Mar 10, 2017

The much awaited March Madness is right around the corner and it’s time for use to figure out the locks that are already in place, or moving into position. Since there’s not much left to speculation let’s get started with the top teams who have already started to warm up.

In the top 16, we have Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga and Baylor amongst the first seeds, North Carolina, Louisville, Oregon and Florida State amongst the second seed, and Arizona, Florida, Duke and Kentucky in the third, followed by UCLA, Butler, Virginia and West Virginia in the fourth seed. None of the names on the list will have changed much apart from Florida Gators, who will be without their center John Egbunu for the reminder of the season due to an ACL tear. Also, you wouldn’t want to count out the Blue Devils for making the no 1 seeds.

While the ideal bracket would include at least 34 teams, the projection made above sees both the South and East totals hitting the numbers, with the West at 35 and the Midwest trailing behind at 33.

Other Locks

Here we have seeds 5 and 6 which have been divided into teams of four with Maryland, Purdue, Creighton and Cincinnati, and Wisconsin, South Carolina, SMU and Notre Dame respectively. Here you will notice the three of the top ten teams on the list, namely, Purdue, Maryland and Wisconsin. The list also includes the top two squads from the American Athletic Conference – SMU and Cincinnati. It’s important to note that both Wisconsin and Northwestern now rank below Maryland and Purdue as they compete for the protected seed.

Near Locks

In the Near Locks list we have seeds 7 and 8, with Minnesota, Saint Mary’s, Northwestern and Xavier making up the first list and Oklahoma State all by its lonesome in the 8###sup/sup###. It’s important to point out that with 24 teams set as locks there are only 21 places up for grabs this time around, with five of those spots already off the board as the teams near closer to safety. The Wildcats could have made the spot but were unable to follow up on their previous win at Wisconsin. The Cats continued to suffer with Scottie Lindsey’s absence while Melo Trimble proved continuously that he’s one of the best things to happen to the Terps. Minnesota was also to scrape past rivals, Indiana to pick their fourth straight win, and the Hoosier’s position got worse after that game as well.

Bubble In

There are just 16 spots left in the bubble teams, and those names have really proven to be a mixed bag. Virginia Tech got off to a solid start by defeating Virginia, while Miami was also to inch past Georgia Tech. The USC has won five straight matches that is, until Oregon snapped that streak away. Thanks to Rhode Island’s massive 10 point loss at home turf, both VCU and Dayton seem like the two Atlantic teams on the board. One thing we’ve seen so far is that the teams which have managed to stick till the end get rewarded.  

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