End of Summer Field of 68 Projection

SelectionSunday

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Here’s an updated look at my 2022 NCAA Tournament Field of 68 projection. If needed, I’ll make adjustments before Opening Night (Nov. 9), but expect this to be close to the final version.

Automatic qualifiers in multiple-bid conferences are noted in bold.

END OF SUMMER 2021-22 FIELD OF 68 PROJECTION
America East (1): Vermont

American (3): Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis

ACC (7): Duke, Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech

ASUN (1): Liberty

Atlantic 10 (2): Saint Bonaventure, VCU

Big East (4): Saint John’s, UConn, Villanova, Xavier

Big Sky (1): Montana

Big South (1): Winthrop

Big Ten (7): Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue

Big XII (5): Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas, West Virginia

Big West (1): UCSB

Colonial (1): UNC-Wilmington

Conference USA (1): Western Kentucky

Horizon (1): Milwaukee

Ivy (1): Penn

MAAC (1): Iona

MAC (1): Kent

MEAC (1): NCCU

Missouri Valley (1): Northern Iowa

Mountain West (3): Colorado State, Nevada, Utah State

NEC (1): Mount Saint Mary’s

OVC (1): Belmont

Pac 12 (5): Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Washington State

Patriot (1): Bucknell

SEC (7): Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee

SoCon (1): East Tennessee

Southland (1): Northwestern State

SWAC (1): Texas Southern

Summit (1): North Dakota State

Sun Belt (1): Georgia State

WCC (3): BYU, Gonzaga, LMU

WAC (1): New Mexico State

Last 4 In:
Louisville, Washington State, Utah State, LMU (last team in)

First 4 Out: Rutgers (1st team out), Richmond, Texas Tech, Drake

12 Others to Watch: Cleveland, Florida, Kansas State, Loyola-Chicago, Oklahoma, ORU, Penn State, San Diego State, Seton Hall, UAB, Utah, Wichita

Non-Power 6 At-Large Bids (7): BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, LMU, Nevada, Utah State, VCU
_____________________________

Repeats from 2020-2021 Field (38): Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, BYU, East Tennessee, Florida State, Gonzaga, Houston, Illinois, Iona, Kansas, Liberty, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Mount Saint Mary’s, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Purdue, Saint Bonaventure, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Southern, UCLA, UConn, UCSB, USC, Utah State, Villanova, Virginia, VCU, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Winthrop

Ineligible for NCAA Tournament (8)
: Bellarmine, Cal Baptist, Dixie, Merrimack, North Alabama, Saint Thomas, Tarleton, UC-San Diego

Big Ten Projection
1 Purdue
2 Michigan
3 Ohio State
4 Michigan State
5 Illinois
6 Maryland
7 Indiana
8 Rutgers
9 Penn State
10 Wisconsin
11 Nebraska
12 Iowa
13 Northwestern
14 Minnesota

Final 4: Kansas, Kentucky, Purdue, Texas

National Champion: Texas
 

MVGopherfan

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SS,

What is your outlook for Duke this year? I noticed that they aren’t in your FF. This whole season is going to be a constant reminder of It being K’s last year. The earlier they get knocked out, the better in my opinion.
 

SelectionSunday

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They’ll be back in the tournament. I have them winning the ACC. But I’m with you, I hope he loses in the first round.
 

combes1

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I know I’m an Illinois fan, but Illinois is vastly underrated. Best center (Kofi) and point guard (Curbelo) in the league surrounded by quality shooters and experience. Trent Frazier will be a five year starter and will finish in the top 5 all time in scoring. Damonte Williams led the BT in 3 point percentage. Grad transfer Alphonso Plummer was 2nd in Pac12 in threes and had one game with a PAC12 record 11 threes in a game.
6-6 Austin Hutcherson was injured last year and is the best shooter on the team and the best athlete. Would have started last year. The team was 18-2 with 6-7 Jacob Grandison starting last year. 6-11 Coleman Hawkins is a true stretch four. 6-10 Omar Payne backs up Kofi.

