Preseason bracket predictions for 2012 NCAA tournament
Big East leads the multi-bid leagues with eight; Big 12, Big Ten follow with six
Look for Boston U., Belmont, Weber St. to snag bids in their respective leagues
Last four teams not making the cut: Clemson, Minnesota, Kansas State and Iona
|2012 NCAA Tournament Projection|
Multi-Bid League Representatives
Big East (8): UConn*, Syracuse, Pitt, Louisville, Marquette, Cincinnati, Villanova, Notre Dame
Big 12 (6): Kansas*, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma State, Missouri
Big Ten (6): Ohio State*, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, Illinois
ACC (5): UNC*, Duke, Florida State, Miami, Virginia
Pac-12 (5): UCLA*, Arizona, Cal, Washington, Oregon
SEC (5): Kentucky*, Vanderbilt, Florida, Alabama, Miss State
Atlantic 10 (3): Xavier*, Temple, Saint Louis
West Coast (3): Gonzaga*, St. Mary's, BYU
Colonial (2): George Mason*, Drexel
Conference USA (2): Memphis*, Marshall
Missouri Valley (2): Creighton*, Wichita State
Mountain West (2): New Mexico*, UNLV
Last four in: BYU, Mississippi State, Marshall, Saint Louis
Last four out: Clemson, Minnesota, Kansas State, Iona
One-Bid League Representatives
America East: Boston University. Even after losing star John Holland, the Terriers should have enough to hold off resurgent Stony Brook and make back-to-back NCAA trips.
Atlantic Sun: Belmont. The Bruins could be in the discussion for an at-large (if needed) if they can seal the deal on a couple non-league chances. They should crush the league again in their A-Sun swan song.
Big Sky: Weber State. The league's best player (Damien Lillard) is back from injury and the Wildcats should be a solid favorite with several all-league types back to help.
Big South: UNC Asheville. The backcourt of Matt Dickey and J.P. Primm will be enough to carry the Bulldogs back to the NCAAs ahead of Coastal Carolina, VMI and Liberty.
Big West: Long Beach State. The 49ers will be seasoned by an outrageous nonconference slate and have too many players back from last season's regular-season league winning team to pick last year's tourney rep, UCSB.
Horizon: Butler. The Bulldogs will miss Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack, but there's enough returning talent to hold off several others in a deep league.
Ivy: Harvard. Returning everyone from last year's co-champs, the Crimson are big favorites to claim their first outright Ivy League title and make the NCAAs for the first time since 1946.
MAAC: Fairfield. The Gaels and Iona will slug it out for honors, but with BC transfer Rakim Sanders joining an experienced returning core and new coach Sydney Johnson, take the Stags by an antler.
MAC: Kent State. The league's bellwether team has a ton back from the two-time defending league champs. Promoting Rob Senderoff from within to replace Geno Ford should maintain continuity.
MEAC: Coppin State. Fang Mitchell brings back a ton of talent to last season's surprise outfit, and with Hampton losing Kwame Morgan to a leg injury, the opening could be there for the Eagles.
Northeast: Long Island. The Blackbirds became the easier pick when Robert Morris star Karon Abraham was suspended for the season. Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere lead the way.
Ohio Valley: Murray State. Austin Peay brings back a lot and the Racers lost a good amount from last season (plus coach Billy Kennedy), but Isaiah Canaan and Co. remain the choice.
Patriot: Bucknell. Lehigh's C.J. McCollum will duel with the Bison's Mike Muscala for league POY, but Muscala's a big and has a better core around him.
SWAC: Alabama State. They closed last season very strong, return three starters and some bench strength and KenPom.com has them (barely) as the league's top team. Sounds like a winner.
Southern: Chattanooga. C of C loses Andrew Goudelock and Jeremy Simmons and UTC's returnees are better than Davidson's, so go with the Mocs to step into the bracket.
Southland: UT-San Antonio. In their final season before joining the WAC, take Jeromie Hall and the Roadrunners, who danced last year, in a wide-open race over Northwestern State and others.
Summit: Oral Roberts. The loss of Keith Benson is enough to allow the Golden Eagles to edge past two-time league champ Oakland. Dominique Morrison has more support than Grizz star Reggie Hamilton.
Sun Belt: Florida Atlantic. The Owls are the defending league champs and return a lot of backcourt talent, including league player of the year candidate Raymond Taylor.
WAC: Utah State. The Aggies will be youthful, but the homecourt advantage at the Spectrum is so profound, it's hard to pick anyone else even if Nevada and others look solid.