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With just over one month until Selection Sunday, let's take a look at Andy Katz's most recent bracket predictions and see how the 68-team field will shape up.
This year's bracket differs significantly from last season in some important ways, including conference realignment.
On the eve of the NCAA Tournament, analysts are regularly updating their predictions. ESPN's Joe Lunardi, CBS' Jerry Palm, Blogging the Bracket's Chris Dobbertean and USA Today's Eddie Timanus offered their insights on which top programs will make it to March Madness.
Arizona is a strong candidate to make it back to the NCAA tournament, though they might value road/neutral wins more than quad one victories at present. Arizona has been averaging just over 80 points per game while picking up victories against Oregon, USC, and UCLA.
Arizona's schedule is unique, featuring two games that could determine their seed status in the coming weeks. Tuesday's matchup against USC presents a challenge for the Wildcats while Monday's visit to UCLA provides them with an opportunity to improve upon their seeding.
On February 16th, we will focus specifically on #2 Kentucky as they continue their historic run with an impressive resume despite suffering through injuries throughout the season. John Calipari's Wildcats have made progress throughout Quad 1 despite this injury-riddled campaign.
They can grab another victory this weekend against Texas A&M to increase their record to 2-0 in quad games. A victory against a tough conference opponent will also help them stand tall against some of the nation's best teams and earn themselves their first NCAA Tournament seed.
The Wildcats boast an exceptional combination of leadership and star power with transfer players like Oscar Tshiebwe, Kellan Grady and Sahvir Wheeler. They possess the size to play defense while being a formidable offensive team (ranked in the top 10 nationally for scoring).
The NCAA Tournament bracket is one of the most intricate documents in sports. Whether you're filling out an office bracket or trying to make sense of it all, this year's bracket promises to be even more complex than previous years.
Thankfully, there are ways to make sense of it all. We've taken a close look at this year's best, worst and strangest films to help you sort it all out.
KenPom's ratings indicate that in the Midwest region there are some solid teams and some underwhelming ones. On the East coast however, we have some elite programs as well as mid-majors with Cinderella potential.
The Big 12 will be a major factor in this season's NCAA Tournament. Sporting News' latest Field of 68 lists six teams from the conference among its top 16.
Kansas is the best team in its conference and a genuine contender for the national title. They possess excellent defensive capabilities as well as one of the nation's top shooting teams. Furthermore, Kansas excels on offense with great efficiency on both ends of the ball.
With the NCAA Tournament bracket reveal set for Saturday, much attention is being given to the top 16 teams. While there will be much discussion as to who belongs in that field, 32 regular season champions have earned automatic bids without committee approval.
While we may all be thrilled that the top teams in America have advanced to the Final Four, it's essential to remember that bracket projections are only a snapshot in time with only a few months until Selection Sunday. Unexpected bid thieves often emerge during conference tournaments and their impacts on brackets may be greater than anticipated at this stage in the season.
Kansas State has had an impressive start to this year, despite its slow start. Its +141 scoring differential and plus-23 net rating suggest they could potentially be among the top teams in the tournament.
That's why it's worth keeping an eye on the Wildcats as they take on Kentucky in a Sweet 16 matchup today. They will need more from their offense, which has struggled to produce big numbers over the past two weeks.
The Wildcats must rely on Dean Wade, who missed three games due to a stress fracture in his foot. But he's back tonight and can be an important asset when it comes to scoring, especially if the rest of the lineup can find its rhythm again. That could make all the difference in this game and give the Wildcats better odds at pulling off an unexpected win.
Texas enters February atop the Big 12 standings and could move one step closer to earning a No. 1 seed if it wins out in the conference tournament.
In Quads 1-2, the Longhorns are averaging 82.5 points and 66.7 boards per game - second only to Arizona State in this statistic. Their defense has also seen tremendous improvement as well.
SportsLine rates them a top-50 team in KenPom, and NET also has them ranked within the top-50. Furthermore, they have won against an opponent from each of the first two quadrants.
They should face a much tougher challenge to win their next game against Kansas, who has won nine of their last 10 Quad matches 2-2.
The Red Raiders boast an impressive history of winning conference championships and are one of only four teams eligible for the NCAA Tournament this season that have done so. That includes two outright titles and three shared victories.
Texas Tech has the potential for great things this March, especially under Chris Beard's guidance. His teams have always performed at their peak performance when seedings are being decided and this could be no exception this year.
Though it may be a stretch to project the Red Raiders as one of the top 10 teams in the bracket, they do boast some quality wins on their resume and could surprise some people this season. It will be an uphill battle but if they can pull through, they should be rewarded with a top 16 finish.
Rutgers boasts an impressive resume that looks set to grow throughout the season. They boast five Quad 1 victories and eight wins against at-large teams, making them a formidable opponent on paper.
If they can maintain this momentum and further develop their defense and rebounding, I believe this is the year the Scarlet Knights finally make history.
It's hard to envision this team failing in their bid, as they possess some impressive experience on the floor and excellent role players such as Geo Baker, Paul Mulcahy, Ron Harper Jr. and Cliff Omoruyi.
Last season, Notre Dame's unexpected run to the finish line astounds many. The Irish finished 15-5 and one game away from winning the ACC title with an incredible 15-5 record.
The ACC has many teams that are receiving plenty of attention, but there's room for some unexpected success as well. One such team is Notre Dame men's basketball, which appears to be making waves in bracket projections.
This team boasts an experienced roster, featuring a strong core of seniors playing their final games. Add in a star freshman headed for the NBA and this could be one of those teams that surprises a 1 seed in the Round of 32.
Watch to see if this young talent can make a deep run. Whether it's another second-weekend type squad or an All-Star selection will depend on how well this group shoots and defends. It should be an exciting journey!