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Bracketology 2023: A Huge Shakeup At The Cut Line

It was a wild Thursday for bubble teams, one that sees three new at-large entrants join the field heading into the final three days.

The top four seeds in each region of the bracket projection for Thursday, March 10, 2023.
Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from

A combined recap of Thursday’s mayhem and preview of Friday’s bubble action follows today’s full bracket.

Text-Only Bracket for Screen Readers and Seed List


  • Conference logos indicate auto bid holders. If a team has secured its league’s auto bid, the conference logo will appear next to the team logo. If a team is just the regular-season champ/highest seed remaining in the conference tournament, the logo will remain on the right.
  • 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) relative to Thursday’s bracket.

Graphics by Chris Dobbertean using logos from either, Wikimedia Commons, or the institutions’ websites.

Lowest-ranked NET at-large: Arizona State (60)
Lowest-ranked KenPom at-large: Arizona State (62)

Highest-ranked NET exclusion: North Texas (36)
Highest-ranked KenPom exclusion: Oklahoma State (39)

Bids By Conference

23 single-bid conferences

Looking Ahead While Glancing Back

Big Ten Quarters: (9) Rutgers (19-13, 10-10) vs. (1) Purdue (26-5, 15-5), 12 p.m. (BTN)

The Scarlet Knights started slowly against Michigan before recording a comfortable 62-50 victory that gave Rutgers some breathing room and eliminated the Wolverines. Another win over Purdue would sew things up for them, while likely pushing the Boilermakers out of the fourth No. 1 seed.

C-USA Semifinals: (4) Middle Tennessee (19-13, 11-9) vs. (1) Florida Atlantic (29-3, 18-2), 12:30 p.m. and (3) UAB (24-8, 14-6) vs. (2) North Texas (26-6, 16-4), approx. 3 p.m. (CBSSN)

The Owls are a lock at this point, but they split their season series with the Blue Raiders. An FAU loss would open the door for the Blue Raiders or either one of the dangerous squads playing in game two in Frisco, Texas.

SEC Quarters: (9) Mississippi State (21-11, 8-10) vs. (1) Alabama (26-5, 16-2), 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Though the Bulldogs needed OT to eliminate Florida, they did it, which sets them up for an opportunity to defeat the Crimson Tide—a result that would leave no doubt about Miss. State’s March fate.

Big Ten Quarters: (13) Ohio State (15-18, 5-15) vs. (4) Michigan State (19-11, 11-8), approx. 2:30 p.m. (BTN)

Even though the Spartans swept the regular season series, the Buckeyes are playing the best basketball they have in the calendar year. Bubble teams must be wary of a late Ohio State push toward the auto bid—still the only way Chris Holtmann’s team will get in.

Big Ten Quarters: (10) Penn State (20-12, 10-10) vs. (2) Northwestern (21-10, 12-8), 6:30 p.m. (BTN)

The Nittany Lions and Illinois flipped places after PSU defeated the Fighting Illini for a third time this year. Brad Underwood’s team will have to rely on early-season neutral-floor wins over a pair of current 2 seeds, UCLA and Texas, to qualify. As for Micah Shrewsberry’s team, it’s going to be very hard to leave them out even with a loss today.

American Quarters: (7) UCF (18-13, 8-10) vs. (2) Memphis (23-8, 13-5), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Tigers should be okay, even if they lose their rubber match with the Knights. Don’t tempt fate though.

Pac-12 Semifinals: (4) Oregon (19-13, 12-8) vs. (1) UCLA (28-4, 18-2), 9 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)

While the Ducks didn’t have an easy time before finally disposing of Washington State by five, the rest of the bubble pretty much collapsed around them. So, Oregon is the final team in right now. If Dana Altman’s squad defeats the Bruins (to keep them off the No. 1 line tomorrow), they won’t need to worry about a late bid thief.

WAC Semifinals: (5) Grand Canyon (22-11, 10-7) vs. (1) Sam Houston State (25-6, 14-4), 9 p.m. (ESPN+ ($))

With a NET of 59 and road wins over Oklahoma and Utah, the Bearkats will get a look for an at-large should they fail to win the WAC auto bid.

Big Ten Quarters: (6) Maryland (21-11, 11-9) vs. (3) Indiana (21-10, 12-8), approx. 9 p.m. (BTN)

The Terps took care of business against Minnesota, which spared them from picking up their first Quad 3 or 4 loss of the season. Maryland’s place looks secure now, while the Hoosiers are aiming for that 3 seed line.

Mountain West Semifinals: (5) San José State (20-12, 10-8) vs. (1) San Diego State (25-6, 15-3), 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

Besides the Pac-12, two other conference tournaments shook up the bubble the most on Thursday—the first was the Mountain West, where the Spartans handed Nevada its third straight loss, 81-77 after OT. Tim Miles’ squad will next look to continue its run to a surprise auto bid when it meets an SDSU squad that barely got by Colorado State in the day’s first quarterfinal.

ACC Semifinals: (3) Clemson (23-9, 14-6) vs. (2) Virginia (24-6, 15-5), approx. 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

The third shakeup tourney was, naturally, the ACC. For the second time in 12 days, the Tigers obliterated NC State, a result that likely means a Wolfpack team that looked like a lock heading into the pair’s game in Raleigh, is now on its way to the NIT. While the Tigers are currently the penultimate team in, their fate is in their own hands. If Clemson can defeat the Cavalier squad that ended North Carolina hopes in tonight’s second semifinal, it won’t need to win the auto bid on Saturday night.

SEC Quarters: (6) Vanderbilt (19-15, 11-7) vs. (3) Kentucky (21-10, 12-6), approx. 9:30 p.m. (SECN)

The Commodores’ 77-68 victory over LSU last night was their fourth in a row, with the second being a 68-66 win at Rupp Arena. If Vandy can do it again in Rupp South (Nashville), they’ll move up the bubble pecking order.

Pac-12 Semifinals: (6) Arizona State (22-11, 11-9) vs. (2) Arizona (26-6, 14-6), approx. 11:30 p.m.(ESPN)

Last night, the Sun Devils defeated USC, 77-72, to move into a semifinal rubber match against a Wildcat team it stunned at the buzzer, 89-88, on February 25th. Win this one, and ASU will be looking good. As for the Trojans, they remain in, though their seed dropped from a 9 to a 10.

Mountain West Semifinals: (3) Utah State (25-7, 13-5) vs. (2) Boise State (24-8, 13-5), approx. 12 a.m. (CBSSN)

Finally, the Aggies dominated New Mexico to set up a rubber match with the Broncos, who needed OT to dispose of UNLV. Note that Utah State is now 18th in the NET, and I really have a hard time believing a team ranked that highly will be left out, no matter what the Committee may say about the ranking being a sorting tool.

I’ll have updates as events warrant before Saturday’s full bracket update. In the meantime, be sure to listen to today’s new episode of College Basketball Coast to Coast, where I talked brackets and the bubble with T.J. Rives.

Be sure to subscribe on your podcast service of choice. We’ll have a post-Selection Show special on Sunday evening.