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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | March 8, 2022

Bracketology: NCAA men's basketball tournament projections five days before Selection Sunday

Andy Katz's penultimate NCAA men's bracket predictions

As of Tuesday, March 8, we are only five days away from Selection Sunday and the Madness has already begun. With some automatic qualifiers having already clinched their bids and other conference tournaments just beginning, March Madness correspondent Andy Katz has updated his projections for the 2022 NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Here's how Katz projects the 68-team field to look, through the games played on Monday, March 7.

First, here's the bracket in table form (scroll to the right to view the full bracket).

March Madness bracket predictions

Seed WEST EAST MIDWEST SOUTH
1 Gonzaga Kansas Arizona Baylor
16 Nicholls/Alcorn State UNC Wilmington Bryant/Northern Kentucky Norfolk State
         
8 Boise State North Carolina Marquette Michigan State
9 Iowa State San Francisco Michigan Memphis
         
5 UConn Houston Texas Alabama
12 Indiana/VCU Chattanooga North Texas Creighton/SMU
         
4 Arkansas Illinois Providence UCLA
13 Toledo South Dakota State Iona Vermont
         
6 Ohio State LSU Saint Mary's Iowa
11 Notre Dame Rutgers Loyola Chicago Davidson
         
3 Texas Tech Duke Purdue Tennessee
14 New Mexico State Georgia State Montana State Princeton
         
7 Murray State Colorado State Seton Hall Southern California
10 San Diego State TCU Wake Forest Miami (FL)
         
2 Villanova Kentucky Auburn Wisconsin
15 Colgate Jacksonville Longwood Long Beach State

RANKINGS: Click here for the latest NET rankings | AP Top 25

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

The top seeds

There's no surprise at the top as Katz gives Gonzaga the top overall seed yet again. 

It's the final three No. 1 seeds where things get exciting.

Over the last month, Katz has had five different teams earning one of the three other No. 1 seeds. In his latest projections, Katz sees BaylorArizona and Kansas rounding out the top seed line of the bracket, respectively. Just outside, on the No. 2 seed line, lurk SEC powers Auburn and Kentucky at fifth and sixth overall, respectively.

Arizona is the only team among the five that has earned a No. 1 seed in every one of Katz's bracket projections over the last month. Baylor and Kansas have moved all around the top of the bracket projections, with to a few head-to-head matchups between the Bears and Jayhawks leading to movement. 

With conference tournaments on the horizon, the battle for positioning at the top of the 2022 NCAA men's tournament bracket should be exciting to watch.

BRACKET CHALLENGE: Play the 2022 NCAA March Madness Men's Bracket Challenge Game

Number of bids by conference

Conferences with multiple teams in Katz's bracket projections
Conference Total Teams Teams (Automatic Qualifier/No. 1 seed in bold)
Big Ten 9 Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State,
Michigan State, Michigan, Rutgers, Indiana
Big East 6 Villanova, Providence, UConn, Seton Hall,
Marquette, Creighton
Big 12 6 Baylor, Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas,
Iowa State, TCU
SEC 6 Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas,
Alabama, LSU
ACC 5 Duke, North Carolina, Miami (FL.),
Wake Forest, Notre Dame
Mountain West 3 Colorado State, Boise State, San Diego State
Pac-12 3 Arizona, UCLA, Southern California
AAC 3 Houston, Memphis, SMU
WCC 3 Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, San Francisco
A-10 2 Davidson, VCU

What's changed in Katz's bracket predictions over the last week?

Well, it starts with the Big Ten. The conference reigns supreme with nine teams in the projected field as Rutgers joins the tournament picture after being one of the first four teams out a week ago.

Katz projects the Big East, Big 12 and SEC to each have six teams in the tournament. The Big East loses Xavier from the field (more on that below), while the projected teams in the field from the Big 12 and SEC remain consistent.

The ACC also remains consistent with its five projected NCAA tournament teams. North Carolina's win over Duke launched the Tar Heels from the worst-seeded ACC team to the second-highest seeded team from the conference.

Also of note is the Atlantic 10 earning its first at-large appearance in Katz's bracket predictions since the start of January, thanks to VCU earning one of the final spots in the projected tournament field.

PAST BRACKETS: March 1Post top-16 revealOne month before selections | 50 days out | New Year's | Opening night | Preseason

Teams on the outside looking in

Here are Katz's first four teams out of his projected bracket.

First four out

1. Wyoming
2. Xavier
3. Dayton
4. BYU

Wyoming and Xavier fall from the tournament field in Katz's latest bracket projections after losses to UNLV and St. John's, respectively. Wyoming gets a rematch against UNLV to open the Mountain West conference tournament on March 10. With a solid tournament performance, the Cowboys have the potential to rise back into the projected field. Xavier enters the Big East tournament seeded eighth after losing seven of its last nine games to close the regular season.

Elsewhere, BYU's tournament resume is complete. The Cougars lost to San Francisco — a projected tournament team — in the quarterfinals of the WCC tournament. BYU now sits at 22-10 with four Quadrant 1 wins ahead of Selection Sunday.

