Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 3/6/13

In what has been a wild college basketball season, bubble teams just can’t seem to get out of their own way. Virginia picked up a huge win against Duke but followed it up with yet another poor loss at Boston College on Sunday. Iowa State got blown out against Oklahoma. Villanova took Pitt to OT before losing. The SEC saw all four of its bubble teams lose as Alabama, Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Tennessee all went down on the road (although at least Alabama lost to a tournament team). St. John’s lost at Providence. Indiana State, Arizona State, and Charlotte all lost twice. I could go on, but you get the idea. Consequently, finding 37 at-large teams this week proved to be pretty difficult. But with conference tournaments starting up this week, March is only going to get madder. Time to buckle up and enjoy the ride. The projections below take into account all games played through Monday, Mar. 4. Please note that both Cincinnati and Saint Mary’s were moved down one seed line to accommodate bracketing rules. MIDWEST (INDIANAPOLIS) EAST (WASHINGTON, DC) Dayton – March 22nd/24th Philadelphia – March 22nd/24th 1) Indiana (25-4) 1) Duke (25-4) 16) Charleston So. (17-11)/Northeastern (19-11) 16) Norfolk St. (20-10)/Southern (21-9) 8) San Diego State (20-8) 8) Missouri (21-8) 9) California (20-9) 9) Memphis (25-4) Kansas City – March 22nd/24th Lexington – March 21st/23rd 5) Saint Louis (23-5) 5) UNLV (22-7) 12) Cincinnati (20-10) 12) Massachusetts (18-9)/Villanova (18-12) 4) Kansas State (24-5) 4) Oklahoma State (22-6) 13) Akron (23-5) 13) Davidson (23-7) Dayton – March 22nd/24th Auburn Hills – March 21st/23rd 6) Pittsburgh (23-7) 6) UCLA (22-7) 11) La Salle (20-7) 11) Iowa State (19-10)/Virginia (20-9) 3) Florida (23-5) 3) Michigan State (22-7) 14) Valparaiso (24-7) 14) Stony Brook (23-6) Austin – March 22nd/24th Lexington – March 21st/23rd 7) Illinois (21-9) 7) Butler (22-7) 10) Colorado (19-9) 10) Wichita State (24-7) 2) Miami, FL (23-5) 2) Louisville (25-5) 15) Long Beach State (17-11) 15) Princeton (16-9) SOUTH (DALLAS) WEST (LOS ANGELES) Kansas City – March 22nd/24th Salt Lake City – March 21st/23rd 1) Kansas (26-4) 1) Gonzaga (29-2) 16) Niagara (18-12) 16) Mercer (21-10) 8) Colorado State (22-7) 8) North Carolina State (21-8) 9) North Carolina (21-8) 9) Creighton (24-7) San Jose – March 21st/23rd San Jose – March 21st/23rd 5) Wisconsin (20-9) 5) Ohio State (21-7) 12) Saint Mary’s (26-5) 12) Belmont (24-6) 4) Syracuse (23-6) 4) Marquette (21-7) 13) Louisiana Tech (26-3) 13) Bucknell (25-5) Auburn Hills – March 21st/23rd Salt Lake City – March 21st/23rd 6) Oregon (23-6) 6) Minnesota (20-9) 11) Boise State (20-8) 11) Middle Tennessee (27-4) 3) Michigan (24-5) 3) Arizona (23-6) 14) South Dakota State (22-9) 14) Stephen F. Austin (24-3) Philadelphia – March 22nd/24th Austin – March 22nd/24th 7) VCU (23-6) 7) Notre Dame (22-7) 10) Oklahoma (19-9) 10) Temple (21-8) 2) Georgetown (23-4) 2) New Mexico (25-4) 15) Robert Morris (22-9) 15) Montana (21-6) ———————– Last Four In Villanova The Wildcats played well at Pitt on Sunday, but they came up short in overtime. Still, they were able to remain in the field thanks to three wins against RPI Top 15 teams. Jay Wright’s squad could definitely use a win over Georgetown in the regular season finale on Wednesday to solidify its case. Virginia As mentioned above, the Cavaliers picked up a huge home win over Duke last week, but they were unable to carry that momentum into the weekend and lost to Boston College in the closing seconds. The ‘Hoos now have four Top 50 wins and a 7-2 record vs. the Top 100, but they have a staggering seven sub-100 losses. There is really no precedent for the how the committee might treat a team with so many bad losses. But with a weak bubble, I have to think they will be