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Bracketology 2024: The Big 12 Roars Back

Even though the current membership of the conference is no longer represented on the top line of this projection, its overall depth is threatening to leave the nation’s other leagues in the dust.

A throwback look at the top 16 teams in the bracket projection for Tuesday, January 23, 2024.
Graphic by Chris Dobbertean using logos primarily from

Text-Only Bracket for Screen Readers and Seed List

PODCAST: College Basketball Coast to Coast is back. In the midweek episode, I joined T.J. Rives to discuss how competitive things are from the top of the bracket to well past the cut line. I also gave my viewing highlights for Tuesday through Thursday.


  • Conference logos indicate auto bid holders.
  • Colors next to seed numbers represent movement relative to Friday’s bracket: gold (new entrant), green (up 1+ seed line), red (down 1+ seed line)

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

North Carolina—winner of nine in a row—replaces Kansas, whose Saturday’s loss at West Virginia may very well keep them from the top line on Selection Sunday—as a No. 1 seed today. The Tar Heels sit behind the clear No. 1 and 2 overall, Purdue and UConn, and ahead of the West’s top squad, Arizona. The Jayhawks drop to seventh overall, ahead of Big 12 rival Houston, but behind Wisconsin and Tennessee.

Seed lines three and four remain largely the same, though Atlantic 10 leader Dayton holds the final protected seed after Duke’s shocking home loss to Pitt.

Ins and Outs (12)

In: App State (Sun Belt), Charlotte (American), Delaware State (MEAC), Kansas State, Morehead State (OVC), Quinnipiac (MAAC), Texas, Texas Tech (Big 12), UC Davis (Big West), UMass Lowell (AmEast), Virginia, Virginia Tech

Out: Cincinnati, Nevada, North Carolina Central (MEAC), North Texas (American), Ole Miss, Oregon (Pac-12), Saint Peter’s (MAAC), San Francisco (WCC), Troy (Sun Belt), UC Irvine (Big West), Vermont (AmEast), Western Illinois (OVC)

With the Jayhawks’ loss, Texas Tech took the Big 12’s auto bid spot, though the Red Raiders would have found their way into the field after Saturday’s impressive comeback win over BYU. Texas, victorious over Baylor earlier in the day, is the 10th league team in the field, replacing Cincinnati, who just didn’t have enough to win in Lawrence on Monday night—a result that knocked them to the wrong side of the cut line ... barely. Kansas State also joined the party after consecutive wins over Baylor and Oklahoma State.

While the Big 12 saw its bid total surge today, the ACC also saw a decent increase, with Virginia Tech and Virginia both jumping into the field. And the Commonwealth rivals may not be alone in the near future, as Syracuse and Pitt are both climbing higher up a crowded bubble, while hope is not lost for Wake Forest, Miami, NC State, and Florida State.

Lowest-ranked NET at-large: Northwestern (78)

Lowest-ranked KenPom at-large: South Carolina (63)

Highest-ranked NET exclusion: Indiana State (26)

Highest-ranked KenPom exclusion: Gonzaga (20)

24 single-bid conferences

Looking Ahead

My viewing picks are in bold. All times are p.m. Eastern.


Butler at Georgetown, 6:30 (FS1)
Dayton at La Salle, 6:30 (ESPN+ ($))
Texas at Oklahoma, 7 (ESPN)
Florida State at Syracuse, 7 (ESPN2)
Wisconsin at Minnesota, 7 (BTN)
Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech, 7 (ESPNU)
Kentucky at South Carolina, 7 (SECN)
Duke at Louisville, 7 (ACCN)
Loyola Chicago at VCU, 7 (CBSSN)
Saint Joseph’s at UMass, 7 (NESN/ESPN+ ($))
Ohio State at Nebraska, 7 (Peacock ($))
West Virginia at UCF, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
St. Bonaventure at Duquesne, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
UAB at Charlotte, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
Ohio at Akron, 7 (ESPN+ ($))

