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Archived: Key Bubble Games this Week

Feb 21, 2023 EST

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We’ve hit the last week of February and that means college basketball bracketology is going to heat up.

Analysts are regularly updating their projected field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament and going over where the top programs will end up come mid-March. Take a look at the latest brackets of ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and CBS’ Jerry Palm.

No. 1 seeds

The top seeds are the same for both bracketologists we’re looking at. The Alabama Crimson Tide, Houston Cougars, Kansas Jayhawks and Purdue Boilermakers hold down the No. 1 spots in the latest update. Alabama holds the overall top seed for both analysts.

On the No. 2 seed line, Baylor, UCLA, Texas and Arizona are common for Lunardi and Palm. Kansas is going to have the most work to do holding onto the No. 1 seed but did get a huge win over Baylor recently. The Jayhawks close the regular season with Texas. Arizona and UCLA will also meet to close the regular season in what could be a battle for a No. 1 seed depending on other results.

Last Four In/First Four Out

Lunardi’s last four in are Mississippi State, USC, West Virginia and Wisconsin. His last four out are North Carolina, Charleston, New Mexico and Utah State. The Tar Heels likely have the best chance to move into that “last four in” category with games against Virginia and Duke remaining plus the conference tournament. Palm has New Mexico in his “last four in”, along with USC, West Virginia and Mississippi State. He’s got Penn State and Wake Forest in his “last four out”, along with Wisconsin and North Carolina.

Key games this week

Monday, February 20

No. 3 Kansas @ No. 24 TCU
Oklahoma State @ West Virginia

Tuesday, February 21

No. 9 Baylor @ No. 14 Kansas State
No. 11 Tennessee @ No. 25 Texas A&M
Mississippi State @ Missouri
No. 23 Iowa State @ No. 8 Texas

Wednesday, February 22

Wake Forest @ NC State
North Carolina @ Notre Dame
Iowa @ Wisconsin

Thursday, February 23

USC @ Colorado
No. 4 UCLA @ Utah

Projected bids per conference (per Joe Lunardi)

ACC – 5
Big East – 5
Big Ten – 9
Big 12 – 8
Pac-12 – 3
SEC – 8
AAC – 2
MWC – 3
WCC – 2

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