2023 NCAA College Basketball Bracket Predictions (Selection Sunday Final Bracket)

As the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament draws closer, this post will summarize our 2023 bracket predictions, along with a projected NCAA bracket that we update periodically. The week before Selection Sunday, we will have daily updates to NCAA bracket predictions posted before games begin each day.

NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction as of Sunday AM, March 12th

Here is our projected 2023 bracket, current through all games played on March 12th. (Click to enlarge.)

This is our final bracket prediction, now including VCU and Princeton, the last two automatic bids awarded for this year’s tournament.

Sunday, March 12th Bracket Highlights

  • Purdue looks to have locked up the final No. 1 seed with UCLA’s late close loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 final.
  • Duke continued their impressive run with an ACC title, while Texas routed Kansas to win the Big 12 tournament.
  • Howard is going dancing for the first time since 1992, after a dramatic win over the Norfolk State in the MEAC final.
  • The last two auto bids will be decided today, with VCU vs. Dayton in the Atlantic 10, and Princeton vs. Yale in the Ivy League.
  • Zero bid thieves emerged this year, as UAB, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt all lost yesterday.

Seed List, 1-68

The bracket shows how we project the field by region. But here is our 1 to 68 seed list of teams ranked in order.

  1. Alabama
  2. Kansas
  3. Houston
  4. Purdue
  5. UCLA
  6. Texas
  7. Arizona
  8. Marquette
  9. Gonzaga
  10. Baylor
  11. Connecticut
  12. Kansas State
  13. Xavier
  14. Texas A&M
  15. Tennessee
  16. San Diego State
  17. Duke
  18. Indiana
  19. Virginia
  20. Iowa State
  21. TCU
  22. Saint Mary’s
  23. Florida Atlantic
  24. Miami
  25. Kentucky
  26. Michigan State
  27. Missouri
  28. Creighton
  29. Northwestern
  30. Memphis
  31. Arkansas
  32. West Virginia
  33. Maryland
  34. Utah State
  35. Iowa
  36. Boise State
  37. Penn State
  38. Auburn
  39. Illinois
  40. USC
  41. Providence
  42. Mississippi State
  43. Arizona State
  44. Rutgers
  45. NC State
  46. Nevada
  47. VCU
  48. Drake
  49. Charleston
  50. Oral Roberts
  51. Kent State
  52. Iona
  53. Louisiana
  54. Furman
  55. Kennesaw State
  56. UCSB
  57. Grand Canyon
  58. Princeton
  59. Colgate
  60. Vermont
  61. UNC-Asheville
  62. Montana State
  63. Northern Kentucky
  64. Howard
  65. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
  66. SE Missouri State
  67. Texas Southern
  68. Fairleigh Dickinson

Final Bubble Breakdown

The bubble really centers on eight teams for three spots. Here’s a table summary of some key factors that often can sway the Selection Committee. “NET” is the NET ranking used by the committee, and “SOR” is Strength of Record, which also tends to be an indicator and takes into account how many wins a good team at the bubble should have against the same schedule.

Q1+2 Wins and Losses refers to the top two quadrants of teams that the committee looks at, basically how the team did against the toughest games on its schedule.

TeamNETSORQ1+2 WQ1+2 LBest Wins
Arizona State6647911at Arizona, Creighton-N, USC-N
NC State4537810Duke, Miami
Nevada375388San Diego St, Utah St, Boise St
Oklahoma St43421014at Iowa St, Iowa St, TCU
Pittsburgh675479at Northwestern, Virginia, Miami
Vanderbilt79481011at Kentucky, Kentucky-N, Tenn
Wisconsin80501113at Marquette, at Iowa, at Penn St.
Clemson605475Duke, Penn St., NC State x 3

We are projecting Arizona State, NC State, and Nevada for those last three spots, but none of these eight getting in would be a complete shock based on how the committee has decided things.

Arizona State has the best wins (road/neutral against other teams in the field, and the best win of the group at Arizona).

NC State has the NET and Strength of Record, but is vulnerable because they lost three to Clemson, lost to Pitt, and generally don’t have a lot of “great” wins. But they also have no bad losses.

Clemson has the best win percentage against the top two quadrants, but also has four really bad losses and poor metrics elsewhere.

We settled on Nevada in the final slot based on having a .500 record against the top two quadrants and having a NET ranking inside the top 40, but that is splitting hairs. The concern for Oklahoma State is that the committee will decide their 18-15 overall record, 14 top quadrant losses, and 0-9 combined record against the top four teams in the Big 12 means someone else should get a chance.

