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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | March 13, 2022

Final NCAA men's bracket projections made Selection Sunday, according to Andy Katz

Final NCAA tournament bracket predictions from Andy Katz

It's here. Selection Sunday is finally here. 

Before we learn what the bracket is, March Madness correspondent Andy Katz has updated his projections for the 2022 NCAA men's basketball tournament. Many teams have already clinched automatic qualifying bids.

Here's how Katz projects the 68-team field to look, through games played on Saturday, March 13. 

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 Baylor Kansas Arizona
16 Cal State Fullerton Norfolk State Bryant/Wright State Texas Southern/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
         
8 TCU Seton Hall Murray State Colorado State
9 Marquette San Diego State Memphis San Francisco
         
5 Iowa Houston UConn Texas
12 UAB Notre Dame/Texas A&M South Dakota State Rutgers/Wyoming
         
4 Arkansas Illinois UCLA Providence
13 Chattanooga Princeton OR Yale New Mexico State Vermont
         
6 Saint Mary's LSU Alabama USC
11 Virginia Tech Indiana Loyola Chicago Michigan
         
3 Texas Tech Duke Wisconsin Tennessee 
14 Montana State Longwood St. Peter's Akron
         
7 Ohio State Michigan State North Carolina Boise State
10 Miami (FL.) Creighton Davidson Iowa State
         
2 Villanova Kentucky Auburn Purdue 
15 Colgate Delaware Georgia State Jacksonville State

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

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

The top seeds in the NCAA bracket

The one seeds in Andy Katz's final bracket projections, in order of overall seeding, are Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas and Baylor, respectively. No surprises among the top three overall seeds as each team won its conference tournament.

Gonzaga, the WCC champion, at 26-3 gets the top overall seed; the Zags enter Selection Sunday No. 1 in the AP Poll, NET rankings and Coaches Poll. 

Arizona won the Pac-12 title with another win over UCLA. If the Wildcats land a No. 1 seed as Katz projects, head coach Tommy Lloyd will join North Carolina's Bill Guthridge (1998) and Indiana State's Bill Hodges (1979) as the third coach to earn a No. 1 seed in their first season as a Division head coach.

Kansas won the Big 12 tournament, giving the Jayhawks their ninth sweep of the regular-season and conference titles under Bill Self. Katz projects Kansas to sit atop the Midwest region.

The final No. 1 seed goes to Baylor. The Bears grab the last top seed despite losing to Oklahoma in the Big 12 tournament quarterfinals. The other contenders for the final No. 1 seed entering the weekend were Auburn, Kentucky, Duke and Wisconsin. All lost in their conference tournaments.

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 in Bold)
Big Ten 9 Purdue*, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa,
Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan,
Indiana, Rutgers
SEC 7 Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee*, Arkansas,
LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M
Big East 6 Villanova, Providence, UConn, Seton Hall,
Marquette, Creighton
Big 12 6 Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas,
TCU, Iowa State
ACC 5 Duke, North Carolina, Miami (FL.),
Virginia Tech, Notre Dame
Mountain West 4 Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State, Wyoming
Pac-12 3 Arizona, UCLA, Southern California
WCC 3 Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, San Francisco
AAC 2 Houston*, Memphis

*Projected conference tournament winner

What's changed in Katz's final bracket predictions ? 

Most notably, Virginia Tech enters the field as an 11 seed after winning the ACC tournament. Five days ago, the Hokies were in Katz's next four out.

Texas A&M also joins the March Madness party after an impressive run of its own. The Aggies will play Tennessee for the SEC title. Texas A&M's inclusion in the field gives the SEC the second-most teams in this year's projected tournament field.

Wyoming is the final new addition in Katz's bracket predictions, giving the Mountain West four teams in the field. The AAC and A10 each lost a team in the final projections, falling from three and two teams, respectively.

The Big Ten stands strong in yet another bracket projection as the conference remains in the lead with nine teams after an exciting conference tournament.

PREDICTIONS: 68 March Madness predictions, made prior to Selection Sunday

Teams on the outside looking in 

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

First four out 

1. SMU
2. Wake Forest 
3. Xavier 
4. VCU

SMU is Andy Katz's first team left out of this year's field. The Mustangs lost 70-63 to Memphis in the AAC tournament semifinals. SMU only has two Quad I wins on its resume so it will need some help if it wants to sneak into the tournament.

Wake Forest just misses the tournament after a surprise loss to 13th-seeded Boston College in the second round of ACC tournament. The Demon Deacons did not win a game in the ACC tournament and are 6-4 since February. Wake Forest will enter Selection Sunday with a record of 23-9.

Xavier suffered a tough loss to Butler in the first round of the Big East tournament. The Musketeers have lost losing eight of its last 10 games to close the season.

VCU finds itself on the outside looking in after losing to Richmond in the quarterfinals of the A10 tournament. The Rams end the season with back-to-back losses.

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

Andy Katz's automatic qualifiers 

Here are Katz's 32 automatic qualifiers, most of which have officially secured a bid. 

CONFERENCE AUTOMATIC QUALIFIER (CLINCHED IN BOLD)
America East Vermont
American Houston
Atlantic 10 Davidson
ACC Virginia Tech
ASUN Jacksonville State
Big 12 Kansas
Big East Villanova
Big Sky Montana State
Big South Longwood
Big Ten Purdue
Big West Cal State Fullerton
CAA Delaware
Conference USA UAB
Horizon  Wright State
Ivy Princeton OR Yale
MAAC Saint Peter's
MAC Akron
MEAC Norfolk State
Missouri Valley Loyola Chicago
Mountain West Boise State
NEC Bryant
OVC Murray State
Pac-12 Arizona
Patriot Colgate
SEC Tennessee 
Southern Chattanooga
Southland Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
SWAC Texas Southern
Summit League South Dakota State
Sun Belt  Georgia State
WCC Gonzaga
WAC New Mexico State

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

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