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E'Twaun Moore and Purdue could be the No. 1 overall seed in 2011.
By Dave Ommen
Yes, it's ridiculous to project an NCAA tournament bracket for 2011 on the very day the current season crowns its champion. But since when has projecting brackets ever been exactly sane? It's all about fun, right? So let's have a little.
Now, keep in mind, we have yet to learn the status of several college athletes. Some we know have declared early for the NBA Draft; others are waiting until mid-April. We feel confident that some will go. Others haven't hired agents, yet. So as you look at how the 2011 field of 65 might look, remember that at this point it's a balancing act between what we know, what we don't, and what we anticipate. Then there's also those incoming freshman, many of who have yet to sign.
Couple of quick notes … the NCAA has renamed a couple of regions for 2011. We will have the East (Newark), Southeast (New Orleans), Southwest (San Antonio), and West (Anaheim). As to potential NCAA expansion, that's a topic for another day. Until we know otherwise, let's stick with what works. So a 65-team projection it is. As usual, teams listed in CAPS are projected league champions unless a school typically goes by an abbreviation (BYU, UCLA, etc).
Continue here to see our very early 2011 NCAA Bracket Projection (based on 65 teams):
|EAST – Newark||SOUTHWEST – San Antonio|
|1) DUKE||1) Michigan State|
|16) LEHIGH||16) VERMONT|
|8) Georgetown||8) Richmond|
|9) Washington||9) Texas A&M|
|5) Baylor||5) Connecticut|
|12) OLD DOMINION||12) Arizona|
|4) Tennessee||4) Florida|
|13) FAIRFIELD||13) OHIO|
|6) XAVIER||6) Florida State|
|11) Minnesota||11) WICHITA STATE|
|3) BUTLER||3) Texas|
|14) HARVARD||14) PACIFIC|
|7) Georgia Tech||7) San Diego State|
|10) UCLA||10) Georgia|
|2) SYRACUSE||2) West Virginia|
|15) ROBERT MORRIS||15) NORTH TEXAS|
|SOUTHEAST - New Orleans||WEST – Anaheim|
|1) PURDUE||1) KANSAS|
|16) WINTHROP||16) SF Austin/Jackson State|
|8) Temple||8) Illinois|
|9) UNLV||9) GONZAGA|
|5) Wake Forest||5) NEW MEXICO|
|12) St. John’s||12) Louisville|
|4) Kansas State||4) North Carolina|
|13) MURRAY STATE||13) OAKLAND|
|6) Missouri||6) Villanova|
|11) BYU||11) NEW MEXICO STATE|
|3) Pittsburgh||3) MEMPHIS|
|14) WEBER STATE||14) CHARLESTON|
|7) Maryland||7) CALIFORNIA|
|10) Wisconsin||10) Mississippi|
|2) KENTUCKY||2) Ohio State|
|15) MORGAN STATE||15) E. TENNESSEE ST.|
NOTES on the BRACKET: Purdue is the No. 1 overall seed – followed by Duke, Michigan State and Kansas. It would be Southeast vs. West | East vs. Southwest.
Last Five teams in (at large): Minnesota, BYU, St. John's, Arizona, Louisville
First Five teams out (at large): Utah State, Northwestern, Miami-FL, St. Louis, Dayton
Also considered (not listed in any order): Virginia Tech, Rhode Island, Cincinnati, VCU, Northern Iowa, Cleveland State, Creighton, NC State, South Florida, George Mason, USC, Texas Tech, Nevada, Mississippi State, Arizona State, UTEP, UAB, Washington State, Virginia.
Dave Ommen projects the NCAA tournament for NBCSports.com and runs the site Bracketville.