March Madness bracket projections: Kentucky, UNC shoot up to 2-seed line

As we inch nearer to March Madness, we here at Sporting News are here to offer our best projections for the NCAA Tournament.

As always with our Field of 68 bracket projection, we’re here to do our best to help you decide for yourself how your favorite team’s resume stacks up. This isn’t a projection of what the seed lines will look like on Selection Sunday, but it’s an educated guess at how the bracket would look if the season ended yesterday.

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Automatic bids (in parenthesis) go to the team with the fewest conference losses. In case of a tie, the bid is given to the team with the best NET rating.

Projected No. 1 seeds

Virginia (ACC), Tennessee (SEC), Duke, Michigan (Big Ten)
Virginia (20-1):
NET/Pom/KPI: 1/1/3. vs. Q1: 6-1. vs. Q2: 5-0. vs. Q3/4: 9-0
Tennessee (20-1): NET/Pom/KPI: 4/5/7. vs. Q1: 4-1. vs. Q2: 6-0. vs. Q3/4: 10-0
Duke (20-2): NET/Pom/KPI: 3/2/1. vs. Q1: 5-1. vs. Q2: 5-1. vs. Q3/4: 10-0
Michigan (21-2): NET/Pom/KPI: 6/6/4. vs. Q1: 5-2. vs. Q2: 7-0. vs. Q3/4: 9-0

Projected No. 2 seeds

Gonzaga (WCC), Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan State
Gonzaga (21-2):
NET/Pom/KPI: 2/3/11. vs. Q1: 4-2. vs. Q2: 3-0. vs. Q3/4: 14-0
Kentucky (19-3): NET/Pom/KPI: 5/8/6. vs. Q1: 6-2. vs. Q2: 3-1. vs. Q3/4: 10-0
North Carolina (18-4): NET/Pom/KPI: 8/7/5. vs. Q1: 5-4. vs. Q2: 6-0. vs. Q3/4: 7-0
Michigan State (18-5): NET/Pom/KPI: 9/4/10. vs. Q1: 8-3. vs. Q2: 4-2. vs. Q3/4: 6-0

Projected No. 3 seeds

Kansas, Purdue, Marquette, Houston (American)
Kansas (17-6):
NET/Pom/KPI: 17/16/2. vs. Q1: 8-5. vs. Q2: 5-1. vs. Q3/4: 4-0
Purdue (16-6): NET/Pom/KPI: 11/10/9. vs. Q1: 5-5. vs. Q2: 5-1. vs. Q3/4: 6-0
Marquette (19-4): NET/Pom/KPI: 21/28/15. vs. Q1: 6-3. vs. Q2: 3-1. vs. Q3/4: 10-0
Houston (21-1): NET/Pom/KPI: 7/19/8. vs. Q1: 2-1. vs. Q2: 8-0. vs. Q3/4: 11-0

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Projected No. 4 seeds

Louisville, Virginia Tech, Iowa State, Texas Tech
Louisville (17-6):
NET/Pom/KPI: 15/13/14. vs. Q1: 4-5. vs. Q2: 4-1. vs. Q3/4: 9-0
Virginia Tech (18-4): NET/Pom/KPI: 10/9/25. vs. Q1: 3-3. vs. Q2: 5-1. vs. Q3/4: 10-0
Iowa State (18-5): NET/Pom/KPI: 13/12/17. vs. Q1: 4-4. vs. Q2: 3-1. vs. Q3/4: 11-0
Texas Tech (18-5): NET/Pom/KPI: 16/15/21. vs. Q1: 3-5. vs. Q2: 6-0. vs. Q3/4: 9-0

Projected No. 5 seeds

Nevada (MWC), Villanova (Big East), Wisconsin, Iowa
Nevada (21-1):
NET/Pom/KPI: 14/17/18. vs. Q1: 0-0. vs. Q2: 8-0. vs. Q3/4: 13-1
Villanova (18-4): NET/Pom/KPI: 18/18/13. vs. Q1: 3-2. vs. Q2: 7-2. vs. Q3/4: 8-0
Wisconsin (16-6): NET/Pom/KPI: 12/11/20. vs. Q1: 5-4. vs. Q2: 5-2. vs. Q3/4: 6-0
Iowa (17-5): NET/Pom/KPI: 23/23/32. vs. Q1: 3-5. vs. Q2: 5-0. vs. Q3/4: 9-0

Projected No. 6 seeds

Kansas State (Big 12), Maryland, LSU, Florida State
Kansas State (17-5):
NET/Pom/KPI: 30/35/12. vs. Q1: 4-2. vs. Q2: 4-3. vs. Q3/4: 9-0
Maryland (17-6): NET/Pom/KPI: 24/20/23. vs. Q1: 3-4. vs. Q2: 5-2. vs. Q3/4: 9-0
LSU (17-4): NET/Pom/KPI: 19/24/16. vs. Q1: 3-2. vs. Q2: 6-2. vs. Q3/4: 8-0
Florida State (17-5): NET/Pom/KPI: 29/21/24. vs. Q1: 3-3. vs. Q2: 4-2. vs. Q3/4: 10-0

