‘Bracketology’ watch: ESPN’s Joe Lunardi places 8 SEC teams in latest NCAA Tournament projection

Worried about what the NCAA Tournament selection committee thinks of the SEC? Joe Lunardi’s latest projections should provide some optimism for the league’s fans.

More than half of the league is projected to join the 2018 men’s basketball NCAA Tournament field, according to the ESPN “Bracketology” expert.

College basketball fans are in full-on “bracket projection mode” as we march through the final stretch of the regular season. On Monday, Lunardi  released a new projection for the 2018 men’s field.

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 East Region Houston
Arkansas No. 10 in South Region Creighton
Auburn No. 2 in Midwest Region Florida Gulf Coast
Florida No. 4 in East Region East Tennessee St.
Kentucky No. 8 in Midwest Region Florida St.
Missouri No. 9 in South Region Butler
Tennessee No. 4 in South Region Vermont
Texas A&M No. 7 in West Region Providence

Auburn continues to be the pride of SEC hoops this season, earning a look as the projected No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region. Lunardi’s pick there mirrors what the selection committee put out on Sunday when it released their projected top-4 seeds in each region as of Feb. 11. The Tigers are considered the No. 5 overall seed, which means they’re on the cusp of become a No. 1 seed if things cut the right way.

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.

Arkansas is now listed on the very top of the bubble in spite of a win against Vanderbilt on Saturday. The Razorbacks are listed among Lunardi’s last four to get into the tournament without having to go through a play-in game.

Mississippi State finds itself on the other side of the tournament bubble at this point, landing on Lunardi’s “next four out” list.

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. 5.

College Basketball Rankings: AP Top 25

 
1
Villanova (48)
Big East
Record: 22-1
PV Rank

1

Points

1,608

2
Virginia (16)
ACC
Record: 22-1
2
1,572
3
Purdue (1)
Big Ten
Record: 23-2
3
1,500
4
Michigan State
Big Ten
Record: 22-3
5
1,407
5
Xavier
Big East
Record: 21-3
6
1,350
6
Cincinnati
American Athletic Conference (AAC)
Record: 21-2
8
1,305
7
Texas Tech
Big 12
Record: 19-4
10
1,182
8
Auburn
SEC
Record: 21-2
11
1,138
9
Duke
ACC
Record: 19-4
4
1,075
10
Kansas
Big 12
Record: 18-5
7
1,015
11
Saint Mary’s (Cal)
West Coast
Record: 23-2
13
895
12
Gonzaga
West Coast
Record: 21-4
14
851
13
Arizona
Pac-12
Record: 19-5
9
816
14
Ohio State
Big Ten
Record: 20-5
17
747
15
Tennessee
SEC
Record: 17-5
18
739
16
Clemson
ACC
Record: 19-4
20
720
17
Oklahoma
Big 12
Record: 16-6
12
636
18
Rhode Island
Atlantic 10
Record: 19-3
22
486
19
West Virginia
Big 12
Record: 17-6
15
457
20
Michigan
Big Ten
Record: 19-6
24
331
21
North Carolina
ACC
Record: 17-7
19
304
22
Wichita State
American Athletic Conference (AAC)
Record: 17-5
16
295
23
Nevada
Mountain West
Record: 20-4
205
24
Kentucky
SEC
Record: 17-6
21
133
25
Miami (FL)
ACC
Record: 17-5
76

The post ‘Bracketology’ watch: ESPN’s Joe Lunardi places 8 SEC teams in latest NCAA Tournament projection appeared first on SEC Country.

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