SPORTS
03/10/2012 09:11 am ET

NCAA Bracket Projections: Kentucky Moves Into Top Spot, Miami On Bubble

Zach Hayes, Rush The Court

Last Update: Friday, March 9, 11:59 PM ET.

Changes:

Kentucky clinches the #1 overall seed following Syracuse’s loss to Cincinnati. The Orange only drop one spot to #2 overall on the S-Curve and will still be headed to the Boston region. Kansas drops behind North Carolina on the S-Curve following their loss to Baylor and could drop behind Duke or Michigan State depending on the results of their respective conference tournaments.

Baylor had one glaring void on their resume: the lack of an RPI top-25 win. That’s no longer the case following their breakthrough win on Friday over Kansas. The Bears still may have trouble jumping up to a #2 seed even if they emerge victorious in the Big 12 Tournament championship because of two previous losses to Missouri and Ohio State’s run in the Big Ten Tournament.

Cincinnati jumps to a #6 seed following their win over Syracuse. The Bearcats have a host of quality wins: Syracuse, Marquette, at Georgetown, Louisville, at Connecticut, Notre Dame. They’re also anchored by a horrid RPI/SOS and non-conference SOS. Where they’ll be seeding is really difficult to pin down.

Xavier remains in the field after edging Dayton in the A-10 Tournament. That result also eliminates the Flyers from at-large consideration.

Marshall jumps into First Four Out territory but tomorrow is still a win-and-in, lose-and-out scenario.

Miami barely stays in the field despite their loss to Florida State and only three top-100 wins. The Canes are carried by their huge victory at Duke and a home triumph over FSU. Their RPI/SOS is also superior to Seton Hall, whose best wins all came at home against Georgetown, Connecticut and West Virginia, plus a neutral win over VCU. Also a determining factor: the Pirates lost to Villanova, Rutgers (home) and at DePaul in blowout fashion in Big East play. This could change if Durand Scott’s availability is still up in the air into Selection Sunday.

Last Four In: Miami (FL), Drexel, NC State, Mississippi State.
First Four Out: Seton Hall, Washington, Marshall, Northwestern.

3/9 S-Curve

1 Seeds: Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina, Kansas

2 Seeds: Duke, Michigan State, Missouri, Ohio State

3 Seeds: Baylor, Marquette, Michigan, Wisconsin

4 Seeds: Georgetown, Indiana, Florida State, Louisville

5 Seeds: Wichita State, Murray State, UNLV, Temple

6 Seeds: Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Florida, Notre Dame

7 Seeds: Creighton, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State, Gonzaga

8 Seeds: Memphis,  New Mexico, Iowa State, Kansas State

9 Seeds: Purdue, Saint Louis, Connecticut, Alabama

10 Seeds: Harvard, West Virginia, Southern Miss, California

11 Seeds: Colorado State, Virginia, BYU, VCU

12 Seeds: Texas, Long Beach State, South Florida, Xavier, Mississippi State

13 Seeds: NC State, Drexel, Miami (FL), Nevada, Akron

14 Seeds: Davidson, South Dakota State, Belmont, Montana

15 Seeds: Loyola (MD), Detroit, Lehigh, LIU-Brooklyn

16 Seeds: UNC-Asheville, Norfolk State, Lamar, Stony Brook, Mississippi Valley State, Western Kentucky

Automatic bids: Stony Brook, Saint Louis, North Carolina, Belmont, Missouri, Cincinnati, Montana, UNC-Asheville, Michigan State, Long Beach State, VCU, Memphis, Detroit, Harvard, Loyola (MD), Akron, Norfolk State, Creighton, San Diego State, LIU Brooklyn, Murray State, California, Lehigh, Kentucky, Davidson, Lamar, Mississippi Valley State, Western Kentucky, South Dakota State, Saint Mary’s, Nevada.

Bids per conference: Big East (9), Big 12 (6), ACC (6), Big Ten (6), SEC (5), Mountain West (4), Atlantic 10 (3), West Coast (3), Conference USA (2), Missouri Valley (2), Colonial (2).

Zach Hayes is RTC’s official bracketologist. Follow @rushthecourt on Twitter.

-

CONVERSATIONS