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A few thoughts before NCAA tournament bracket is announced

March 17, 2013|By Chris Dufresne
  • Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson (22) and a teammate celebrate after the Rebels earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a victory over Florida in the SEC tournament title game Sunday.
Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson (22) and a teammate celebrate after… (Dave Martin / Associated…)

The waiting is almost over in “Bubbleville” as the clock ticks toward Sunday’s  NCAA tournament Selection Sunday show at 3 p.m. Pacific time on CBS.

Believe it or not, a few late results might affect the final bracketing.

The smart money says Kansas’ win in the Big 12 Conference title game will push the Jayhawks into the No. 1 seeding line at the expense of Duke.

Duke seemed to have a No. 1 spot wrapped up before making the fatal mistake of losing early in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament to Maryland.

The final say is up to the NCAA selection committee, but the top four schools should be Louisville (Midwest), Indiana (East), Kansas (South) and Gonzaga (West).

Louisville seems a lock to be seeded No. 1 overall. And here's one to watch: Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com has No. 9 UCLA playing No. 8 North Carolina in a West Regional game in Salt Lake City.

Miami won the ACC regular-season and tournament titles but is expected to fall to a No. 2 seeding along with Duke.

Mississippi’s winning of the Southeastern Conference tournament also somewhat squeezed the bracket. Mississippi moved from a bubble team to an automatic bid, and that could push a school like St. Mary’s into the play-in games in Dayton.

Bubble teams Tennessee, Maryland and Virginia should be nervous.

Most “experts” are predicting that Kentucky, the defending national champions, will not make the final bracket.

Remember, in the new format, eight schools have to play into the 64-team field. The four weakest automatic qualifiers will vie for two No. 16 seedings and the last four at-large schools in the field will play for two 12th-seeded spots.

ALSO:

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The agony and ecstasy of NCAA tournament Selection Sunday

Wisconsin beats Indiana again to advance to Big Ten title game

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