March Madness bracket predictions 4.0: Projecting the Field of 68 for 2024 NCAA Tournament

Conference tournament week is coming, and we’re less than two weeks away from Selection Sunday. 

The race for the No. 1 overall seed in the 2024 NCAA men’s basketball tournament is compelling. UConn, Purdue and Houston all have a case for that spot. 

Who can tilt that in their favor this week? Purdue beat Illinois 77-71 on Tuesday. UConn beat Marquette 74-67 on Wednesday. Houston hosts Kansas on Saturday. Those are the last chances to impress in the regular season against a high-seed opponent. For now, we still have the Huskies in the top overall seed. 

This year’s Final Four is April 6-8 at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix. 

UConn, Houston, Purdue and Tennessee are our No. 1 seeds. Right now our last four in are Colorado, Providence, St. John’s and Colorado State. That is bound to change in the next two weeks. 

Who is our Field of 68? Here is a closer look: 

* – Projected automatic bid

** – Last four at-large in

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NCAA tournament Field of 68 projections

No. 1 Seeds

*UConn (27-3, 17-2 Big East) 

Resume: Net: 3, KenPom: 2. Danny Hurley has the Huskies in position for the top overall seed – and that is where we will keep them for now. Five UConn players average double figures, led by Tristen Newton (15.2 ppg.). 

*Purdue (27-3, 16-3 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 2, KenPom: 3. The Boilermakers have won their last four games by an average of 18.3 points per game. Zach Edey averages 29.8 points in those games, too. This team appears ready for the Big Ten tournament and beyond. 

*Houston (27-3, 14-3 Big 12) 

Resume: Net: 1, KenPom: 1. Houston has won seven in a row, is ranked No. 1 in both metrics Senior guard Jamal Shead (6.1 apg.) could be the guard that pops this March. This is another Kelvin Sampson team that will be a tough out. 

*Tennessee (24-6, 14-3 SEC) 

Resume: Net: 5, KenPom: 5. The Vols swept Auburn and Alabama last week, and they follow up with South Carolina and Kentucky this week. Dalton Knecht – who scored 39 against Auburn – now has six games with at least 30 points this season. 

RELATED: Projecting the women’s 2024 field

No. 2 Seeds

*North Carolina (24-6, 16-3 ACC) 

Resume: Net: 9, KenPom: 9. The Tar Heels are 6-4 in Quad 1, and that is why we bumped Tennessee up to the No. 1 line. The team among North Carolina, Arizona and Tennessee that wins its conference tournament likely will jump to that line. 

*Arizona (24-6, 15-4 Pac-12)

Resume: Net: 4, KenPom: 4. Don’t count Arizona out for the last No. 1 seed. They have an 8-3 record in Quad 1. The Wildcats close out with road trips to UCLA and USC this week. 

Marquette (22-8, 13-6 Big East)

Resume: Net: 14, KenPom: 13. Marquette was without Tyler Kolek (oblique) and center Oso Ighodaro (illness) in Saturday’s 89-75 loss to Creighton. Kolek will miss the final two regular season games as well. 

Iowa State (24-6, 13-4 Big 12) 

Resume: Net: 8, KenPom: 11. The Cyclones have won seven of their last eight games, and they close the Big 12 schedule with BYU and Kansas State. Iowa State might have to hold off our next team to stay on the No. 2 line. 

Baylor

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No. 3 Seeds 

Baylor (22-8, 11-6 Big 12) 

Resume: Net: 13, KenPom: 14. The Bears swept TCU and Kansas last week, and that Big 12 strength of schedule pushes them up a line – at least for a week. Baylor has six players that average double figures. Do not under-value Scott Drew’s team and their national championship chances. 

Duke (24-6 15-4 ACC) 

Resume: Net: 10, KenPom: 7. Kyle Filipowski averaged 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in victories against Louisville and Virginia. Duke is 5-3 in Quad 1 heading into Saturday’s game against North Carolina. 

