The month of February is approaching. That means that crunch time is also beginning for teams that want to make the NCAA Tournament. The bubble seems as wide open as ever, and it also seems much more welcoming to mid-majors than in prior years. Since our previous college basketball bracketology, there have been shifts of the top team in the country, with Auburn currently holding the honor. That is reflective of our latest bracket update, though there are plenty of teams that can still make a claim for a top seed. The next month and a half should be a great one.
You can find the fourth edition of our bracket and seeds right here. You can also check out how we stack up against other bracketologists over at The Bracket Matrix.
2021-22 College Basketball Bracketology 4.0
The Big 12 and SEC tie for the lead with teams included in this latest update. Both leagues are looking strong, especially with the teams in their top halves. The Big Ten follows closely behind with seven teams. Don’t be surprised if they find a way to get eight or nine in by Selection Sunday though. The Big East puts six teams into our latest field. The ACC, Pac 12, and WCC each put four teams into this bracket. The ACC continues to be full of bubble teams, while the WCC is challenging the Pac 12 as the best league on the west coast this season. Finally, the Mountain West puts three teams in, with a fourth looming just outside the field.
As mentioned, the Auburn Tigers check in as the top seed in this college basketball bracketology. Bruce Pearl’s club continues to find a way to win big games in the SEC and has established themselves as the league favorite. That includes a victory over Kentucky last week. The Tigers take a break from SEC play today for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge against Oklahoma.
The Duke Blue Devils are the two seed here. Duke continues to have an up and down kind of season so far in ACC play. Every time you think they are going to go on a run, they drop a game. The Blue Devils can certainly still earn a top seed, but they need their ACC brethren to help them out by improving the league’s profile nationally.
UCLA checks in as the three seed here. The Bruins arguably notched their biggest win of the season over Arizona earlier this week. It’s just what the doctor ordered for a team that many were still questioning about how legitimate they were. They can’t celebrate too much though as a rematch with the Wildcats is upcoming next week.
The Marquette Golden Eagles check in as the six seed in this region. Marquette was not expected to do much in Shaka Smart’s first season, but they have established themselves as a force in the Big East. They have won seven in a row, including victories over Providence, Villanova, Xavier, and Seton Hall twice. This is a sleeper squad as we head towards March.
Gonzaga checks in as the top seed in this region, and the number two overall seed. The Bulldogs have quietly moved back towards the top of the rankings after losing to Alabama in early December. Mark Few’s bunch is rolling through WCC play, with their smallest margin of victory being 16 over San Francisco last week.
Purdue is the second seed in this region. The Boilermakers have taken their lumps in Big Ten play thus far, but they continue to be a dangerous team nonetheless. If they can’t capture either the conference regular-season or tournament title, though, their ceiling may be a two or three seed.
The Providence Friars are the four seed here. Providence is another team that has surprised a bit this season. Ed Cooley’s group can get revenge on Marquette today, but overall the Friars have dropped just two games all season. It will be interesting to see what happens to Providence moving forward, as their metrics don’t match their profile.
The Boise State Broncos are the 11-seed in this region. Boise State has not received as much attention as some of their other Mountain West foes, but they currently sit atop the league. The Broncos can change that as they continue to move through league play. They are one of those dangerous mid-major teams nobody is talking about (yet).
The Kansas Jayhawks are the third overall seed, and the top seed in this region. Kansas has been eking out victories lately, with their last three coming by nine points combined. That includes a double overtime win over Texas Tech this week. It’s no surprise that Kansas is once again a national title contender.
The Wisconsin Badgers check in as the three seed in this region. Wisconsin has built an impressive profile that includes wins over Houston, Marquette, Ohio State, and Purdue. The Badgers will get plenty more opportunities in the Big Ten, and are right in the thick of the league title race.
The Saint Mary’s Gaels are the eight seed here. Now, getting stuck in an eight-nine match-up doesn’t seem appealing. However, the Gaels may be emerging as the second-best team in the WCC behind Gonzaga. The metrics like this group, and if they can continue to get the wins to back it up, perhaps they can climb just a bit higher on the seed line.
The Oregon Ducks are the 11-seed here. Oregon looked dead in the water after being highly ranked early in the season. However, a sweep in Los Angeles got them back on the radar. They still have a long way to go to feel safe, but they get Arizona, UCLA, and USC for three straight on the back end of the schedule for golden opportunities.
The Baylor Bears are the final top seed, and the fourth overall seed in this college basketball bracketology update. Baylor’s two-game losing streak earlier this month pushed them back a few spots for seeding, but the Big 12 is full of tough nights. It will be interesting to see how they perform against Alabama today.
The Arizona Wildcats are the two seed here. Arizona had jumped to the top line in our previous bracketology, but the loss to UCLA pushed them just out of a top seed for now. If they can sweep the home half of the Los Angeles duo next week, they can easily jump right back to a one seed.
The Houston Cougars sit as the four seed in this region. Houston continues to just win, regardless of all the adversity they have faced so far. A rash of injuries have the Cougars looking nothing like the team we thought they’d be. However, they also may be the only team representing the AAC this season in the tournament, with the league looking weaker than usual.
The Arkansas Razorbacks sit as the nine seed here. Arkansas was off the radar entirely for awhile with a three-game losing streak early in January. However, they are starting to look like the team we expected again by ripping off four straight wins. They still need to do more to feel safer, but it looks like they have righted the ship.
College Basketball Bracketology Bubble Teams
The last four teams into this edition of college basketball bracketology are TCU, San Diego State, Florida, and San Francisco. TCU benefits heavily from playing in the Big 12 each night and could move themselves further into the field. San Diego State dropped after a puzzling 18-point loss to Utah State earlier this week. Florida’s loss to Ole Miss continues to exemplify how up and down the Gators have been all season. San Francisco, once an easy eight or nine seed, now finds themselves barely in after swings and misses against BYU, Gonzaga, and Saint Mary’s.
The first four teams out of the bracket are SMU, Texas A&M, Wyoming, and Florida State. SMU has quietly built up bubble-like metrics, but don’t have an eye-popping win just yet. Texas A&M has dropped three games in a row, but can get themselves back on track against South Carolina today. Wyoming is a tough team to figure out. They have decent metrics but are missing a quality win. Finally, Florida State continues to fight for inclusion, but drops a game every time it looks like they can go on a run.