BRACKET BREAKDOWN: Jan. 20th

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)
Liberty (AQ)

America East (1)
Binghamton (AQ)

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

Atlantic 10 (1)
VCU (AQ)

ACC (7)
Clemson (AQ), Miami, Pitt, Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, NC State

Big 12 (8)
Kansas State (AQ), Kansas,, Baylor, Texas, Iowa State, TCU, West Virginia, Oklahoma

Big East (5)
Xavier (AQ), Providence, Marquette, Creighton, UConn

Big Sky (1)
Eastern Washington (AQ)

Big South (1)
UNC Asheville (AQ)

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

Big West (1)
UC Riverside (AQ)

CAA (1)
Charleston (AQ)

Conference-USA (1)
Florida Atlantic (AQ)

Horizon League (1)
Milwaukee (AQ)

Ivy League (1)
Princeton (AQ)

MAAC (1)
Siena (AQ)

MAC (1)
Kent State (AQ)

MEAC (1)
Morgan State (AQ)

Missouri Valley (1)
Southern Illinois (AQ)

Mountain West (3)
Boise State (AQ), San Diego State, New Mexico

NEC (1)
Fairleigh Dickinson (AQ)

OVC (1)
SIU Edwardsville (AQ)

Pac-12 (3)
UCLA (AQ), Arizona, Arizona State

Patriot League (1)
Colgate (AQ)

SEC (5)
Alabama (AQ), Missouri, Tennessee, Auburn, Arkansas

Southern (1)
Samford (AQ)

Southland (1)
Nicholls (AQ)

SWAC (1)
Southern (AQ)

Summit (1)
Oral Roberts (AQ)

Sun Belt (1)
Louisiana (AQ)

WCC (2)
Saint Mary’s (AQ), Gonzaga

WAC (1)
Seattle (AQ)

 

First Four Out

Oklahoma State, USC, Nevada, Kentucky

Top 16 Seeds

1: Kansas, Purdue, Alabama, Houston
2: UCLA, Tennessee, Gonzaga, Kansas State
3: Iowa State, Xavier, Texas, Arizona
4: Virginia, Marquette, Miami, UConn

Five Things To Know

  • Two weeks ago I wrote about how Kansas could play games in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City if it earned the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region. The same now can be said about Kansas State, who is a No. 2 seed in the projected bracket above after Monday night’s one-point win over the Jayhawks.
  • Six of North Carolina’s next eight opponents are ranked in the Top 60 of the NET. The Tar Heels currently only have one Quad 1 win.
  • If UCLA beats Arizona in Tucson on Saturday, it would move ahead of Houston and be a No. 1 seed in the projected bracket above.
  • Creighton’s six Quad 1 losses have come by an average of 5.3 points. Let’s be honest: Who really wants to see the Jays on a neutral court in March?
  • How is Saint Mary’s ranked eighth in the NET? A big reason is the margin of its losses. The Gaels have lost four games this season by a combined 15 points. Two of those opponents — Houston and New Mexico — are ranked in the Top 31 of the NET.

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 in 2022 as a Content Creator. Rothstein is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks.

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