Here are the next teams to miss the cut.

Next four out

5. Virginia Tech
6. Florida
7. St. Bonaventure
8. Oklahoma

BUBBLE WATCH: 10 intriguing men's teams on the cusp

Andy Katz's automatic qualifiers

Here are Katz's 32 automatic qualifier predictions, which now include some schools that have officially secured a bid.

Conference Automatic qualifier (Clinched in bold)
America East Vermont
American Houston
Atlantic 10 Davidson
ACC Duke
ASUN Jacksonville
Big 12 Kansas
Big East Providence
Big Sky Montana State
Big South Longwood
Big Ten Illinois
Big West Long Beach State
CAA UNC Wilmington
Conference USA North Texas
Horizon  Northern Kentucky
Ivy Princeton
MAAC Iona
MAC Toledo
MEAC Norfolk State
Missouri Valley Loyola Chicago
Mountain West Boise State
NEC Bryant
OVC Murray State
Pac-12 Arizona
Patriot Colgate
SEC Auburn
Southern Chattanooga
Southland Nicholls
SWAC Alcorn State
Summit League South Dakota State
Sun Belt  Georgia State
WCC Gonzaga
WAC New Mexico State

BID TRACKER: Tracking all 32 NCAA men's basketball conference tournaments, auto-bids

Andy Katz's field of 68

Here is Katz’s full seed list in order, from one through 68:

RANK | SEED | TEAM | CONFERENCE (AQ Bolded if Clinched)
1. 1 -- Gonzaga | WCC (AQ)
2. 1 -- Baylor | Big 12
3. 1 -- Arizona | Pac-12 (AQ)
4. 1 -- Kansas | Big 12 (AQ)
5. 2 -- Auburn | SEC (AQ)
6. 2 -- Kentucky | SEC
7. 2 -- Wisconsin | Big Ten
8. 2 -- Villanova | Big East
9. 3 -- Duke | ACC (AQ)
10. 3 -- Purdue | Big Ten
11. 3 -- Tennessee | SEC
12. 3 -- Texas Tech | Big 12
13. 4 -- Illinois | Big Ten (AQ)
14. 4 -- UCLA | Pac-12
15. 4 -- Providence | Big East (AQ)
16. 4 -- Arkansas | SEC
17. 5 -- UConn | Big East
18. 5 -- Texas | Big 12
19. 5 -- Houston | AAC (AQ)
20. 5 -- Alabama | SEC
21. 6 -- Iowa | Big Ten
22. 6 -- LSU | SEC
23. 6 -- Saint Mary's | WCC
24. 6 -- Ohio State | Big Ten
25. 7 -- Southern California | Pac-12
26. 7 -- Colorado State | Mountain West
27. 7 -- Murray State | OVC (AQ)
28. 7 -- Seton Hall | Big East
29. 8 -- North Carolina | ACC
30. 8 -- Michigan State | Big Ten
31. 8 -- Boise State | Mountain West (AQ)
32. 8 -- Marquette | Big East
33. 9 -- Iowa State | Big 12
34. 9 -- Memphis | AAC
35. 9 -- San Francisco | WCC
36. 9 -- Michigan | Big Ten
37. 10 -- San Diego State | Mountain West
38. 10 -- TCU | Big 12
39. 10 -- Miami (FL.) | ACC
40. 10 -- Wake Forest | ACC
41. 11 -- Rutgers | Big Ten
42. 11 -- Davidson | A10 (AQ)
43. 11 -- Notre Dame | ACC
44. 11 -- Loyola Chicago | MVC (AQ)
45. 12 -- Creighton | Big East
46. 12 -- SMU | AAC
47. 12 -- Indiana | Big Ten
48. 12 -- VCU | A10
49. 12 -- North Texas | CUSA (AQ)
50. 12 -- Chattanooga | SoCon (AQ)
51. 13 -- South Dakota State | Summit (AQ)
52. 13 -- Toledo | MAC (AQ)
53. 13 -- Iona | MAAC (AQ)
54. 13 -- Vermont | America East (AQ)
55. 14 -- New Mexico State | WAC (AQ)
56. 14 -- Princeton | Ivy (AQ)
57. 14 -- Montana State | Big Sky (AQ)
58. 14 -- Georgia State | Sun Belt (AQ)
59. 15 -- Long Beach State | Big West (AQ)
60. 15 -- Colgate | Patriot (AQ)
61. 15 -- Longwood | Big South (AQ)
62. 15 -- Jacksonville | ASUN (AQ)
63. 16 -- UNC Wilmington | CAA (AQ)
64. 16 -- Norfolk State | MEAC (AQ)
65. 16 -- Bryant | NEC (AQ)
66. 16 -- Northern Kentucky | Horizon (AQ)
67. 16 -- Nicholls | Southland (AQ)
68. 16 -- Alcorn State | SWAC (AQ)

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