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Bracketology 2023: Many Twists and Turns Still to Come

Selection Sunday is merely a week away and it feels like we still have much to learn about the 2023 NCAA Men’s Tournament field.

The top four seeds in each region of the bracket projection for Sunday, March 5, 2023.
Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos from
  • Saturday’s big bubble winners included West Virginia (over Kansas State at home), Auburn (over Tennessee at home), Utah State (over Boise State, again, at home), USC (hey, hey, another home winner over fellow bubble team Arizona State), and Oklahoma State (an actual road win over Texas Tech).
  • Joining the Red Raiders and Sun Devils (who dropped out) as losers are teams such as Pittsburgh (went from having a share of the ACC regular-season title to not even earning a bye to the quarters after losing at Miami), departure Nevada (who picked a terrible time to record two Quad 3 losses, first to Wyoming, then to UNLV), and North Carolina (who likely needs to win the ACC Tournament to dance).
  • Wisconsin and Penn State replace Arizona State and Nevada in the field, but both will be in action today (see the schedule below), so there may not be 10 Big Ten teams in tomorrow’s update.
  • At the top of the bracket, Kansas remains No. 1 overall after both the Jayhawks and Alabama lost. Texas, who routed KU in Austin, moves up to a two seed, with Kansas State dropping to seed line 3 after losing in Morgantown.
  • Two teams are officially in the field. Southeast Missouri State recovered from Tennessee Tech’s overtime-forcing late rally to win the OVC title to qualify for the first time since 2000. In the Northeast Conference, top-seeded Merrimack defeated Sacred Heart in the first semifinal, which allowed Fairleigh Dickinson to clinch its first bid since 2019 by topping St. Francis (Pa.) in the second semi. The Warriors are in their final reclassification year, so they are ineligible for the NCAA or NIT.

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 Saturday’s bracket.

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

Lowest-ranked NET at-large: Wisconsin (78)
Lowest-ranked KenPom at-large: Wisconsin (71)

Highest-ranked NET exclusion: Nevada (38)
Highest-ranked KenPom exclusion: Nevada (39)

Bids By Conference

23 single-bid conferences

Ins and Outs (5, 2 at-large)

New Entrants: Louisiana (Sun Belt), Penn State, Sam Houston State (WAC), Southeast Missouri State (OVC), Wisconsins

Out For Now: Arizona State, Nevada, Southern Miss. (Sun Belt), Tennessee Tech (OVC), Utah Valley (WAC)

The Games Ahead

All times are p.m. Eastern unless noted.

Teams in the projected field are bolded. Teams still in contention are italicized. The order of importance within each window is my editorial decision.

For conference tournament schedules, please visit Conference Tournament Central, featuring daily schedule at the top of the page.

For starters, three automatic bids will be awarded today:

  • Regular-season champ UNC Asheville meets 7 seed Campbell in the Big South title game (1, ESPN2). While the Bulldogs last appeared in the NCAAs in 2016, the Fighting Camels’ drought dates back to 1992.
  • The top two seeds in the Arch Madness final (2, CBS), Bradley and Drake, meet in a rubber match. The Braves last qualified in 2019, while the Bulldogs earned an at-large in 2021. Remember, the Valley usually delivers Championship Fortnight Drama!
  • Last, but not least, the ASUN concludes with traditional power Liberty (last NCAA bid, 2021)—looking for one more conference title before heading off to Conference USA—visiting Kennesaw State (3, ESPN2). The Owls, also headed to C-USA eventually, are one of college basketball’s great stories, as head coach Amir Abdur-Rahim has navigated this woebegone program to not only a regular-season title, but it’s first ever winning season. How big of a deal is this? KSU’s 25 wins smash the program’s previous record of, uh, 14.

In terms of regular-season finales, maybe we’ll finally get some clarity on the Big Ten standings. However. considering Purdue is 14-5 in conference play and Ohio State and Minnesota have combined to win 7 league games total, the middle may become too difficult to untangle. Seven teams currently have 11-8 conference records, including Michigan State, which wrapped up its regular-season yesterday. Then, Rutgers is in 9th at 10-9, with Penn State in 10th at 9-10, and Wisconsin and Nebraska tied for 11 at 8-11.

Good luck sorting that out, Rosemont!

Houston at Memphis, 12 (CBS)
Illinois at Purdue, 12:30 (Fox)
Maryland at Penn State, 12 (BTN)

Nebraska at Iowa, 2 (BTN)

Michigan at Indiana, 4:30 (CBS)

Northwestern at Rutgers, 7:30 (BTN)
Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7:30 (FS1)

I will have and update tomorrow with the focus shifting to automatic bids for a couple of days.