basketball-men-d1 flag

Andy Wittry | NCAA.com | January 15, 2020

Baylor, Duke, Butler and Gonzaga are the No. 1 seeds in Andy Katz's 1st NCAA bracket projection of 2020

Baylor, Duke, Butler and Gonzaga are the No. 1 seeds in Andy Katz's first NCAA bracket projection of 2020

Just about two months from Selection Sunday for men's college basketball, NCAA.com basketball expert Andy Katz filled out a 2020 March Madness bracket based on everything he has seen so far this season, through Jan. 13, 2020.

Last year, Katz filed almost a dozen bracket predictions throughout the season. In his final prediction before Selection Sunday, he got 67 of the 68 teams correct.

He also filled out a preseason bracket in September, 50 days before opening night last fall, and one in early December, roughly 100 days from Selection Sunday.

Let's take a look at where Katz projects this year's tournament field about halfway into the regular season, and about two months from Selection Sunday. (Tap or click here to to open the bracket in a new window.)

Andy Katz's first NCAA bracket projection of 2020

CHANGING OF THE GUARD: Baylor is the new No. 1 team in Andy Katz's Power 36

And here's that same bracket in table form.

  MIDWEST WEST SOUTH EAST
1 Butler Gonzaga Baylor Duke
16 Quinnipiac/Robert Morris Winthrop Grambling/Norfolk State Murray State
         
2 Kansas San Diego State Auburn West Virginia
15 Wright State Charlotte South Dakota State Stony Brook
         
3 Dayton Oregon Wichita State Michigan State
14 Montana UC Irvine New Mexico State Colgate
         
4 Florida State Kentucky Louisville Seton Hall
13 Stephen F. Austin William & Mary Western Carolina Georgia State
         
5 Michigan Stanford Villanova Maryland
12 Yale Northern Iowa Florida/Oregon State Akron
         
6 Memphis Wisconsin Ohio State Arkansas
11 Minnesota Oklahoma VCU Houston/Utah
         
7 LSU Creighton Arizona Colorado
10 Indiana Purdue Virginia Tech Marquette
         
8 Illinois Penn State Rutgers Texas Tech
9 BYU Liberty Saint Mary's Iowa

Let's take a closer look at Katz's bracket.

Baylor, Duke, Butler, Gonzaga take No. 1 seeds

We already knew the 2019-20 season was volatile with six different teams holding the No. 1 ranking in the AP poll so far this season but Andy Katz's latest bracket projection reinforces that notion. All four No. 1 seeds have changed since his last bracket projection in early December.

Gone are Michigan, Louisville, Kansas and Virginia. Replacing them are Baylor, Duke, Butler and Gonzaga.

Get this: two of the projected No. 1 seed in Katz's latest bracket have never been a No. 1 seed. Baylor has been a No. 3 seed four times, most recently in 2017, and Butler has been a projected seed (a top-four seed) just once when the Bulldogs were a No. 4 seed, also in 2017.

So while Duke was the No. 1 overall seed last season and Gonzaga was also the top seed in its region in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the 2020 NCAA Tournament could potentially have two newcomers, plus two familiar faces, on the No. 1 seed line, which is exciting.

Another story line is that the Midwest Regional, where Katz currently has Butler as the No. 1 seed in the region, is being held in Indianapolis — Butler's hometown. The 'Dawgs made history in 2010 with their national runner-up finish in Indy, so could they make another Final Four run 10 years later while playing critical tournament games in the same city?

The biggest movers

Baylor, one of Katz's projected No. 1 seeds, climbed 13 spots from the last bracket projection in early December and the Bears can thank last week's road sweep of Texas Tech and Kansas as a major reason why. Their climb from a projected No. 4 seed to a No. 1 seed was impressive but that's nothing compared to Butler's climb from No. 37 on Katz's last seed list (a No. 10 seed) to No. 3.

That's an improvement from a potential bubble team to one of the best teams in the country. Impressive stuff.

Here are the teams that made the biggest jumps from Katz's last seed line projections to his latest one, starting with notable schools that weren't projected to make the 2020 NCAA Tournament in December's bracket projection:

  • Wichita State — out of the projected field to No. 10 overall
  • Stanford — out of the projected field to No. 17 overall
  • Wisconsin — out of the projected field to No. 24 overall
  • LSU — out of the projected field to No. 25 overall
  • Creighton — out of the projected field to No. 26 overall
  • Illinois — out of the projected field to No. 29 overall
  • Rutgers — out of the projected field to No. 30 overall
  • Iowa — out of the projected field to No. 33 overall
  • Virginia Tech — out of the projected field to No. 37 overall
  • Indiana — out of the projected field to No. 38 overall
  • Minnesota — out of the projected field to No. 43 overall
  • Houston — out of the projected field to No. 44 overall
  • Utah — out of the projected field to No. 46 overall
  • Oregon State — out of the projected field to No. 47 overall
  • Butler — 34 spots
  • San Diego State — 21 spots
  • Baylor — 13 spots
  • Villanova — 13 spots
  • BYU — 12 spots
  • Arkansas — 11 spots
  • West Virginia — 11 spots
  • Louisville— 10 spots
  • Dayton — 9 spots
  • Duke — 8 spots

WAIT, WHAT HAPPENED? 25 things you (probably) didn't see coming in the first half of the season

The bubble

Katz's last four at-large bids went to Houston, Florida, Utah and Oregon State.

