March Madness bracket predictions 5.0: Projecting the Field of 68 for 2023 NCAA Tournament
March Madness started a few days early.
Arizona State’s Desmond Cambridge Jr. and Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson kept their teams on the NCAA tournament bubble with miracle shots this weekend – two weeks ahead of Selection Sunday.
The Sun Devils and Wolverines are among a handful of teams trying to squeeze into the Field of 68 for the 2023 men’s basketball tournament, and those shots kept them in the mix.
With that in mind, here is a look at the latest Field of 68. We will unveil a new projected tournament field each week ahead of Selection Sunday on March 12. Starting next Monday, we will have daily updates to the Field of 68.
This year’s Final Four is April 1-3 at NRG Stadium in Houston.
SN will update our tournament projections each day this week leading up to the Big Dance. Houston, Alabama, Kansas and Purdue remain our No. 1 seeds, but UCLA, Texas and Baylor are among the teams making a push heading into the conference tournaments.
DECOURCY: ACC has no one to blame but themselves for poor NET rankings
We also will break down the tournament bubble each week. Right now our last four in are Mississippi State, North Carolina, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. Our first four out are Clemson, Utah State, Arizona State and Michigan, despite the latter pair’s heroics.
Who is our Field of 68? Here is a closer look:
* – Projected automatic bid
NCAA tournament Field of 68 projections
No. 1 Seeds
*Houston (27-2, 15-1 American)
Resume: Net: 1, Ken: 1. The Cougars close the AAC schedule with Wichita State and a road game at Memphis. The Cougars are 12-1 in Quads 1-2.
*Alabama (25-4, 15-1 SEC)
Resume: Net: 2, KenPom: 3. Alabama has maintained a 9-4 record in Quad 1. The Crimson Tide closes the regular-season against Auburn and Texas A&M.
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*Kansas (24-5, 12-4 Big 12)
Resume: Net: 6, KenPom: 7. The defending national champions have ripped off six straight wins and are in position to win yet another Big 12 regular-season championship. That would be good enough to lock up another No. 1 seed.
*Purdue (24-5, 13-5 Big Ten)
Resume: Net: 5, KenPom: 6. The Boilermakers clinched the Big Ten championship despite a second loss to Indiana, and UCLA is a viable candidate to steal the last No. 1 seed. It’s a close call, but we’ll stick with Purdue for now.
No. 2 Seeds
*UCLA (25-4, 16-2 Pac-12)
Resume: Net: 4, KenPom: 2. The Bruins have an eight-game win streak and can make their case for a No. 1 seed by sweeping Arizona State and Arizona this week.
Baylor (21-8, 10-6 Big 12)
Resume: Net: 12, KenPom: 13. The Bears beat Texas head-to-head on Saturday, and they have piled up 14 victories in Quads 1-2.
Texas (22-7, 11-5 Big 12)
Resume: Net: 9, KenPom: 11. The Longhorns also are in the hunt to be a No. 2 seed, and they have a better conference record than the Bears. For now, both fit on the No. 2 line.
Arizona (24-5, 13-5 Pac-12)
Resume: Net: 11, KenPom: 11. The Wildcats are starting to profile more like a No. 3 seed, but a victory against UCLA on Saturday would eliminate some doubts.
No. 3 Seeds
*Marquette (23-6, 15-3 Big East)
Resume: Net: 13, KenPom: 12. Marquette has already clinched a share of the Big East title and has an 18-1 record outside of Quad 1. That is enough to secure a No. 3.
*Gonzaga (25-5, 14-2 WCC)
Resume: Net: 9, KenPom: 10. The Bulldogs beat Saint Mary’s 77-68 on Saturday, and they are hot at the right time. There still is an outside chance to move up a line.
Kansas State (22-7, 10-6 Big 12)
Resume: Net: 17, KenPom: 19. The Wildcats have a lower Net/KenPom combination than Kansas, Texas and Baylor, but they could play up a line or two in the Big 12 tournament.
Tennessee (21-8, 10-6 SEC)
Resume: Net: 3, KenPom: 4. The Vols are 9-8 in Quads 1-2, which makes their hold as the last No. 3 tenuous at best.
No. 4 seeds
*Virginia (21-6, 13-5 ACC)
Resume: Net: 28, KenPom: 38. Ugly losses to Boston College and North Carolina push the Cavaliers down a line, but they still are the highest seed among ACC schools.
Miami (23-6, 14-5 ACC)
Resume: Net: 35, KenPom: 37. The Hurricanes are 10-4 in Quads 1-2. The Hurricanes should be in position to stay on the line barring a last-week collapse, though Saturday’s collapse against Florida State did not help.
