It’s official college basketball fans: This is March.
The NCAA Tournament tips off in just over two weeks and it’s crunch time of the regular season. As the mid-major programs enter their conference tournaments, the sport’s powerhouses are jostling for position in the projected bracket before Selection Sunday on March 14.
Off the court, bracketologist Joe Lunardi is in hyper-drive, trying to figure out the seeding and the match-up’s for this year’s NCAA Tournament. The ESPN specialist, who just signed an extension from the media conglomerate, released some of his updated information to kick off the month earlier on Monday.
Lunardi began by describing the implications of some key games on tap tonight, beginning with the second edition of 2021 Bedlam basketball. The winner of tonight’s rivalry game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will jump up to the No. 4 line, while the loser will fall to down to a 5-seed.
In the ACC, UNC will take on Syracuse tonight with a chance to solidify their spot in the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, the Orange badly need a win to get back on the bubble with only two games remaining.
Here’s how the top-16 teams shake out, according to Lunardi on March 1:
No. 1 seeds: Gonzaga (1), Michigan (2), Baylor (3), Illinois (4)
No. 2 seeds: Ohio State (5), Alabama (6), Iowa (7), West Virginia (8)
No. 3 seeds: Houston (9), Villanova (10), Florida State (11), Kansas (12)
No. 4 seeds: Arkansas (13), Oklahoma State (14), Oklahoma (15), Texas (16)
— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) March 1, 2021
Lunardi concluded his latest update be revealing his current view of the Bubble. According to the ESPN bracketologist, Colorado State, Seton Hall, Xavier and Georgia Tech are the last four teams that will make the field as of Monday.
Notably absent from that list are college basketball blue bloods Michigan State and Duke. However, the Spartans and the Blue Devils currently sit in Lunardi’s “first four out” grouping, with the season waning down.
No matter the current bracketology, buckle up college basketball fans. It’s shaping up to be a crazy March.