‘Bracketology’ watch: ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has 3 of 8 SEC teams slipping in updated NCAA Tournament projection

Things move quickly in the “Bracketology” world at this time of year.

So much so that ESPN’s bracket expert Joe Lunardi is now updating his field of 68 projections multiple times through each week as we head toward the homestretch of the college basketball regular season.

He remains steadfast in his belief that the SEC will be one of the most rewarded conferences when it comes time for the selection committee to make its final choices. More than half of the league is projected to join the 2018 men’s basketball NCAA Tournament field in Lunardi’s  latest bracket release on Thursday.

Here’s a look at each SEC team he projects to make the NCAA Tournament, along with the predicted seed and opponent:

Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology projections for the SEC

SEC TEAM PROJECTED SEED PROJECTED OPPONENT
Alabama No. 7 in South Region Providence
Arkansas No. 11 in South Region Miami
Auburn No. 2 in Midwest Region UNC Asheville
Florida No. 6 in East Region Winner of USC/N.C. State
Kentucky No. 9 in West Region Butler
Missouri No. 7 in East Region Kansas St.
Tennessee No. 4 in South Region Louisiana-Lafayette
Texas A&M No. 7 in West Region Virginia Tech

So how does this differ from what Lunardi already published during his Monday version of the bracket?

Kentucky dropped from a No. 8 seed down to a No. 9 after a road loss to Auburn, confirming the fears of Wildcats fans that Kentucky may be slipping onto the tournament bubble as they struggle through a four-game losing streak.

Florida also dropped from a No. 4 projection down to a No. 6 after a disappointing midweek loss to Georgia. Arkansas also saw its projection drop from a No. 10 down to a No. 11.

Tennessee and Florida are projected as No. 4 seeds, with Lunardi giving the Gators a bump into the top-4 seeds that the committee was unwilling to give on Sunday.

Texas A&M and Alabama held firm on the No. 7 seed line, with Missouri also jumping up to that level after being tabbed as a No. 8 on Monday. Tennessee (No. 4 seed) and Auburn (No. 2 seed) held firm in their projection.

Mississippi State was on Lunardi’s “next four out” list on Monday, but they are nowhere to be found on the bubble watch in the Thursday edition.

RELATED:  NCAA Tournament 2018: Selection committee releases top-4 seeds for each region

The league placed three teams in the latest AP Top 25, which was released on Monday, Feb. 12.

College Basketball Rankings: AP Top 25

1
Virginia (30)
ACC
Record: 23-2
PV Rank

2

Points

1,557

2
Michigan State (21)
Big Ten
Record: 24-3
4
1,527
3
Villanova (9)
Big East
Record: 23-2
1
1,518
4
Xavier (5)
Big East
Record: 23-3
5
1,465
5
Cincinnati
American Athletic Conference (AAC)
Record: 23-2
6
1,359
6
Purdue
Big Ten
Record: 23-4
3
1,269
7
Texas Tech
Big 12
Record: 21-4
7
1,258
8
Ohio State
Big Ten
Record: 22-5
14
1,094
9
Gonzaga
West Coast
Record: 23-4
12
1,063
10
Auburn
SEC
Record: 22-3
8
1,025
11
Clemson
ACC
Record: 20-4
16
945
12
Duke
ACC
Record: 20-5
9
942
13
Kansas
Big 12
Record: 19-6
10
816
14
North Carolina
ACC
Record: 19-7
21
763
15
Saint Mary’s (Cal.)
West Coast
Record: 24-3
11
683
16
Rhode Island
Atlantic 10
Record: 20-3
18
666
17
Arizona
Pac-12
Record: 20-6
13
594
18
Tennessee
SEC
Record: 18-6
15
580
19
Wichita State
American Athletic Conference (AAC)
Record: 19-5
22
495
20
West Virginia
Big 12
Record: 18-7
19
339
21
Texas A&M
SEC
Record: 17-8
241
22
Michigan
Big Ten
Record: 20-7
20
239
23
Oklahoma
Big 12
Record: 16-8
17
152
24
Nevada
Mountain West
Record: 21-5
23
87
25
Arizona State
Pac-12
Record: 19-6
83

The post ‘Bracketology’ watch: ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has 3 of 8 SEC teams slipping in updated NCAA Tournament projection appeared first on SEC Country.

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