Bracketology: Christmas Edition

By Kevin Sweeney

bracketchristmas

The Christmas holiday is a perfect time to decompress from all of the exciting college basketball of the first two months of the season and prepare for conference play. Most teams have ten or more games under their belt, and we certainly have a much clearer picture of what teams look like than we did before the season began. As teams head into conference play starting this week, here’s my predicted field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament:

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East Region:

  • #1 Villanova* vs #16 Eastern Washington*/NC Central*
  • #8 Iowa State vs #9 Colorado
  • #5 Cincinnati* vs #12 San Diego State
  • #4 Wisconsin vs #13 Fort Wayne*
  • #6 USC vs #11 UNC-Wilmington*
  • #3 Louisville vs #14 Harvard*
  • #7 Notre Dame vs #10 Auburn
  • #2 Gonzaga* vs #15 Winthrop*

West Region:

  • #1 UCLA* vs #16 Bucknell*
  • #8 SMU vs #9 Dayton*
  • #5 Purdue vs #12 Monmouth*
  • #4 Butler vs #13 UT-Arlington*
  • #6 Florida State vs #11 Nevada*
  • #3 West Virginia vs #14 New Mexico State*
  • #7 Virginia Tech vs #10 Oklahoma State
  • #2 Kentucky* vs #15 Vermont*

Midwest Region:

  • #1 Baylor* vs #16 LIU-Brooklyn*
  • #8 Florida vs #9 NC State
  • #5 St. Mary’s vs #12 Middle Tennessee State*
  • #4 Virginia vs #13 Valparaiso*
  • #6 Arizona vs #11 Northwestern/Texas Tech
  • #3 Creighton vs #14 Florida Gulf Coast*
  • #7 Maryland vs #10 California
  • #2 North Carolina vs #15 Tennessee State

South Region:

  • #1 Duke* vs #16 Texas Southern*/Sam Houston State*
  • #8 Texas A&M vs #9 Seton Hall
  • #5 Xavier vs #12 Temple/Clemson
  • #4 Oregon vs #13 Chattanooga*
  • #6 South Carolina vs #11 Rhode Island
  • #3 Indiana* vs #14 Akron*
  • #7 Wichita State* vs #10 VCU
  • #2 Kansas vs #15 UC-Irvine*

Last Four Byes

  • VCU
  • California
  • Rhode Island
  • San Diego State

Last Four In

  • Northwestern
  • Texas Tech
  • Temple
  • Clemson

First Four Out

  • Michigan State
  • TCU
  • Minnesota
  • Arkansas

Next Four Out

  • Michigan
  • Houston
  • Pittsburgh
  • Wyoming

Also Considered (No Order): St. Bonaventure, UMass, Miami, Syracuse, Memphis, UCF, Kansas State, Providence, Illinois, Ohio State, Iowa, Utah, Ole Miss, BYU, San Francisco

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