prev: 9)- 5 straight wins have the Golden Bears looking like the top seed to emerge from the mediocre Pac-12 conference.
9 Gonzaga 21-5 (Prev: 8)

4 Indiana 20-7 (Big Ten) (Prev: 5)- The win over Kentucky in December remains the most impressive win of the entire season for any team.
13 Long Beach St. 19-7 (Big West)- Their dominance in Big West play and the high quality losses by 6 to UNC, 4 to SD St., and 8 to Kansas show that this team is capable of winning a few rounds in the tourney.

5 New Mexico 22-4 (Prev: 8)- The Lobos are on fire with two consecutive double-digit wins over SD St. and UNLV.
12 NC St. 18-9 (Prev: Out)- No bubble team deserves this spot, so NC ST. gets in because they currently have a winning record in a respectable conference. / Alabama 17-9 (Prev: 10)- With JaMychal Green returning from suspension, look for Bama to improve their tournament resume down the stretch.

3 Marquette 22-5 (Prev: 6)- Marquette is rolling through a rather soft conference schedule by Big East standards (play Syr, NDame, L-Ville only once), but to their credit, they've avoided bad losses for most of the year.
14 Belmont 22-7 (Prev: 15)

6 Kansas St. 18-8 (Prev: 4)
11 Xavier 17-9 (Prev: Out)

7 UNLV 22-6 (Prev: 4)- They have lost 3 of 4 after looking like a strong candidate for a 3 seed just weeks ago.
10 Cincy 19-8 (Prev:12)

2 UNC 23-4 (Prev: 1)- The loss to Duke drops them behind Kansas down to the 2 line. They could use a road win against Duke to get them back on the 1 line.
15 Lehigh 21-7 (Patriot) (Prev: Out)


1 Missouri 25-2 (Prev: 2)- The Tigers make their first appearance on the 1 line this season following 7 straight wins. They have several quality victories, but might need a road win over Kansas to stay a 1 seed because of the stiff competition for the final 2 #1 seeds.
16 Vermont 19-10 (AEC)(Prev: Out)/ MV ST. 16-11 (SWAC)

8 Creighton 23-5 (Prev: 5)- The Blue Jays lost 3 straight games at the worst possible time. They did secure a quality non-conference win over LB St. to basically secure their at-large status in the field.
9 Washington 19-8 (Prev: 12)- The Huskies have won 8 of 9 against soft Pac-12 foes. The name "Pac-12" should still carry enough weight to get them in the field, even though the conference is below average this year.

4 Louisville 21-6 (Prev: 7)- L-Ville has won 7 of 8 with their only loss coming by 1 against Syracuse.
13 MTSU 24-4 (Sun Belt)(Prev: 14)

5 Temple 21-5 (Prev: 10)- Temple has now won 10 straight and they own quality wins over Duke, Wichita St., St. Louis, and Xavier.
12 Iona 22-6 (MAAC) (Prev: 14)- The Gaels earned a much needed quality win over Nevada during Bracketbuster Saturday. A win this week over Fairfield would put Iona in a position to earn an at-large bid should things go awry in the conference tourney.

3 Florida 21-6
14 Oral Roberts 25-5 (Prev: 13)

6 Notre Dame 19-8 (Prev: 12)- The Irish late season charge has truly been incredible. They have won 8 straight, including wins over 1-loss Syracuse, Marquette, WVA, Seton Hall and UConn. They have gone from a bubble team to a tourney lock in a matter of weeks.
11 Purdue 17-10

7 St. Louis 22-5 (Prev: 11)- St. Louis has won 9 of 10 to push themselves onto the list of NCAA tourney locks with just 3 games remaining on their schedule.
10 Miss St. 19-8 (Prev: 6)- The Bulldogs are coming off 3 straight bad losses (including 2 in OT) to inferior SEC competition to drop them down close to the bubble with 4 critical games remaining.

2 Ohio St. 22-5 (Prev: 1)- The home loss to Mich St. and the road loss at Michigan drop Ohio St. off the 1 line for the first time this year. They will need a road win over Mich St. in the regular season finale to regain a #1 seed.
15 Valpo 19-10 (Horizon) (Prev: Out)


1 Kentucky 26-1- Clearly the best team in the country at this moment. They have been winning in dominant fashion against over-matched SEC foes.
16 LIU 21-7 (NEC)

8 Harvard 23-3 (Prev: 9)
9 SD St. 20-6 (Prev: 5)- After losing 3 straight games, the Aztecs will not secure a high seed in the tourney, but they are still virtually a lock to make the tourney as an at-large.

4 Baylor 23-5 (Prev: 2)- The late game collapse against Kansas St. and the blowout losses against Kansas and Missouri pushes Baylor down 2 lines.
13 VCU 23-6 (Prev: 14)- The committee will have to be tempted to select VCU again this year after their amazing run in last year's tourney. Plus, the Colonial now looks like a multi-bid league./ UCF 19-7

5 Florida St. 19-7 (Prev: 8)- They have won 10 of 11 now, but they have difficult games remaining against Duke, Miami, and UVA.
12 Arizona 19-9 (Prev: Out)

3 Georgetown 20-5- The Hoyas quietly continue to rack up wins as other 3 seed contenders flounder.
14 GMason 23-6 (Prev: Out)

6 Vandy 19-8 (Prev: 4)- A win over either Kentucky or Florida would put them back in position for the 4/5 seeds.
11 Miami (Fl.) 16-9 (Prev: Out)- Like NC St., the Canes benefit from a lack of quality "bubble" teams, and the fact that they have a winning record in a respectable conference.

7 UVA 20-6 (Prev: 6)
10 BYU 23-6 (Prev: 12)

2 Michigan St. 22-5- The 10 point win at Ohio St. all but guarantees them of at least a 2 seed barring a complete collapse.
15 Nevada 22-5 (Prev: 15)

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  1. Michigan State verse Kentucky in a regional final would be awesome.

    1. Yeah, that would be awesome. Mich St. looks like they would jump to the 1 line if they beat Ohio St. at home to close the season. The 1 and 2 seeds are so strong this year.