March Madness bracket predictions 5.0: Projecting the Field of 68 for 2021 NCAA Tournament

Selection Sunday for the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament is just days away.

The 68-team topic is taking type by means of conference match week, and Wednesday’s schedule choices 33 conference match video video games. Quite loads can change from the No. 1 seeds to the bubble over the subsequent Four days, and SN will monitor the movement with every day updates from proper right here by means of Selection Sunday.

Here is a take a look at Sporting Data’ updated Field of 68 as of Thursday, March 11: 

MORE: Sporting News’ 2020-21 college basketball All-Americans

March Madness bracket predictions for 2021 NCAA Tournament

Projected No. 1 seeds

  • **Gonzaga 26-0 (West Coast)
  • Baylor 22-1 (Huge 12)
  • Michigan 19-3 (Huge Ten)
  • Illinois 20-6

Lowdown: Gonzaga acquired the West Coast Conference match for the eighth time in 9 seasons and must be a digital lock for the excessive seed in the match. Baylor moreover appears to be a lock for a No. 1 seed heading into Friday’s Huge 12 quarterfinals. Illinois and Michigan most likely will carry on this line too, however it might probably require profitable a minimum of one sport in the Huge Ten match merely to be protected. Every teams play Friday. 

Projected No. 2 seeds

  • Alabama 21-6 (SEC)
  • Iowa 20-7
  • Houston 21-3 (American)
  • Ohio State 19-8

Lowdown: Iowa and Ohio State are attention-grabbing 2-seeds on completely totally different paths. The Hawkeyes might slide as a lot as a No. 1 with a strong displaying in Indianapolis. KenPom has Iowa at No. 4, so it’s potential. The Buckeyes, in the meantime, are a borderline 3-seed after dropping their last Four video video games of the widespread season. Ohio State slid to the No. 5 seed in the Huge Ten match. To be trustworthy, three of these late-season losses had been to top-10 teams.

Projected No. Three seeds

  • Arkansas 21-5
  • Virginia 18-6 (ACC)
  • Kansas 19-8
  • Texas 17-7

Lowdown: Arkansas enters the SEC Tournament as one of the hottest teams in school basketball. The Razorbacks have acquired eight straight, along with an 81-66 victory in opposition to Alabama on Feb. 24. Arkansas might play into the No. 2 line with ease. The Huge 12 will put Four teams on each the No. Three or No. 4 line, counting on how they fare in the Huge 12 match. Kansas and Texas are elevated seeds than the pair of teams we positioned on the No. 4 line — and KenPom has them ranked elevated as successfully.

Projected No. 4 seeds

  • Villanova 16-6
  • Oklahoma State 19-7
  • West Virginia 18-9
  • Purdue 18-8

Lowdown: Oklahoma State beat West Virginia 72-69 in the Huge 12 quarterfinals on Thursday, and the Cowboys might play up proper right into a No. Three seed with one different victory. The Mountaineers most likely will settle for a No. 4 seed at this stage. Villanova missed a chance to maneuver up a line after a 72-71 loss to Georgetown in the Huge East match. Purdue did snag the No. 4 seed in the Huge Ten match, nonetheless there is a essential gap between them and the totally different extreme seeds in the conference.

MORE: Iowa’s Luka Garza is Sporting News’ Player of the Year

Projected No. 5 seeds

  • Florida State 15-5
  • Creighton 18-7 (Huge East)
  • Oregon 20-5 (Pac-12)
  • USC 21-6

Lowdown: Florida State has a strong case to climb into that No. 4 line and is separated from Purdue by one spot on KenPom. The Seminoles did lose two of their last three video video games in the widespread season. Oregon is the excessive seed in the Pac-12 match, and the Geese acquired their last 5 video video games in the widespread season. That talked about, Oregon had a 1-2 file in opposition to USC and Colorado this season. The Buffaloes might merely be positioned on this line.

