Our own NCAA.com basketball analyst Andy Katz has traveled the country all season long. He's watched games. He's talked to the best players and coaches. And through it all he's sifted through the mountain of information he's collected to put together full bracket predictions for the March Madness field.
Before we break down his seventh bracket prediction of the season for the Division I men's basketball tournament, let's take a look at the bracket itself. (Tap or click here to open the bracket in a new window or tab).
And here's that bracket in table form:
|16||Prairie View/Norfolk St.||Sam Houston St.||St. Francis (PA)/Canisius||Lehigh|
|8||Texas||Baylor||Mississippi St.||St. John's|
|5||Kansas St.||Florida State||Villanova||Iowa St.|
|12||Arizona St./Florida||Belmont||New Mexico St.||Alabama/Georgetown|
|11||North Carolina St.||TCU||UCF||Auburn|
|14||South Dakota||Montana||Vermont||UC Irvine|
|10||Temple||Wofford||Seton Hall||Ohio St.|
|2||Michigan||Michigan St.||Kentucky||North Carolina|
|15||Loyola-Chicago||Radford||Northern Kentucky||Texas St.|
Duke remains a 1 seed
The Blue Devils suffered a lopsided loss against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Duke (23-3, 11-2 in ACC) also lost freshman sensation Zion Williamson in the first half to a mild knee sprain and it's unclear at this point how much time the possible national player of the year could miss. But Mike Krzyzewski's squad still has Cam Reddish. It still has Tre Jones and RJ Barrett. And Marques Bolden, Jack White and ... you get the point.
Coach K: “We’re very concerned about Zion. It’s a mild knee sprain. We will know about length of time tomorrow. It’s stable. Obviously it has an impact. You lose the NPOY on the 1st play.” pic.twitter.com/SCq6DBjnkJ— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) February 21, 2019
Duke is still Duke. It still owns key wins against Kentucky, Virginia and Louisville. The sting from a rivalry loss won't subside right away, and it'll linger longer as Williamson works his way back to the court. What Katz's prediction shows is there's no reason to panic right now. The Blue Devils must find another way to replicate the energy lost without Williamson on the floor. They must replace that production, too.
But is there another coach fans would want to guide Duke there? Trust in Krzyzewski.
Mississippi moves to safety, Indiana drops out
Ole Miss dropped to an 11 seed in Katz's previous prediction and into a First Four game against Indiana. Since then Ole Miss has won three of four to move up to a 9 seed while IU has lost three straight and dropped out.
The Rebels (18-8, 8-5 in SEC) are on the right track again after a four-game losing streak. They traveled to Georgia and Auburn and picked up wins. They beat Missouri at home. And while they lost against South Carolina the Rebels are still fifth in a deep SEC field. Games against both Tennessee and Kentucky remain, among three others, as the regular season comes to a close. But both are at home and the other three games are against teams Ole Miss has already beaten this season. Don't be surprised to see the Rebels' stock rise.
The Hoosiers (13-13, 4-11 in Big Ten) are now on a four-game losing streak and have won just once in their last 12 games. IU has five games left: on the road at Iowa, at home against Wisconsin and Michigan State, on the road at Illinois and home against Rutgers. Indiana must get back on track, and then make a run in the Big Ten tournament. Anything less and it's four straight years of missing the NCAA tournament for a program that expects so much more.
RIVALRY DRAMA: How Purdue may have sunk IU's season
Texas Tech jumps into Katz's top 16
Texas Tech moved up from 24th overall and a 6 seed to 15th overall and a 4 seed in Katz's latest prediction. The Red Raiders had been on a bit of a slide, losing four of their past seven, but since Katz's previous prediction picked up road wins at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and beat Baylor at home.
Texas Tech (21-5, 9-4 in Big 12) is now just one game back of the Big 12-leading Kansas State Wildcats. It has a star in Jarrett Culver, who leads the team in points, rebounding and assists. And it wouldn't surprise anyone if it won its last five games ahead of the Big 12 tournament. The Red Raiders are poised to end the season amid the top three seeds.
Andy Katz's field of 68
Here is Katz’s full seed list in order. Beneath it, you’ll find a list of all 68 teams in Katz's latest field, with how their seeding has changed since the last prediction:
|50||New Mexico St.||12||*|
|57||South Dakota St.||14||*|
|64||Sam Houston St.||16||*|
|67||St. Francis (PA)||16||*|
First four out: Clemson, Utah St., Butler, South Carolina
|Team||BRACKET 6||Bracket 7||Movement|
|North Carolina St.||10||11||-1|
|New Mexico St.||13||12||+1|
|South Dakota St.||13||14||-1|
|Sam Houston St.||16||16||0|
|St. Francis (PA)||N/A||16||N/A|