Graphics by Chris Dobbertean using logos from either SportsLogos.net, Wikimedia Commons, or the institutions’ websites.
As is my usual practice, now that the college football season is over, it’s time to roll out the first real bracket of the new season. Of course, I probably could have published this at halftime of last night’s blowout ... or even before kickoff ... since there was so little drama in Georgia’s obliteration of TCU in Inglewood.
A lot has happened so far in this 2022-23 men’s college basketball season. There have been times when I’ve thought to myself, “Yeah, no one is really any good this year” and others where I’ve muttered “Okay, fine, (insert name here ... usually UConn, Kansas, Purdue, UCLA, Houston) has some real potential.” As a result of this season’s competitiveness and the fact we are still in the early stages of conference play, the bubble extends far beyond any names listed here. It’s going to be exciting to see how many more changes the two months remaining before Selection Sunday have for us.
Beyond the fact there are 32 (out of 68) new teams in today’s field, there are a few other intriguing items to note.
- All four No. 1 seeds are new, though two of them (Kansas and Houston) were two seeds in November.
- One former No. 1—in fact, the top overall seed in the preseason, Kentucky—is nowhere to be found after what’s become a typical early season struggle in Lexington. For the record, they’re in the group of four teams just outside of the “Next Four Out” group along with USC, Colorado, and Memphis.
- The Big Ten has 10 teams in this projection, but Michigan State and Michigan are not among them.
- The ACC, quite surprisingly, has eight entries, while the Big 12 has the same number. However, of the ACC and Big Ten’s combined 18 teams, 10 are seeded 8th or lower, which puts them firmly in bubble territory, meaning those totals may be January anomalies. On the other hand, six of the Big 12’s eight teams are seeded 6th or higher, with Oklahoma and Texas Tech still very much in the hunt.
- There are only eight conferences with multiple bids at the moment, and two of those provide just a pair of entrants. That’s due in no small part to the struggles of the American Athletic and Atlantic 10. However, the possibilities of a two-bid CAA and WAC are out there.
Seed List and Text-Only Bracket for Screen Readers
- Conference logos indicate auto bid holders.
- Numbers in red squares indicate team’s position in the bracket’s top 16 (top four seed lines).
- Colors next to seed numbers indicate bracket movement: yellow (new), green (seed up), red (seed down)
Bids by Conference
Ins and Outs (32)
New Entrants: American (Patriot), Arizona State, Charleston (CAA), Clemson (ACC), Eastern Washington (Big Sky), Fairleigh Dickinson (NEC), Florida Atlantic (C-USA), Indiana State (MVC), Iowa State, Kansas State, Kent State (MAC), Marquette, Maryland, Milwaukee (Horizon), Mississippi State, Missouri, NC State, Nevada (MW), Northwestern, Oral Roberts (Summit), Penn State, Pittsburgh, Princeton (Ivy), Providence (Big East), Rutgers, Samford (SoCon), Siena (MAAC), SIU Edwardsville (OVC), Southern (SWAC), Southern Mississippi (SBC), Stetson (ASUN), Texas A&M Corpus Christi (Southland), UMass Lowell (AE), Utah Valley (WAC), West Virginia
Today’s projection marks the first ever appearances for SIUE and UMass Lowell in a bracket on this site.
Out (For Now): Cincinnati, Colgate (Patriot), Drake (MVC), Florida (SEC), Furman (SoCon), Grand Canyon (WAC), Iona (MAAC), James Madison (SBC), Kentucky (SEC), Liberty (ASUN), Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, Montana State (Big Sky), Morehead State (OVC), Nicholls State (Southland), Northern Kentucky (Horizon), Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn (Ivy), Saint Louis, Seton Hall, South Dakota State (Summit), St. Francis (Pa.) (NEC), Texas A&M, Texas Southern (SWAC), Texas Tech, Toledo (MAC), Towson (CAA), UAB (C-USA), USC, Vermont (AE), Villanova, Wyoming
We are not quite at the part of the season where a bubble breakdown would be advisable, so for the next two Fridays I’m going to do something different in this space. Tournament expansion has been a major discussion topic over the past few weeks, and I want to share some of my ideas of how I would go about it—with respect for the event (and, to tease you a bit, the NIT too) in mind.