Bracketology 2017: Final Bracket Prediction

Final bracket, posted 4:20 ET on Sunday, March 12.

Final Seed List

1: Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, Duke
2: North Carolina, Kentucky, Arizona, Baylor
3: Oregon, Louisville, UCLA, Florida St.
4: Butler, Notre Dame, Florida, Iowa St.
5: West Virginia, SMU, Purdue, Wisconsin
6: Cincinnati, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia
7: Creighton, Northwestern, Oklahoma St., Virginia Tech
8: Arkansas, Maryland, Saint Mary's, Miami FL
9: South Carolina, Dayton, VCU, Seton Hall
10: Marquette, Vanderbilt, Wichita St., Rhode Island
11: Middle Tennessee, Xavier, Michigan St., Providence, Kansas St.
12: Wake Forest, USC, UNC Wilmington, Nevada, Vermont
13: Princeton, East Tennessee St., Winthrop, Bucknell
14: Florida Gulf Coast, Iona, New Mexico St., Kent St.
15: Northern Kentucky, North Dakota, Texas Southern, South Dakota St.
16: Jacksonville St., UC Davis, New Orleans, Troy, North Carolina Central, Mount St. Mary's

Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN First 4 OUT
Marquette Kansas St. Syracuse
Vanderbilt Providence Illinois St.
Xavier Wake Forest California
Michigan St. USC TCU

 

The one final one seed was a very close call.  In the end, I took Duke over UNC.  The Committee's previewed showed us they care a lot more about who you beat than who you lose to.  The Devils have 8 RPI Top 25 wins, 2 more than anyone else.  I think the committee will reward them while keeping in mind much of their losses came with injuries, suspensions and a rehabbing coach.

Rhode Island winning the A10 killed the bubble drama a bit.  I think USC is clearly in over Syracuse, leaving a noticeable drop from the Trojans to the next four out.  The Rams jumped to a 10 seed with the win.

I list Michigan and SMU as the auto-bids for the late tips, though that's mostly because they're both winning at the time the bracket is finished.  I don't think they're seeds will change regardless because of the late tips.

In the end, bids by conference breaks down as below.  The ACC end up with 8 teams in, just one ahead of the Big Ten and Big 12's 7.  The Pac-12 has 4, with three final four contenders and another (USC) headed for Dayton.  The A10 got three bids, while Illinois State will get shut out leaving the Missouri Valley with just conference champ Wichita St.

Atlantic Coast Conference: 8
Big 12 Conference: 7
Big Ten Conference: 7
Big East Conference: 7
Pac-12 Conference: 4
Southeastern Conference: 5
American Athletic Conference: 2
Atlantic 10 Conference: 3
West Coast Conference: 2
America East Conference: 1
Atlantic Sun Conference: 1
Big Sky Conference: 1
Big South Conference: 1
Big West Conference: 1
Colonial Athletic Association: 1
Conference USA: 1
Horizon League: 1
Ivy League: 1
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: 1
Mid-American Conference: 1
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: 1
Missouri Valley Conference: 1
Mountain West Conference: 1
Northeast Conference: 1
Ohio Valley Conference: 1
Patriot League: 1
Southern Conference: 1
Southland Conference: 1
Southwestern Athletic Conference: 1
Sun Belt Conference: 1
Summit League: 1
Western Athletic Conference: 1