Pittsburgh is one that others have in, but they don’t stand up well in this comparison. They are below the cutline in NET and SOR, and are tied for the fewest top quadrant wins (and they have some bad losses).

NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction as of Thursday AM, March 11th

Here is our projected 2023 bracket, current through all games played on March 10th. (Click to enlarge.)


Most of the best teams have continued to win, but we do still have some surprise teams that could shake things up.

Saturday, March 11th Bracket Highlights

  • UAB, now favored by a point, faces Florida Atlantic in the Conference USA, and if they win, they bust the bubble for a team, and claim the auto bid from Conference USA.
  • Ohio State has reached the Big Ten semifinals, and would definitely be a bid thief if they could finish the Cinderella run, while Vanderbilt is still alive in the SEC, and might need to win the tournament as well.
  • Duke has continued their dominant run and won eight in a row by beating Miami, and have moved up to a No. 5 seed in our projected bracket, as they face Virginia in the ACC title game.
  • UCLA and Purdue are both in action today, and it’s neck-and-neck for the last No. 1 seed with just one day to go.
  • A total of 13 different automatic bids will be determined today, starting with the America East and ending with the Western Athletic finals.

NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction as of Thursday AM, March 10th

Here is our projected 2023 bracket, current through all games played on March 9th. (Click to enlarge.)


Yesterday proved to be a big day at the bubble, and now we try to sort out the mess that has emerged.

Friday, March 10th Bracket Highlights

  • Arizona State, Mississippi State, Penn State, and Utah State got big wins yesterday and should be in the field now.
  • Other bubble teams weren’t so fortunate, as Nevada, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Providence, and Pittsburgh all lost and will be sweating it out on Selection Sunday.
  • Rutgers bounced back in a must-win game against Michigan to keep their tourney hopes alive, and face Purdue in the Big Ten quarterfinals.
  • Clemson also got the key win to keep them in the hunt for an at-large, crushing NC State for the third time this year to advance to play Virginia in the ACC semifinal.
  • We have a few bid thief situations to monitor, as Oregon (Pac-12), North Texas vs. UAB game in Conference USA, and  San Jose State (Mountain West) are all in the semifinals today.

NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdown

There were some clear winners and losers at the bubble yesterday. Let’s quickly hit them:


These teams should all now be in, after a win: Utah State, Mississippi State, Arizona State, Penn State.


Pittsburgh and North Carolina took crushing losses, and drop outside our First Four Out.

Lost, and Now Sweating

These teams all lost yesterday, and are very much in the debate to make it, and will likely be heading to Dayton for the Play-In games if they do:

  • NC State (third loss to Clemson, fall outside top 50 in NET)
  • Providence (fall to 7-10 in top two quadrants)
  • Nevada (lost third in a row to a non-tourney team, fall outside top 50 in strength of record)
  • Oklahoma State (15 total losses, 10-14 total record against Quads 1+2, and no wins over top 4 teams in Big 12 could get them)

Won, and Still Hoping

These teams all won yesterday, and are still alive to add to the resume:

  • Rutgers (win over Michigan reverses poor closing stretch, inside top 50 in NET and lots of quality wins)
  • Clemson (good record against tourney teams and 3-game sweep of NC State, but poor non-conference strength of schedule and a lot of bad losses)
  • Vanderbilt (low NET ranking and a lot of overall losses, but have added several big wins in last month and are close)


NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction as of Thursday AM, March 9th

Here is our projected 2023 bracket, current through all games played on March 8th. (Click to enlarge.)


For the second day in a row, our projected bracket remains unchanged, but we have a feeling that won’t be the case tomorrow. Lots of tournament teams are in action today, and with so many of the middle seeds very close together, you could see some shifts by tomorrow.

Thursday, March 9th Bracket Highlights

  • Most of the bubble teams won yesterday, but the exception was Wisconsin losing to Ohio State, which probably knocks them out of an at-large.
  • Colgate has made its fourth tournament in a row, going back to 2019, by winning the Patriot League in blowout fashion over Lafayette.
  • Montana State (Big Sky) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Southland) also claimed automatic bids on Wednesday night.
  • The bubble will likely be decided in large part today, as we have several key games in the ACC, Big Ten, Mountain West, Pac-12, and SEC.
  • Top seed hopefuls Kansas, UCLA, Texas, Baylor, Arizona, and Marquette are all in action as well on a busy Thursday.

NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdown

Here are the teams we have currently projected in the at-large field, but not safely in pending today’s results:

  • Pittsburgh (vs. Duke)
  • Utah State (vs. New Mexico)
  • Providence (vs. UCONN)
  • Penn State (vs. Illinois)
  • Mississippi State (vs. Florida)
  • Nevada (vs. San Jose State)
  • Arizona State (vs. USC)

And here are the first eight teams out of the field (that we project as the top two seed lines in the NIT):

  • Oklahoma State (vs. Texas)
  • Rutgers (vs. Michigan)
  • Vanderbilt (vs. LSU)
  • Wisconsin (done)
  • Michigan (vs. Rutgers)
  • North Carolina (vs. Virginia)
  • Clemson (vs. NC State)
  • Oregon (vs. Washington State)

Lots to be decided today in this group. Oklahoma State might very well be in, and they are a true bubble call along with the last four teams listed in above. The concern with the Cowboys is whether the committee will balk at putting an 18-15 team in the field, which we’ve seen happen sometimes in the past, even if the strength of schedule and other resume metrics might put them in.

But we would advise anyone listed in the top 7 above the cutline there to win, because the bubble could also shrink with a bid thief or two.

NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction as of Wednesday, March 8th

Here is our projected 2023 bracket, current through all games played on March 7th. (Click to enlarge.)


The projected bracket remains unchanged since yesterday, as our expected auto bid winners all won in title games, and Gonzaga won the West Coast Conference.

Wednesday, March 8th Bracket Highlights

  • Gonzaga destroyed St. Mary’s in the West Coast final 77-51 and now both teams await seeding, and Gonzaga could get as high as a No. 2 seed depending on what happens the rest of the week.
  • Charleston survived a close call with UNC-Wilmington in the CAA final and now looks slotted for a No. 12 seed after finishing 31-3.
  • Max Abmas is back in the NCAA Tournament, as Oral Roberts won its 17th straight game to finish as Summit League champs at 30-4.
  • Three more auto bids will be decided tonight in the Big Sky, Patriot League, and Southland.
  • Several bubble teams get underway today, with NC State, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina all in action in the ACC Tournament, plus Arizona State, Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin.

NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction as of Tuesday, March 7th

Here is our projected 2023 bracket, current through all games played on March 6th. (Click to enlarge.)

It’s the calm before the storm, as most of the major conference tournaments get underway on Wednesday. We do have early ACC tournament games on Tuesday, though none of those teams are in contention for a bid.

Tuesday, March 7th Bracket Highlights

  • Furman locked up their first NCAA Tournament bid since 1980, winning the Southern Conference, so now you get to see what a Paladin is.
  • The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns held on against South Alabama to win the Sun Belt, and look like a dangerous No. 13 seed.
  • There won’t be any bid thief from the West Coast Conference, as Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s both won, setting up the rubber match in the title game tonight.
  • Ragnarok has arrived in the Horizon League, as the Cleveland State Vikings take on the Northern Kentucky Norse with a bid on the line.
  • Two of the top mid-majors will also be in action tonight with a place in the NCAA Tournament on the line, as Oral Roberts (29-4 out of the Summit League) and Charleston (30-3 out of the CAA) look to secure their spots.

NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction as of Monday, March 6th

All the conference regular season games are done! We’ve already had five NCAA auto-bids decided by conference tournament wins, and power conference tournament action gets going in full force this week.

Here is our projected 2023 bracket, current through all games played on March 5th. (Click to enlarge.)

Monday, March 6th Bracket Highlights

  • Five teams have clinched an automatic bid so far: Drake (MVC), Kennesaw State (A-Sun), UNC-Asheville (Big South), SE Missouri State (OVC), and Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast). Fairleigh Dickinson plays their title game on Tuesday, but has already locked up a spot because their opponent, Merrimack, is still ineligible for the tournament in their fourth year in Division I.
  • We have two more automatic bids that will be decided on Monday, with Furman vs. Chattanooga in the Southern Conference, and Louisiana vs. South Alabama in the Sun Belt. Chattanooga may be the No. 7 seed going against No. 1 Furman, but they are no typical Cinderella run, as their best player, center Jake Stephens, missed the last 11 games of the regular season with a hand injury, but has returned and scored 67 points in three tournament wins.
  • The bubble is extremely tight, and most current bubble teams will get into action later this week. Rutgers has fallen completely out of our projected field after losing for the sixth time in eight games, with a home loss to Northwestern on Sunday. Meanwhile, Utah State and Penn State have made big moves into the field over the last week.
  • The race for the last No. 1 seed is neck-and-neck between Purdue and UCLA, and could come down to how they perform this week. UCLA’s Jaylen Clark left Saturday night’s win over Arizona and was on crutches, so his injury status (he should be undergoing an MRI today) will be another X-factor to watch.