Following the Jordan Miller triple that put Miami (FL) up by 2 with 5 seconds left, Matthew Cleveland (@MCleveland35) did what he does best and took the DEEP BUZZER BEATER 3 to win it for Florida State 85-84 and upset #13 Miami (FL) pic.twitter.com/wghnyBXWYM
— NCAA Buzzer Beaters & Game Winners (@NCAABuzzerBters) February 25, 2023
Indiana (20-9, 11-7 Big Ten)
Resume: Net: 18, KenPom: 21. The Hoosiers have won five of their last seven, and they stay in Bloomington this week for matchups against Iowa and Michigan.
Xavier (21-8, 13-5 Big East)
Resume: Net: 25, KenPom: 18. The Musketeers have lost three of their last five games, and a trip to Providence on Wednesday won’t be easy.
No. 5 seeds
UConn (22-7, 11-7 Big East)
Resume: Net: 8, KenPom: 5. The Huskies could easily take Xavier’s spot on that No. 4 line despite the weaker Big East record.
Saint Mary’s (25-6, 14-2 WCC)
Resume: Net: 7, KenPom: 8. The loss to Gonzaga is a setback, but the possibility of a rubber match in the West Coast Conference championship would help the Gaels stay on this line.
*San Diego State (23-5, 14-2 MWC)
Resume: Net: 15, KenPom: 16. The Aztecs have won six in a row and continue to move up simply by taking care of business in Mountain West Conference play.
TCU (19-10, 8-8 Big 12)
Resume: Net: 22, KenPom: 23. The Horned Frogs escaped from Texas Tech with a 83-82 victory on Saturday, and that .500 record in Big 12 play bumps TCU up one line for this week.
No. 6 seeds
Iowa State (17-11, 8-8 Big 12)
Resume: Net: 23, KenPom: 24. The Big 12 strength of schedule is a plus, but the Cyclones have lost five of their last six games ahead of Monday’s matchup with West Virginia.
Duke (21-8, 12-6 ACC)
Resume: Net: 24, KenPom: 34. The Blue Devils close the regular season with chances to beat NC State and North Carolina – an opportunity that could lead to another jump up the bracket.
Maryland (20-9, 11-7 Big Ten)
Resume: Net: 21, KenPom: 17. The Terps have a stronger ranking combination than Indiana and can build on their resume with road victories against Ohio State and Penn State.
Creighton (18-11, 12-6 Big East)
Resume: Net: 13, KenPom: 10. The Blue Jays missed opportunities in losses to Marquette and Villanova, but the Big East season concludes with a friendly schedule against Georgetown and DePaul.
No. 7 seeds
Kentucky (20-9, 11-5 SEC)
Resume: Net: 20, KenPom: 22. The Wildcats have moved off the bubble with four straight victories, and they are moving into the “team you won’t want to play” territory.
Providence (21-8, 13-5 Big East)
Resume: Net: 38, KenPom: 29. The Friars’ schedule rankings aren’t great, but their Big East record is ahead of a season-ending stretch with home games against Xavier and Seton Hall.
Texas A&M (21-8, 13-3 SEC)
Resume: Net: 27, KenPom: 25. The Aggies still have a strong record in conference play, but their seeding is fluid. They close the regular season against Alabama on Saturday.
Missouri (21-8, 9-7 SEC)
Resume: Net: 49, KenPom: 53. Despite the strong conference record, the Tigers have the second-lowest ranking combination of any team left in the field.
No. 8 seeds
Northwestern (20-9, 11-7 Big Ten)
Resume: Net: 41, KenPom: 47. The Wildcats are 11-9 in Quads 1-2, but back-to-back losses to Illinois and Maryland were not pretty.
Illinois (19-10, 10-8 Big Ten)
Resume: Net: 34, KenPom: 35. The Illini roller-coaster ride continues, and it is a tough week ahead with Michigan and a trip to Purdue.
Arkansas (19-10, 8-8 SEC)
Resume: Net: 19, KenPom: 16. The Razorbacks are being underseeded to this point, but they have a prove-it week against Tennessee and Kentucky. Beating those teams is the best way to get attention in the SEC.
NC State (22-8, 12-7 ACC)
Resume: Net: 42, KenPom: 50. The Wolfpack close out the regular season at Duke on Tuesday. That’s a good opportunity to bump up a line.
Rest of the field …
No. 9 seeds
Michigan State (17-11, 9-8 Big Ten)
Resume: Net: 40, KenPom: 35.
Pitt (21-8, 14-4 ACC)
Resume: Net: 53, KenPom: 55.
Nevada (22-7, 12-4 MWC)
Resume: Net: 30, KenPom: 33.
Iowa (18-11, 10-8 Big Ten)
Resume: Net: 43, KenPom: 44
No. 10 seeds
*FAU (26-3, 16-2 C-USA)
Resume: Net: 19, KenPom: 30
Boise State (22-7, 12-4 MWC)
Resume: Net: 29, KenPom: 26.