Projected No. 7 seeds

Baylor, Mississippi State, Auburn, St. John’s
Baylor (15-6):
NET/Pom/KPI: 31/26/27. vs. Q1: 4-3. vs. Q2: 5-1. vs. Q3/4: 6-2
Mississippi State (16-5): NET/Pom/KPI: 26/25/19. vs. Q1: 6-2. vs. Q2: 3-3. vs. Q3/4: 7-0
Auburn (15-6): NET/Pom/KPI: 20/14/35. vs. Q1: 1-5. vs. Q2: 6-1. vs. Q3/4: 8-0
St. John’s (17-6): NET/Pom/KPI: 40/47/28. vs. Q1: 4-4. vs. Q2: 4-0. vs. Q3/4: 9-2

Projected No. 8 seeds

Washington (Pac-12), Cincinnati, Oklahoma, Syracuse
Washington (18-4):
NET/Pom/KPI: 27/33/29. vs. Q1: 2-3. vs. Q2: 2-1. vs. Q3/4: 14-0
Cincinnati (19-3): NET/Pom/KPI: 25/29/26. vs. Q1: 2-1. vs. Q2: 4-1. vs. Q3/4: 13-1
Oklahoma (15-8): NET/Pom/KPI: 38/40/22. vs. Q1: 3-6. vs. Q2: 5-2. vs. Q3/4: 7-0
Syracuse (16-7): NET/Pom/KPI: 47/33/33. vs. Q1: 2-3. vs. Q2: 4-2. vs. Q3/4: 10-2

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Projected No. 9 seeds

Minnesota, TCU, Ohio State, Ole Miss
Minnesota (16-6):
NET/Pom/KPI: 52/51/38. vs. Q1: 3-4. vs. Q2: 2-2. vs. Q3/4: 22-0
TCU (15-6): NET/Pom/KPI: 37/37/34. vs. Q1: 0-5. vs. Q2: 5-1. vs. Q3/4: 10-0
Ohio State (14-7): NET/Pom/KPI: 36/32/39. vs. Q1: 3-5. vs. Q2: 3-2. vs. Q3/4: 8-0
Ole Miss (14-7): NET/Pom/KPI: 39/46/42. vs. Q1: 3-7. vs. Q2: 2-0. vs. Q3/4: 9-0

Projected No. 10 seeds

N.C. State, Buffalo, Arizona State, Indiana
N.C. State (16-7):
NET/Pom/KPI: 35/41/76. vs. Q1: 1-6. vs. Q2: 4-0. vs. Q3/4: 11-1
Buffalo (18-3): NET/Pom/KPI: 22/22/31. vs. Q1: 2-1. vs. Q2: 2-2. vs. Q3/4: 14-0
Arizona State (15-6): NET/Pom/KPI: 60/54/36. vs. Q1: 3-1. vs. Q2: 5-3. vs. Q3/4: 7-2
Indiana (13-9): NET/Pom/KPI: 44/44/49. vs. Q1: 3-7. vs. Q2: 3-2. vs. Q3/4: 7-0

Projected No. 11 seeds

Seton Hall, Alabama, VCU, Temple, Texas, Wofford (Southern)
Seton Hall (13-9):
NET/Pom/KPI: 67/63/44. vs. Q1: 2-5. vs. Q2: 4-2. vs. Q3/4: 7-2
*Alabama (13-8): NET/Pom/KPI: 45/48/37. vs. Q1: 2-5. vs. Q2: 6-1. vs. Q3/4: 5-2
*VCU (15-6): NET/Pom/KPI: 49/53/40. vs. Q1: 1-3. vs. Q2: 2-2. vs. Q3/4: 12-1
*Temple (16-6): NET/Pom/KPI: 53/76/43. vs. Q1: 1-5. vs. Q2: 5-0. vs. Q3/4: 10-1
*Texas (12-10): NET/Pom/KPI: 41/30/30. vs. Q1: 4-5. vs. Q2: 2-3. vs. Q3/4: 6-2
* First Four teams

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No. 12 seeds: Davidson (A-10), Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Hofstra (Colonial)
No. 13 seeds: New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (America East), South Dakota State (Summit), Old Dominion (C-USA)
No. 14 seeds: Montana (Big Sky), Northern Kentucky (Horizon), Bowling Green (MAC) Loyola-Chicago (Missouri Valley)
No. 15 seeds: Georgia State (Sun Belt), Radford (Big South), Princeton (Ivy), UC Irvine (Big West)
No. 16 seeds: Bucknell (Patriot), Rider (MAAC) *Robert Morris (Northeast), *Sam Houston State (Southland), *Norfolk State (MEAC), *Prairie View A&M (SWAC)
*First Four teams

Newbies: Belmont, Bowling Green, Bucknell, Davidson, Lipscomb, Montana, New Mexico State, Norfolk State, Old Dominion, Princeton, Robert Morris
Dropped out: Lehigh, Liberty, Marshall, Murray State, North Carolina A&T, Saint Louis, UCF, UMKC, UNLV, Wagner, Weber State, Yale
Bubble boys (in alphabetical order): Arizona, Arkansas, Butler, Clemson, Creighton, Florida, Nebraska, San Francisco, UCF, UNCG, Utah State

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