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Bracketology 2023: On The Lookout For Bid Thieves

If the Selection Committee is as tired of looking at bubble team profiles as I am, they’re going to be rooting for chaos today.

The top four seeds in each region of the bracket projection for Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from

I’ll have a look at the bubble and bid thievery action after the bracket. I’ve also written up a breakdown of the teams near the cut line.

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 Friday’s bracket.

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

Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from

Lowest-ranked NET at-large: Vanderbilt (79)
Lowest-ranked KenPom at-large: Vanderbilt (79)

Highest-ranked NET exclusion: Nevada (37)
Highest-ranked KenPom exclusion: Oklahoma State (38)

Bids By Conference

23 single-bid conferences

Many teams that recorded needed wins on Thursday fail to capitalize on Friday.Mississippi State, Clemson, Oklahoma State, Oregon, and Arizona State all were blown out. The exceptions were Rutgers, which lost by five to Purdue, along with Penn State, Utah State, and Vanderbilt who actually managed to buck the trend and win. More challenges remain today for those three fortunate squads, though there are some bid thieves waiting to cause some chaos.

  • SEC Semifinals: (4) Missouri (24-8, 11-7) vs. (1) Alabama (27-5, 16-2), 1 p.m. and (6) Vanderbilt (20-13, 11-7) vs. (2) Texas A&M (24-8, 15-3), approx. 3:30 p.m. (both on ESPN)

Given how the Selection Committee didn’t include Texas A&M after its run to last season’s SEC final in Tampa, Vanderbilt should really try to take care of business today and tomorrow in Nashville.

  • Big Ten Semifinals: (13) Ohio State (16-18, 5-15) vs. (1) Purdue (27-5, 15-5), 1 p.m. and
    (10) Penn State (21-12, 10-10) vs. (3) Indiana (22-10, 12-8), approx. 3:30 p.m. (both on CBS)

The Nittany Lions are all but off the bubble now, so the danger in Chicago lurks in the Buckeyes’ late push for relevance. Note that the Boilermakers swept the season series and Penn State defeated Indiana in State College. The atmosphere at the United Center will be completely different today, however.

  • American Semifinals: (4) Cincinnati (21-11, 11-7) vs. (1) Houston (30-2, 17-1), 3 p.m. and
    (3) Tulane (20-10, 12-6) vs. (2) Memphis (24-8, 13-5), approx. 5:30 (both on ESPN2)

Bubble teams need a Houston-Memphis final.

  • Mountain West Championship: (3) Utah State (26-7, 13-5) vs. (1) San Diego State (26-6, 15-3), 6 p.m. (CBS)

The Aggies will take their fate out of the Committee’s hands if they avenge the Aztecs’ season sweep.

  • Conference USA Championship: (3) UAB (25-8, 14-6) vs. (1) Florida Atlantic (30-3, 18-2), 8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

It’s a rubber match between the Owls, who are safely in the field, and Blazers, who won the C-USA Tournament a season ago. If Andy Kennedy’s squad repeats, one bubble team will drop into the NIT.

There are a total of 13 championship games on today’s schedule, with the America East currently underway on ESPN2. After the American semifinals conclude, all that will be left this weekend are finals, running all the way past midnight on the East Coast (on “Spring Ahead” night) with the Pac-12 and WAC finals. You can find all of the info at Conference Tournament Central.

Since tomorrow is Selection Sunday, I will have two projections—one in the morning and the final offering right before the big show starts at 6 Eastern.