Auburn (19-10, 9-7 SEC)
Resume: Net: 36, KenPom: 29.
Memphis (22-7, 12-4 AAC)
Resume: Net: 35, KenPom: 37.
No. 11 seeds
Rutgers (18-11, 10-8 Big Ten)
Resume: Net: 32, KenPom: 31.
USC (21-8, 13-5 Pac-12)
Resume: Net: 45, KenPom: 32
**Mississippi State (19-10, 7-9 SEC)
Resume: Net 39, KenPom: 40.
**West Virginia (16-13, 5-11 Big 12)
Resume: Net: 26, KenPom: 20.
**North Carolina (18-11, 10-8 ACC)
Resume: Net: 47, KenPom: 45.
**Oklahoma State (16-13, 7-9 Big 12)
Resume: Net: 46, KenPom: 42
No. 12 seeds
*Oral Roberts (27-4, 18-0 Summit)
Resume: Net: 44, KenPom: 60
*VCU (22-7, 13-3 Atlantic 10)
Resume: Net: 68, KenPom: 75
*Charleston (28-3, 16-2 CAA)
Resume: Net: 51, KenPom: 67
*Bradley (23-8, 16-4 OVC)
Resume: Net: 56, KenPom: 78
No. 13 seeds
*Yale (19-7, 9-4 Ivy)
Resume: Net: 66, KenPom: 70
*Iona (22-7, 15-3 MAAC)
Resume: Net: 58, KenPom: 72
*Toledo (23-6, 14-2 MAC)
Resume: Net: 85, KenPom: 88
*Southern Miss (25-6, 14-4 Sun Belt)
Resume: Net: 83, KenPom: 92
No. 14 seeds
*Utah Valley (22-7, 13-3 WAC)
Resume: Net: 82, KenPom: 85
*Furman (24-7, 15-3 Southern)
Resume: Net: 88, KenPom: 89
*Colgate (23-8, 17-1 Patriot)
Resume: Net: 99, KenPom: 117
*UC-Santa Barbara (22-7, 13-5 Big West)
Resume: Net: 109, KenPom: 114
No. 15 seeds
*Eastern Washington (22-8, 16-1 Big Sky)
Resume: Net: 118, KenPom: 118
*Youngstown State (23-8, 15-5 Horizon)
Resume: Net: 114, KenPom: 122
*Vermont (19-10, 13-2 America East)
Resume: Net: 123, KenPom: 125
*Kennesaw State (23-8, 15-3 Atlantic Sun)
Resume: Net: 120, KenPom 129
No. 16 seeds
*UNC-Asheville (24-7, 16-2 Big South)
Resume: Net: 140, KenPom: 148
*Grambling (19-8, 12-3 SWAC)
Resume: Net: 197, KenPom: 194
**Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (20-10, 13-3 Southland)
Resume: Net: 194, KenPom: 180
**Morehead State (21-10, 14-4 OVC)
Resume: Net: 221, KenPom: 244
**Howard (17-12, 9-3 MEAC)
Resume: Net: 235, KenPom: 247
**Merrimack (15-16, 12-4 Northeast)
Resume: Net: 310, KenPom: 316
Four on the bubble
Arizona State (20-9, 11-7 Pac-12)
Resume: Net: 61, KenPom: 61. The Sun Devils shocked Arizona 89-88 with a buzzer-beater, and they can get off the bubble with victories against UCLA and USC this week.
DESMOND CAMBRIDGE FROM HALF COURT TO UPSET #7 ARIZONA AT THE BUZZER!! ARIZONA STATE WINS pic.twitter.com/pXaqBNVKES
— NCAA Buzzer Beaters & Game Winners (@NCAABuzzerBters) February 25, 2023
Clemson (21-8, 13-5 ACC)
Resume: Net: 60, KenPom: 69. It’s really tough to leave a team with that many conference wins out of the field, but that is the case with the Tigers.
Michigan (17-12, 11-7 Big Ten)
Resume: Net: 55, KenPom 41. The Wolverines are close after a 87-79 overtime victory against Wisconsin, but tests against Illinois and Indiana remain on the regular-season schedule.
HUNTER DICKINSON FROM DEEEP!! @H_Dickinson24 sinks the Deep contested BUZZER BEATER 3 for Michigan to force OT with Wisconsin tied 68-68 pic.twitter.com/AftGDhHN2c
— NCAA Buzzer Beaters & Game Winners (@NCAABuzzerBters) February 26, 2023
Utah State (22-7, 11-5 MWC)
Resume: Net: 31, KenPom: 36. The Aggies still need a strong performance in the Mountain West Conference to steal a fourth bid for the conference.
Published at Mon, 27 Feb 2023 16:30:46 +0000
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