A projected look at the 2017 NCAA tournament bracket

Scout bracketology expert Kyle Reichert updates his projected bracket for the 2017 NCAA tournament.

The release of the top 16 teams last Saturday provided an insightful glimpse into what the committee values in a team’s resume.

The main component that stood out was the relationship between RPI top 16 and the committee’s top 16. Thirteen of the 16 teams in the field were also top 16 in the RPI, but the committee made some  West Virginia, Duke and UCLA noteworthy departures from RPI to include West Virginia, Duke and UCLA. Those three teams boast some impressive wins that vaulted them into the top 16 despite some less-than-stellar strength of schedule numbers. I like when the committee rewards teams for signature wins as opposed to gaudy records against relative mediocrity.

A strong message was sent to the Big Ten, as it was the only power conference to be shut out of the rankings. Conference leaders Wisconsin and Maryland simply do not have the quality wins necessary to match up with the rest of the country’s top teams. Purdue has the benefit of wins over both Wisconsin and Maryland and a quality win over Northwestern but two ugly losses to Iowa and Nebraska. In this year’s version of the Big Ten, Purdue has about as good of a win list as a team can compile within the conference.

This weekend features showdowns at the top of the Big 12 (Kansas and Baylor) and Big Ten (Maryland at Wisconsin) as well as the ever-enduring turmoil on the bubble. Be sure to follow @ScoutBrackets on Twitter for reaction to games with bracket implications.

Teams with projected automatic bids are listed with the conference in (parentheses)

EAST

MIDWEST

1. Villanova (Big East) 1. Kansas (Big 12)
16. Weber State (Big Sky) vs. North Carolina Central (MEAC) 16. Texas Southern (SWAC) vs. UC Davis (Big West)
8. Oklahoma State 8. Minnesota
9. Miami (Fl) 9. Wichita State (Missouri Valley)
5. Maryland 5. Wisconsin (Big Ten)
12. UT Arlington (Sun Belt) 12. UNC Wilmington (CAA)
4. West Virginia 4. Kentucky
13. Princeton (Ivy) 13. Belmont (Ohio Valley)
6. Xavier 6. Notre Dame
11. Michigan State 11. Seton Hall vs. Illinois State
3. Florida (SEC) 3. Oregon
14. Furman (Southern) 14. Valparaiso (Horizon)
7. Northwestern 7. California
10. Arkansas 10. Michigan
2. North Carolina (ACC) 2. Florida State
15. Cal State Bakersfield (WAC) 15. Colorado State (MWC)

SOUTH

WEST

1. Baylor 1. Gonzaga (WCC)
16. Liberty (Big South) 16. New Orleans (Southland)
8. Saint Mary's 8. USC
9. Dayton 9. Iowa State
5. Cincinnati 5. Butler
13. Middle Tennessee (CUSA) 12. Akron (MAC)
4. Virginia 4. Purdue
13. Vermont (America East) 13. Monmouth (MAAC)
6. Creighton 6. South Carolina
11. Syracuse 11. TCU vs. Marquette
3. UCLA 3. Duke
14. North Dakota State (Summit) 14. Bucknell (Patriot)
7. Virginia Commonwealth (Atlantic 10) 7. SMU
10. Virginia Tech 10. Kansas State
2. Louisville 2. Arizona (Pac-12)
15. Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun) 15. Mount St. Mary's (NEC)

 


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