Since the Beavers earned a No. 5 seed in the 1990 NCAA Tournament, they've made the tournament just once, in 2016 in the second year of current head coach Wayne Tinkle's tenure. So if Oregon State were to squeak into the tournament and play in the First Four, that would be a huge deal in Corvallis.

Katz's first four teams out were Xavier, Saint Louis, Richmond and NC State.

The next four out were USC, Tennessee, Cincinnati and Washington.

AP TOP 25: Check out the latest men's basketball rankings

Here's Katz's full field of 68:

RANK | SEED | TEAM | CONFERENCE
1. 1 -- Baylor (AQ) Big 12
2. 1 -- Duke (AQ) ACC
3. 1 -- Butler Big East
4. 1 -- Gonzaga (AQ) WCC
5. 2 -- San Diego State (AQ) Mountain West
6. 2 -- Auburn (AQ) SEC
7. 2 -- Kansas Big 12
8. 2 -- West Virginia Big 12
9. 3 -- Dayton (AQ) A-10
10. 3 -- Wichita State (AQ) American
11. 3 -- Michigan State (AQ) Big Ten
12. 3 -- Oregon Pac-12
13. 4 -- Florida State ACC
14. 4 -- Louisville ACC
15. 4 -- Seton Hall (AQ) Big East
16. 4 -- Kentucky SEC
17. 5 -- Stanford (AQ) Pac-12
18. 5 --- Maryland Big Ten
19. 5 -- Villanova Big East
20. 5 -- Michigan Big Ten
21. 6 -- Memphis AAC
22. 6 -- Arkansas SEC
23. 6 -- Ohio State Big Ten
24. 6 -- Wisconsin Big Ten
25. 7 -- LSU SEC
26. 7 -- Creighton Big East
27. 7 -- Colorado Pac-12
28. 7 -- Arizona Pac-12
29. 8 -- Illinois Big Ten
30. 8 -- Rutgers Big Ten
31. 8 -- Penn State Big Ten
32. 8 -- Texas Tech Big 12
33. 9 -- Iowa Big Ten
34. 9 -- Liberty (AQ) A-Sun
35. 9 -- BYU WCC
36. 9 -- Saint Mary's WCC
37. 10 -- Virginia Tech ACC
38. 10 -- Indiana Big Ten
39. 10 -- Marquette Big East
40. 10 -- Purdue Big Ten
41. 11 -- VCU A-10
42. 11 -- Oklahoma Big 12
43. 11 -- Minnesota Big Ten
44. 11 -- Houston American
45. 11 -- Florida SEC
46. 11 -- Utah Pac-12
47. 12 -- Oregon State Pac-12
48. 12 -- Akron (AQ) MAC
49. 12 -- Northern Iowa (AQ) Missouri Valley
50. 12 -- Yale (AQ) Ivy
51. 13 -- Stephen F. Austin (AQ) Southland
52. 13 -- Western Carolina (AQ) Southern
53. 13 -- Georgia State (AQ) Sun Belt
54. 13 -- William & Mary (AQ) Colonial
55. 14 -- UC Irvine (AQ) Big West
56. 14 -- New Mexico State (AQ) WAC
57. 14 -- Montana (AQ) Big Sky
58. 14 -- Colgate (AQ) Patriot League
59. 15 -- Stony Brook (AQ) America East
60. 15 -- Wright State (AQ) Horizon
61. 15 -- South Dakota State (AQ) Summit
62. 15 -- Charlotte (AQ) C-USA
63. 16 -- Murray State (AQ) OVC
64. 16 -- Winthrop (AQ) Big South
65. 16 -- Quinnipiac (AQ) MAAC
66. 16 -- Robert Morris (AQ) NEC
67. 16 -- Grambling (AQ) SWAC
68. 16 -- Norfolk State (AQ) MEAC

How Indiana stunned North Carolina in Michael Jordan's final college game

Steve Alford and Dan Dakich on how the Indiana Hoosiers stunned Michael Jordan and his North Carolina Tar Heels in the 1984 NCAA tournament.
READ MORE

6 programs with strong cases to be college basketball's next 1st-time champion

These schools have never won a men's basketball national championship but they're in a good position to win one in the near future.
READ MORE

The last undefeated men's basketball team from every season this century, ranked

Here are the final undefeated DI men's college basketball teams from every season since 2000, and a ranking of which of those 21 teams is the best.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners