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

Choice Sunday for the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament is simply days away.

The 68-team subject is taking form by means of convention match week, and Wednesday’s schedule options 33 convention match video games. Rather a lot can change from the No. 1 seeds to the bubble over the subsequent 4 days, and SN will monitor the motion with each day updates from right here by means of Choice Sunday.

Here’s a have a look at Sporting Information’ up to date 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 (Massive 12)
  • Michigan 19-3 (Massive Ten)
  • Illinois 20-6

Lowdown: Gonzaga received the West Coast Convention match for the eighth time in 9 seasons and ought to be a digital lock for the high seed in the match. Baylor additionally seems to be a lock for a No. 1 seed heading into Friday’s Massive 12 quarterfinals. Illinois and Michigan probably will keep on this line too, nevertheless it would possibly require successful no less than one sport in the Massive Ten match simply to be protected. Each groups 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 totally different paths. The Hawkeyes may slide as much as a No. 1 with a powerful displaying in Indianapolis. KenPom has Iowa at No. 4, so it is potential. The Buckeyes, in the meantime, are a borderline 3-seed after dropping their final 4 video games of the common season. Ohio State slid to the No. 5 seed in the Massive Ten match. To be honest, three of these late-season losses had been to top-10 groups.

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 groups in faculty basketball. The Razorbacks have received eight straight, together with an 81-66 victory in opposition to Alabama on Feb. 24. Arkansas may play into the No. 2 line with ease. The Massive 12 will put 4 groups on both the No. Three or No. Four line, relying on how they fare in the Massive 12 match. Kansas and Texas are increased seeds than the pair of groups we positioned on the No. Four line — and KenPom has them ranked increased as effectively.

Projected No. Four 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 Massive 12 quarterfinals on Thursday, and the Cowboys may play up right into a No. Three seed with one other victory. The Mountaineers probably will settle for a No. Four seed at this level. Villanova missed an opportunity to maneuver up a line after a 72-71 loss to Georgetown in the Massive East match. Purdue did snag the No. Four seed in the Massive Ten match, however there’s a important hole between them and the different excessive seeds in the convention.

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

Projected No. 5 seeds

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

Lowdown: Florida State has a powerful case to climb into that No. Four line and is separated from Purdue by one spot on KenPom. The Seminoles did lose two of their final three video games in the common season. Oregon is the high seed in the Pac-12 match, and the Geese received their final 5 video games in the common season. That mentioned, Oregon had a 1-2 file in opposition to USC and Colorado this season. The Buffaloes may simply be positioned on this line.

Projected No. 6 seeds

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

Lowdown: The Massive 12 love continues. The convention may have all seven Tournament groups on the first six strains, and Texas Tech may move as a No. 5 seed at this level. Clemson closed the season with six wins its final seven video games. They’re in first rate form to remain on this line. Tennessee, which completed 3-Three in its final six video games, stays on this line forward of LSU for now. Oklahoma performs Kansas in the Massive 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, however in addition they head into the Massive Ten match with a KenPom ranking of No. 11. They’re a major candidate to be overseeded a contact based mostly on the energy of the Massive Ten. LSU, which received 5 of its final seven video games, and Florida are each 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 probably may slide right down to this line after a 67-64 loss to Miami on Thursday. North Carolina and UConn are large names, however the group No. 1 seeds could be cautious of is Loyola-Chicago. The Tar Heels have received three of their final 4 and will play as much as a No. 7 seed with a victory in opposition to Virginia Tech. The Ramblers have misplaced only one sport since Jan. 11.

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

Relaxation of subject 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 (Massive 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 (Massive West), Colgate 12-7 (Patriot), **Liberty 22-5 (A-Solar)
No. 14 seeds: **UNC-Greensboro 20-8 (Southern), **Morehead State 23-7 (Ohio Valley), Grand Canyon 15-6 (WAC), Southern Utah 20-3 (Massive 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 (Solar Belt), **Mount St. Mary’s* 12-10 (Northeast), **Drexel 12-7* (Colonial)

*First 4 groups
** Groups which have clinched automated bids

Final 4 in

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

Lowdown: Syracuse is again on the bubble after a 72-69 loss to Virginia in the ACC quarterfinals. The Orange, nevertheless, could be helped by Duke lacking the relaxation of the ACC match. Drake did not win its convention match, however the Bulldogs ought to give you the option crack the Field of 68. Colorado State must win a sport in the MWC match to carry off two bubble groups behind them in the similar convention.

First 4 out

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

Lowdown: Xavier is in hassle after a 70-69 loss to Seton Corridor in the Massive East match on Thursday. That time beyond regulation loss, may knock the Musketeers off the bubble. Xavier blew a 14-point lead in the loss. Some projections favor both Utah State or Boise State over Colorado State for one of these final 4 spots. We’ve got Ole Miss forward of Seton Corridor in the pecking order, however that may change.

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