BRACKET BREAKDOWN: December 30th

Jon Rothstein
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Who’s ready for a new weekly column?

Between now and Selection Sunday, each Friday I’ll give a “BRACKET BREAKDOWN” with my 68 projected teams for the 2023 NCAA Tournament along with my Top 16 seeds as well as emerging trends.

The team who is currently in first place in their respective conference will be listed as that league’s “automatic qualifier”.

The Current Field

Atlantic Sun (1)
Florida Gulf Coast (AQ)

America East (1)
UMass Lowell (AQ)

American Athletic Conference (2)
Houston (AQ), Memphis

Atlantic 10 (1)
Dayton (AQ)

ACC (5)
Miami (AQ), Virginia Tech, Virginia, Duke North Carolina

Big 12 (9)
Kansas (AQ), Kansas State, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Iowa State, TCU, West Virginia

Big East (4)
UConn (AQ), Xavier, Marquette, Creighton

Big Sky (1)
Montana State (AQ)

Big South (1)
Longwood (AQ)

Big Ten (10)
Purdue (AQ), Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers, Northwestern

Big West (1)
UC Santa Barbara (AQ)

CAA (1)
Charleston (AQ)

Conference-USA (1)
Florida Atlantic (AQ)

Horizon League (1)
Northern Kentucky (AQ)

Ivy League (1)
Yale (AQ)

MAAC (1)
Iona (AQ)

MAC (1)
Kent State (AQ)

MEAC (1)
Norfolk State (AQ)

Missouri Valley (1)
Indiana State (AQ)

Mountain West (2)
New Mexico (AQ), San Diego State

NEC (1)
Wagner (AQ)

OVC (1)
SIU Edwardsville (AQ)

Pac-12 (4)
UCLA (AQ), Arizona State, Arizona, Utah

Patriot League (1)
American (AQ)

SEC (7)
Missouri (AQ), Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn, Mississippi State, Arkansas

Southern (1)
Furman (AQ)

Southland (1)
Nicholls (AQ)

SWAC (1)
Grambling (AQ)

Summit (1)
Oral Roberts (AQ)

Sun Belt (1)
Marshall (AQ)

WCC (2)
Gonzaga (AQ), Saint Mary’s

WAC (1)
Grand Canyon (AQ)

First Four Out

Providence, LSU, Oklahoma State, NC State

Top 16 Seeds

1: Purdue, UConn, Kansas, Arizona
2: Houston, UCLA, Alabama, Tennessee
3: Baylor, Gonzaga, Texas, Virginia
4: Duke, Wisconsin, Miami, Indiana

Five Things To Know

  • Purdue is currently the only team in college basketball with five Quad 1 wins. 
  • As of Friday, all 10 teams from the Big 12 were ranked in the Top 50 of the NET. 
  • How valuable would a No. 1 seed in the West Region be for Arizona? This year’s West Regional will be played at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the same venue that the Wildcats annually make feel like an extension of Tucson during the Pac-12 Tournament. 
  • Villanova (7-6) went up 10 spots in the NET following Wednesday’s loss at UConn. The Wildcats are now 5-1 with five-star freshman Cam Whitmore in the lineup entering Saturday’s game against Marquette. 
  • After a strong start, Utah State (11-2) has come back down to earth. A pair of losses last week against two sub .500 teams — Weber State and SMU — have dropped the Aggies out of the bracket above.

Jon Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and a contributor to the CBS Broadcast Network since 2016. He joined FanDuel n 2022 as a Content Creator. Rothstein is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks.

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