Projected No. 1 NCAA Tournament Seeds

Three of the top seeds are set, though the ordering could matter quite a bit. Our No. 1 seed projection order is as follows:

  1. Houston
  2. Kansas
  3. Alabama
  4. UCLA
  5. Purdue

Alabama slides below Houston and Kansas for now, as their recent form and loss to Texas A&M drop them just below the other two. Alabama has put up four straight sub-par (by their season standards) performances since the news broke about Brandon Miller’s involvement in driving a gun to the scene of a homicide.

Meanwhile, we said the ordering could matter. Here’s why.

  • Kansas’ ideal situation would be starting in Des Moines and then advancing to the Midwest Regional in Kansas City, about a 40-minute drive from campus.
  • But Houston’s top regional preference by travel distance would also be Kansas City, compared to Louisville (South) or Las Vegas (West).
  • Alabama’s top regional preference is likely Louisville, but that would be the second option for either Kansas or Houston, once one of them goes to Kansas City.

So Houston, Kansas, and Alabama are playing musical chairs this week, hoping to get their top preference. Two of those teams will be the No. 1 seeds in the Midwest and South, but one of them will have to go to either New York City or Las Vegas as the second weekend site, and it’s whichever one the committee decides is the third wheel of the group.

NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdown

Here are the last eight teams projected in the at-large field:

  • NC State
  • Utah State
  • Pittsburgh
  • Penn State
  • Mississippi State
  • Providence
  • Nevada
  • Arizona State

And here are the first eight teams out of the field (that we project as the top two seed lines in the NIT):

  • Oklahoma State
  • Wisconsin
  • Rutgers
  • Vanderbilt
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Clemson
  • Oregon

Some observations here:

  • Utah State was the big mover this week, as they put up another 2-0 week (and beat Boise State) while pretty much everyone else projected on the bubble entering last week struggled.
  • Penn State also revived their tournament hopes with a huge week to move into the projected field, as they won at Northwestern and then got a last-second put-back to beat Maryland on Sunday.
  • Rutgers, meanwhile, has played themselves out of the field with their loss to Northwestern and losing 6 of 8 games, and must beat Michigan in a showdown between two teams needing a big win in the Big Ten tournament.
  • Oklahoma State kept their hopes alive, but have a tough matchup in the Big 12 opener against rival Oklahoma, and may need to also then beat Texas.
  • North Carolina has major work to do after losing to Duke. The Tar Heels look like they are going to go from preseason No. 1 to missing the tournament unless they can make a deep run in the ACC Tournament.

NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction as of Monday, February 27

Selection Sunday is now just two weeks away, and some conferences wrapped up their regular seasons over the weekend. So the number of games impacting the seeding and selection are dwindling, and the picture is getting a little clearer.

It was a wild weekend in college basketball, with lots of buzzer beaters and big upsets. Here is our projected 2023 bracket, current through all games played on Feb. 26. (click to enlarge).


Projected No. 1 NCAA Tournament Seeds

We’ve got a change to our No. 1 seed line after the weekend. Purdue’s loss at home to Indiana, coupled with another 2-0 week for UCLA, has swapped them. UCLA is now our fourth No. 1 seed going to the West Region, while Purdue falls to the No. 2 line, by just a hair.

Our No. 1 seed projection order is as follows:

  1. Alabama
  2. Houston
  3. Kansas
  4. UCLA

Purdue, Texas, Baylor, and Arizona are still alive to claim a top seed with a strong final two weeks, while Kansas State and Marquette also have outside long shot chances but need to run the table.

Biggest Movers Since Last Week

While the top of the bracket held steady, we did see some shifts in the middle of the bracket. Here are the biggest shifts in our projections compared to a week ago.