Xavier at Creighton, 8:30 (FS1)
TCU at Oklahoma State, 9 (ESPN2)
Missouri at Texas A&M, 9 (SECN)
Boston College at Virginia Tech, 9 (SECN)
Wyoming at San Diego State, 9 (CBSSN)
Michigan at Purdue, 9 (Peacock ($))
Houston at BYU, 9 (ESPN+ ($))

Boise State at Fresno State, 10:30 (FS1)

Tonight’s slate features a few trap games, some opportunities for bubble teams to gain position—either overall (Butler, South Carolina, Texas, Xavier) or relative to one another (FSU-Cuse, Ohio State-Nebraska)—and a key clash in the Big 12, as Houston travels to Provo to take on a Cougar squad that’s already lost to Cincinnati at home.


Providence at Seton Hall, 6:30 (FS1)
LSU at Georgia, 6:30 (SECN)
Miami at Notre Dame, 7 (ESPN2)
Maryland at Iowa, 7 (BTN)
NC State at Virginia, 7 (ACCN)
Murray State at Bradley, 7 (CBSSN)
George Washington at Richmond, 7 (NBC Sports online)
High Point at USC Upstate, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
Samford at Furman, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
Lafayette at Loyola Maryland, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
James Madison at Old Dominion, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
Auburn at Alabama, 7:30 (ESPN)
Florida Atlantic at Rice, 8 (ESPN+ ($))
Indiana State at UIC, 8 (ESPN+ ($))
Drake at Missouri State, 8 (ESPN+ ($))

Villanova at St. John’s, 8:30 (FS1)
Mississippi State at Florida, 8:30 (SECN)
Kansas State at Iowa State, 9 (ESPN2)
Illinois at Northwestern, 9 (BTN)
Arkansas at Ole Miss, 9 (ESPNU)
Marquette at DePaul, 9 (CBSSN)

Colorado State at Nevada, 10:30 (FS1)
Colorado at Washington, 11 (ESPNU)
New Mexico at San José State, 11 (CBSSN)
Utah at Washington State, 11 (Pac-12 Networks)

The bubble picture could become even more jumbled after Wednesday’s lineup, which features intriguing cut line (and lower) showdowns in the ACC, Big Ten, and SEC early and in the Pac-12 and Mountain West late. Further up the bracket, the most intriguing matchup sees Auburn—winner of 11 in a row but without a Quad 1 win (0-2) visiting archrival Alabama, who’s coming off a beatdown at the hands of their other main rival, Tennessee.


Central Connecticut State at Fairleigh Dickinson, 5 (ESPNU/ESPN+ ($))
Vermont at UMass Lowell, 6:30 (ESPN+ ($))
Georgia Southern at App State, 6:30 (ESPN+ ($))
SMU at North Texas, 7 (ESPN2)
Purdue Fort Wayne at Northern Kentucky, 7 (ESPNU/ESPN+ ($))
Kansas City at South Dakota State, 7 (CBSSN)
Drexel at Towson, 7 (FloHoops ($))
Oakland at Green Bay, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
Grand Canyon at Stephen F. Austin, 7:30 (ESPN+ ($))

San Francisco at Gonzaga, 9 (ESPN2/ESPN+ ($))
Arizona State at Oregon, 9 (Pac-12 Networks)
Northern Colorado at Eastern Washington, 9 (ESPN+ ($))
UC Irvine at Long Beach State, 10 (ESPN+ ($))

Pacific at Saint Mary’s, 11 (CBSSN)
Arizona at Oregon State, 11 (Pac-12 Networks)
UC Santa Barbara at Hawai’i, 12 a.m. (ESPN+ ($))

Thursday sees plenty of quality matchups from the likely one-bid leagues with Vermont’s trip to Lowell with first in the America East on the line and Towson’s attempt to stop Drexel from running away with the CAA regular season crown the most notable games. However, SMU and Gonzaga, two squads that currently rank highly in the NET—though without the quality wins to back their lofty positions—both face difficult opposition as they attempt to climb back into the at-large picture.

I’ll be back with another update—and a look at the weekend/Monday schedule—on Friday afternoon.