Projected No. 6 seeds

  • Colorado 20-7
  • Tennessee 17-7
  • Texas Tech 17-9
  • Oklahoma 15-9

Lowdown: The Huge 12 love continues. The conference might have all seven Tournament teams on the first six strains, and Texas Tech might transfer as a No. 5 seed at this stage. Clemson closed the season with six wins its last seven video video games. They’re in first fee type to stay on this line. Tennessee, which accomplished 3-Three in its last six video video games, stays on this line ahead of LSU for now. Oklahoma performs Kansas in the Huge Ten quarterfinals Thursday. 

Projected No. 7 seeds

  • Florida 14-8
  • LSU 16-8
  • San Diego State 20-4 (Mountain West)
  • Wisconsin 16-11

Lowdown: The Badgers have double-digit losses, nonetheless as well as they head into the Huge Ten match with a KenPom rating of No. 11. They seem to be a main candidate to be overseeded a contact based mostly totally on the vitality of the Huge Ten. LSU, which acquired 5 of its last seven video video games, and Florida are every on this line for now. 

Projected No. Eight seeds

  • Clemson 16-7
  • UConn 14-6
  • **Loyola-Chicago 24-4 (Missouri Valley)
  • North Carolina 17-9

Lowdown: Clemson most likely might slide proper all the way down to this line after a 67-64 loss to Miami on Thursday. North Carolina and UConn are giant names, nonetheless the group No. 1 seeds could possibly be cautious of is Loyola-Chicago. The Tar Heels have acquired three of their last Four and can play as a lot as a No. 7 seed with a victory in opposition to Virginia Tech. The Ramblers have misplaced just one sport since Jan. 11.

MORE: Michigan’s Juwan Howard is Sporting News’ Coach of the Year

Leisure of topic projections

No. 9 seeds: Virginia Tech 15-5, St. Bonaventure (A-10), Missouri 15-8, BYU 20-6
No. 10 seeds: Georgia Tech 16-8, UCLA 17-8, Maryland 16-12, Rutgers 14-10
No. 11 seeds: Louisville 13-7, Michigan State 15-12, VCU 19-6, **Winthrop 23-1 (Huge South)
No. 12 seeds: Louisiana Tech 20-6 (C-USA), Wichita State 15-4, Colorado State* 17-5, Drake* 25-4, St. Louis* 14-6, Syracuse 16-9*
No. 13 seeds: Toledo 21-7 (MAC), UC Santa Barbara 20-4 (Huge West), Colgate 12-7 (Patriot), **Liberty 22-5 (A-Photo voltaic)
No. 14 seeds: **UNC-Greensboro 20-8 (Southern), **Morehead State 23-7 (Ohio Valley), Grand Canyon 15-6 (WAC), Southern Utah 20-3 (Huge Sky)
No. 15 seeds: **Cleveland State 19-7 (Horizon), Nicholls State 17-6 (Southland), Hartford 13-8 (America East), **Oral Roberts 16-10 (Summit)
No. 16 seeds: Prairie View A&M 14-4 (SWAC), Saint Peter’s 13-10 (MAAC), North Carolina A&T* 11-10 (MEAC), **Appalachian State* 17-11 (Photo voltaic Belt), **Mount St. Mary’s* 12-10 (Northeast), **Drexel 12-7* (Colonial)

*First Four teams
** Teams which have clinched automated bids

Last Four in

  • St. Louis 14-6
  • Drake 25-4
  • Colorado State 17-5
  • Syracuse 16-9

Lowdown: Syracuse is once more on the bubble after a 72-69 loss to Virginia in the ACC quarterfinals. The Orange, however, could possibly be helped by Duke missing the rest of the ACC match. Drake didn’t win its conference match, nonetheless the Bulldogs ought to present you the possibility crack the Field of 68. Colorado State should win a sport in the MWC match to hold off two bubble teams behind them in the comparable conference.

First Four out

  • Xavier 13-8
  • Boise State 18-7
  • Utah State 18-7
  • Ole Miss 15-10

Lowdown: Xavier is in trouble after a 70-69 loss to Seton Hall in the Huge East match on Thursday. That additional time loss, might knock the Musketeers off the bubble. Xavier blew a 14-point lead in the loss. Some projections favor each Utah State or Boise State over Colorado State for one of these last Four spots. We have got Ole Miss ahead of Seton Hall in the pecking order, nonetheless that will change.

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