Biggest Risers

  • Kentucky, No. 7 to a No. 5 with two more wins, as Kentucky has gone from a bubble team to a top 5 seed in a few weeks
  • USC, No. 11 to No. 8 after wins at Colorado and at Utah
  • Arizona State, from outside the First Eight Out to the last No. 11 seed in the field, after win at Arizona
  • North Carolina, from 4th Team Out to second-to-last No. 11 seed, after wins at Notre Dame and vs. Virginia

Biggest Fallers

  • Oklahoma State, from No. 8 to 2nd Team Out, after losses to West Va and Kansas State, for fourth straight loss
  • Virginia, No. 3 to No. 5 after losses to Boston College and North Carolina
  • Iowa State, No. 4 to No. 6 after losses to Texas and Oklahoma
  • Creighton, No. 5 to No. 7 after losses to Marquette and Villanova

NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdown

Here are the last eight teams projected in the at-large field:

  • Auburn
  • Boise State
  • Pittsburgh
  • Mississippi State
  • NC State
  • West Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • Arizona State

And here are the first eight teams out of the field (that we project as the top two seed lines in the NIT):

  • Wisconsin
  • Oklahoma State
  • Utah State
  • Michigan
  • Clemson
  • Texas Tech
  • Penn State
  • New Mexico

Lots of big moves near the bubble this week, led by Arizona State. It took a half-court shot, but the Sun Devils got a massive upset win on the road at a projected No. 2 seed in Arizona, and that’s the kind of result that shoots them up. They get two key road games and need to win one against the Los Angeles schools to solidify their tournament hopes.

North Carolina also needs another big week, but got the win they needed over Virginia to stay alive. They likely need to beat Duke at home to stay in the field.

Wisconsin had a costly loss to Michigan late, and falls just out. Oklahoma State has lost four straight without guard Avery Anderson, a couple in blowout fashion. If the season ended today, they might still be in. But they will be an underdog in both games this week (vs. Baylor, at Texas Tech) and then likely have a tough matchup in the Big 12 tourney opener. Going only 1-2 in those games would more likely leave them out, hence our projection.

But there is not much separating the bubble as we enter the last regular season week. In fact, our current estimate on the odds to make the tournament for the last four teams projected in, and the first five out (down to Clemson) is that each has between a 40% to 60% chance of making it, so every result matters for this group.

NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction as of Monday, February 20

Selection Sunday is three weeks away, and we also got an official bracket reveal from the NCAA over the weekend.

Every No. 1 seed in our projection from last week matched the committee’s reveal, as did all the No. 2 seeds. In fact, we had 15 of the 16 teams revealed by the NCAA in our top 4 seeds as well (Iowa State instead of Connecticut was the only difference).

But there have been games since, including a busy slate of Saturday games with some key results, so here is our projected 2023 bracket, current through all games played on Feb. 19. (click to enlarge).


Projected No. 1 NCAA Tournament Seeds

Nothing has changed at the top of our brackets. Purdue did lose another game, but that isn’t enough to drop them below the top line yet. Alabama and Houston were the top two No. 1 seeds and seem fairly safe to maintain those positions barring a complete collapse.

Right now, the only teams in contention for a top seed are the four we have right now (Alabama, Houston, Purdue, and Kansas), plus the two Pac-12 contenders (Arizona and UCLA) and the two other Big 12 teams on the No. 2 line (Texas and Baylor). The teams on the No. 3 line would likely have to win out to claim a top spot.

Biggest Movers Since Last Week

While the top of the bracket held steady, we did see some shifts in the middle of the bracket. Here are the biggest shifts in our projections compared to a week ago.

Biggest Risers

  • Kentucky, No. 11 to a No. 7 with wins at Mississippi State and vs. Tennessee
  • Texas A&M, No. 10 to a No. 7 with wins vs. Arkansas and at Missouri
  • Providence, No. 9 to No. 6 with wins over Creighton and Villanova
  • Northwestern, No. 8 to No. 6 with wins over Indiana and Iowa

Biggest Fallers

  • Florida Atlantic, No. 6 to a No. 10 with loss at Middle Tennessee
  • Missouri, No. 7 to No. 9 with losses at Auburn and vs. Texas A&M
  • Illinois, No. 6 to No. 8 with losses at Penn State and at Indiana
  • North Carolina, from No. 11 to 4th team out after losses to Miami and at NC State

NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdown

Here are the last eight teams projected in the at-large field:

  • NC State
  • Boise State
  • Pittsburgh
  • Memphis
  • West Virginia
  • USC
  • Mississippi State
  • Wisconsin

And here are the first eight teams out of the field (that we project as the top two seed lines in the NIT):

  • New Mexico
  • Utah State
  • Texas Tech
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • North Texas
  • Seton Hall
  • Michigan

Clemson dropped completely off this list with an embarrassing loss to Louisville, and too many bad losses combined with a poor non-conference strength of schedule. Vanderbilt has moved to the edge of this list with some big wins of late, and they and Michigan and hoping to continue hot runs to get in the mix.