Depth is such that Illinois had three four star recruits in the 2021 class (6-7 RJ Melendez, 6-8 Luke Goode, and 6-5 Brandin Podziemski) and they are likely the 10, 11, 12 men.

Illinois smoked Michigan at Michigan by 24 without Ayo. Purdue has never beaten Kofi. Beat OSU 2 out of 3 last year and they lost both guards and just had a key forward injured for the year. Liddell is a great player but he is wasted playing center. Michigan State? Are they making a big jump after a mediocre season last year?

I guess we will see.
 

SelectionSunday

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I know I’m an Illinois fan, but Illinois is vastly underrated. Best center (Kofi) and point guard (Curbelo) in the league surrounded by quality shooters and experience. Trent Frazier will be a five year starter and will finish in the top 5 all time in scoring. Damonte Williams led the BT in 3 point percentage. Grad transfer Alphonso Plummer was 2nd in Pac12 in threes and had one game with a PAC12 record 11 threes in a game.
6-6 Austin Hutcherson was injured last year and is the best shooter on the team and the best athlete. Would have started last year. The team was 18-2 with 6-7 Jacob Grandison starting last year. 6-11 Coleman Hawkins is a true stretch four. 6-10 Omar Payne backs up Kofi.

Depth is such that Illinois had three four star recruits in the 2021 class (6-7 RJ Melendez, 6-8 Luke Goode, and 6-5 Brandin Podziemski) and they are likely the 10, 11, 12 men.

Illinois smoked Michigan at Michigan by 24 without Ayo. Purdue has never beaten Kofi. Beat OSU 2 out of 3 last year and they lost both guards and just had a key forward injured for the year. Liddell is a great player but he is wasted playing center. Michigan State? Are they making a big jump after a mediocre season last year?

I guess we will see.
Every Illinois player is awesome. They’re all great. Underwood is the best coach in the conference. They have it all. Best program in the country, by far.
 


Fleckoff

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I'm not sure how Pen State finishes 9th, I feel like they will be in the bottom of the standings with us. I agree with the top eight. I might move Illinois up to third with Kofi back. Though I think the Illini, Purdue, Ohio State and Michigan are all capable of winning it. I think I would put Maryland 5th, Sparty 6th, Rutgers and IU 7th and 8th and those the eight who I think will make the dance when it's all said and done. After that I feel confident that we will finish last this year. Though I think we can still win four or five games in conference. I know NW lost Kopp, but between Buie, Berry, Nance, Beran, Jones and the Simmons kid coming in, they should be able to battle with Iowa and Wisconsin for those 9-11 spots to stay out of Wednesday. Nebraska should be better too with what Fred's bringing in, but there seems to be a lack of discipline and accountability in that program, that has lead to Fred having roughly a 10 percent winning percentage in conference, so I can't pick them beyond 12th until they show they can fix that.
 

SelectionSunday

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I'm not sure how Pen State finishes 9th, I feel like they will be in the bottom of the standings with us. I agree with the top eight. I might move Illinois up to third with Kofi back. Though I think the Illini, Purdue, Ohio State and Michigan are all capable of winning it. I think I would put Maryland 5th, Sparty 6th, Rutgers and IU 7th and 8th and those the eight who I think will make the dance when it's all said and done. After that I feel confident that we will finish last this year. Though I think we can still win four or five games in conference. I know NW lost Kopp, but between Buie, Berry, Nance, Beran, Jones and the Simmons kid coming in, they should be able to battle with Iowa and Wisconsin for those 9-11 spots to stay out of Wednesday. Nebraska should be better too with what Fred's bringing in, but there seems to be a lack of discipline and accountability in that program, that has lead to Fred having roughly a 10 percent winning percentage in conference, so I can't pick them beyond 12th until they show they can fix that.
Yep, Penn State is definitely a team I’m taking a flyer on. Kind of my sleeper in the Big Ten, I guess. Despite what they lost, I like them more than most people. I like who they’ve added & who’s coming back.
 




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