rewarded for their marquee wins. That said, taking care of business at Florida State and home against Maryland is a must. Iowa State The Cyclones got smoked at Oklahoma over the weekend and are now just 4-9 away from home. ISU does boast a pair of Top 25 wins, but the only other win over a team I have in the field came in the season-opener against Southern. Fred Hoiberg’s club has a critical game against Oklahoma State this week followed by a road trip to West Virginia. Anything less than 2-0, and the Cyclones will need a strong showing in the Big 12 Tournament. Massachusetts Last weekend’s win at Xavier gave the Minutemen a 9-6 record away from home, which will look good in the eyes of the committee. While UMass is just 1-5 versus the Top 50, they do have a winning record (8-7) against the Top 100, which is more than most bubble teams can claim. UMass has another crack at a Top 50 team when Butler visits on Thursday. First Four Out Kentucky Saturday’s loss at Arkansas pushed the Wildcats out of the field … but not by much. On the plus side, they have no losses to sub-100 teams. On the other hand, UK has just one Top 50 win. The Wildcats need to take care of business at Georgia before a huge home date with Florida to close out the season. Tennessee The Vols were Virginia-esque this week, following up Tuesday’s marquee win over Florida with a loss at Georgia, which gave the Bulldogs a season sweep over UT. Tennessee is now 8-9 against the Top 100, but Cuonzo Martin’s squad is just 9-7 in a down SEC. With a road trip to Auburn and a home date with Missouri on tap this week, the Volunteers need to win both to close out the regular season. Maryland Wednesday’s loss to Georgia Tech seemed to doom the Terps, but with so many bubble teams losing they’re still in the conversation. Maryland bounced back to win at Wake Forest, which set up a massive week for its tournament hopes. The Terps host surging North Carolina on Wednesday before hitting the road to take on fellow bubble dweller Virginia. Winning both is a must at this point. Alabama Despite leading Florida for a decent amount of Saturday’s game, the Tide wound up losing by eight in the O-Dome. They are now 0-4 against the Top 50, and seven Top 100 victories can’t offset four bad losses. Alabama needs to take care of business this week at Ole Miss and home against Georgia before winning a couple games in the SEC Tournament. ******* Here is how the bids broke out by conference: Big East (8): Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova Big Ten (7): Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Wisconsin Atlantic 10 (6): Butler, La Salle, Massachusetts, Saint Louis, Temple, VCU ACC (5): Duke, Miami (FL), North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia Big 12 (5): Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State Mountain West (5): Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV Pac-12 (5): Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, UCLA Missouri Valley (2): Creighton, Wichita State SEC (2): Florida, Missouri West Coast (2): Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s America East: Stony Brook Atlantic Sun: Mercer Big Sky: Montana Big South: Charleston Southern Big West: Long Beach State Colonial: Northeastern Conference USA: Memphis Horizon: Valparaiso Ivy: Princeton MAAC: Niagara MAC: Akron MEAC: Norfolk State Northeast: Robert Morris Ohio Valley: Belmont Patriot: Bucknell Southern: Davidson Southland: Stephen F. Austin Summit: South Dakota State Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee SWAC: Southern WAC: Louisiana Tech ********** Follow me on Twitter (@andybottoms) for more thoughts on college hoops. The post NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections: Mar. 5 appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.

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