The biggest upward mover is Texas Tech, who got a big road win at West Virginia after beating Texas and Kansas State at home. The Red Raiders are now back in the mix, and it could come down to how those Big 12 teams finish and who can win a big conference tournament game to determine who can get in there. Texas Tech and West Virginia are currently on track to play in the opening game of the Big 12 Tourney.

NCAA Tournament Bracket Prediction as of Monday, February 13

Selection Sunday is now four weeks away, so it’s time to kick off our weekly predictions of how we expect the 2023 NCAA tournament bracket to shape up.

Here is our projected 2023 bracket, current through all games played on Feb. 12. (click to enlarge).

Projected No. 1 NCAA Tournament Seeds

Our current projected No. 1 seeds are Alabama, Houston, Purdue, and Kansas.

  • Alabama, Houston, and Purdue have pretty strong cases for the top seed line and are highly likely to remain their barring a collapse. But the final spot is very much in doubt.
  • Right now, Kansas is holding on to that final spot based on a strong schedule and lots of big wins, but in reality, the most likely candidates are the better finisher in the Big 12 between Kansas and Texas, as well as the top two Pac-12 contenders (Arizona and UCLA).
  • The differences between these teams is pretty thin and could come down to the conference tournament results, with the winner likely becoming the top seed in the West Region in Las Vegas.

NCAA Tournament Bubble Breakdown

Here are the last eight teams projected in the at-large field:

  • Boise State
  • Texas A&M
  • Pittsburgh
  • Memphis
  • USC
  • North Carolina
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi State

And here are the first eight teams out of the field (that we project as the top two seed lines in the NIT):

  • New Mexico
  • Wisconsin
  • Oregon
  • Arizona State
  • Clemson
  • Utah State
  • North Texas
  • Seton Hall

Not much separates the top group from the bottom group, and a single key result or bad loss could switch the outlooks. For example, the North Carolina win over Clemson swung which side of the bubble those two are projected to be on, while New Mexico’s two losses in the last week dropped them from being projected in the field to out.

About Our 2023 NCAA Bracket Predictions

Our Bracket Predictions Are Forward-Looking

Many bracketologists put out brackets based on what has happened so far in the season. They are effectively predicting what the 2023 NCAA bracket would look like if the season ended that day.

Our bracket predictions also consider what is likely to happen in the future. They project what we think the bracket will look like on Selection Sunday 2023. That means they consider all of the following:

  • The opponents that a team has beaten, and lost to, so far.
  • The opponents that each team still has left to play.
  • The probabilities that each team will get key wins or losses moving forward.
  • How those additional games will impact each team’s resume on Selection Sunday.

As we get closer to Selection Sunday, past results will have a bigger overall impact on a team’s resume, because there won’t be too many games left to change the outlook.

But as of, say, early February, there are plenty of key games remaining and the probabilities behind future outcomes still matter a lot. (Check out the next section if you want to see how we did a year ago at this time.)

How Our Bracket Projections Did Last Year

Last year, we introduced our first Bracket Predictions post on the same Monday as we did in 2023—one month before Selection Sunday. So how accurate were the projections we made one month early?

  • Of the teams we had projected on the top five seed lines, all of them made the NCAA tournament field, and 18 of the 20 teams were correctly projected within one seed line of where they ended up on Selection Sunday.
  • Of the teams we projected as a No. 6 to No. 10 seed, there was more variation. But 19 of those 20 also made the tournament field, with the only exception being Xavier, who collapsed and went 1-6 in remaining games to drop to the NIT. Nearly half of teams in this range were projected within one seed line, with seeding movement both up and down in this range.
  • Of the true bubble teams we had projected as a No. 11 seed or in the final two at-large spots as a No. 12, four of the seven made the NCAA tournament, and the other three were top two seeds in the NIT.
  • Of the eight teams we had projected as the first teams out, three of them made the tournament, and the five others made the NIT, with three of those as top two seeds in the NIT.
  • No team that was either not projected in our field, or not in our first eight out, got an at-large tournament bid. The closest was Texas A&M, which closed the season by winning eight of 10 and advancing to the SEC title game, but were still left out on Selection Sunday.

It will be pretty amazing if 39 of our top 40 teams (i.e. those as a predicted as a No. 10 seed or better), as of one month before the tournament, all make the field again. But as teams like Xavier or Texas A&M show, unless there is an extremely unexpected run by a team that ends up well above or below how they are expected to perform, our projections are likely to be close on most teams, even with a month still left in the season.