Creighton (22-8, 13-6 Big East) 

Resume: Net: 11, KenPom: 12. The Bluejays continue to trend upward, and the victories against UConn and Marquette beefed up a 7-6 record in Quad 1. Baylor Scheierman averaged 23 points in victories against Seton Hall and Marquette last week. 

Kansas (22-8, 10-7 Big 12) 

Resume: Net: 18, KenPom: 16. The Jayhawks are trending down. This is a big week for Kansas after back-to-back losses to BYU and Baylor. The Jayhawks beat Kansas State 90-68 on Tuesday ahead of the road finale at Houston on Saturday. 

MORE: Expanding the NCAA Tournament is messing with perfection

No. 4 seeds 

Illinois (22-8, 13-6 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 15, KenPom: 12. The Illini have won three in a row, and guard Terrence Shannon averages 25.2 points in Illinois’ last five games. Wednesday’s home finale against Purdue is a chance to build on a 5-5 record in Quad 1. 

Alabama (20-10, 12-5 SEC)

Resume: Net: 7, KenPom: 8. The Crimson Tide are 2-7 against ranked teams and 3-8 in Quad 1. That’s a bad combination for Nate Oats’ team after a loss to Florida on Tuesday. 

Kentucky (22-8, 12-5 SEC)

Resume: Net: 20, KenPom: 18. The Wildcats averaged 103 points in their last four victories, and they have topped 100 points six times this season. John Calipari has a team capable of winning it all from this line. 

Clemson (21-9, 11-8 ACC) 

Resume: Net: 25, KenPom: 25. The Tigers are steady on this line, but a 5-4 record in Quad 1 and a 5-2 record in Quad 3 are going to be over-analyzed in the coming weeks. 

No. 5 seeds

BYU (21-9, 9-8 Big 12) 

Resume: Net: 12, KenPom: 16.In the last three weeks, the Cougars have piled up victories against Kansas and Baylor, but they also have losses to Oklahoma State and Kansas State. That’s why this line feels right despite Wednesday’s loss to Iowa State. 

Auburn (23-7, 12-5 SEC) 

Resume: Net: 6, KenPom: 6. The Tigers are 1-7 in Quad 1, an ugly record that could end up dropping Bruce Pearl’s team down at least one more line. Auburn closes the season with unranked opponents in Missouri and Georgia. 

Utah State (25-5, 13-4 MWC) 

Resume: Net: 36 KenPom: 42. This is a rankings vs. reputation seed. Will the strong track record of the MWC hold up? Or will the Aggies’ low ranking combination knock them down a line or two. Great Osobor – a United Kingdom native – averages 17.5 ppg. and 9.0 rpg. 

San Diego State (22-9, 11-7 MWC) 

Resume: Net: 19, KenPom: 19. The Mountain West Conference could have five or six bids, and San Diego State will be in the mix on this line. Star forward Jadeon LeDee averages 20.8 points and 8.4 rebounds. 

No. 6 seeds

Wisconsin (19-11, 11-8 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 23, KenPom: 23. The Badgers are 3-7 in their last 10 games and travel to Purdue on Sunday. St. John’s transfer A.J. Storr (16.1 ppg.) averages 12.3 points in the Badgers’ last three games. He is the key to a turn-around. 

Washington State (23-8, 14-6 Pac-12)

Resume: Net: 37, KenPom: 39. The Cougars are a lock to make the tournament at this point, and the break-through under fifth-year coach Kyle Smith continues to impress in the Pac-12. 

South Carolina (24-6, 12-5 SEC) 

Resume: Net: 47, KenPom: 43. Coach Lamont Paris continues to excel with a team that defies their rankings with wins. A 3-3 record in Quad 1 and two Quad 3 losses might keep South Carolina on a lower line they should be on. At some point you have to respect the record. 

Florida (21-9, 11-6 SEC) 

Resume: Net: 33, KenPom: 31. The Gators have bumped one line each of the last two weeks, and a 105-87 victory against Alabama added another Quad 1 victory. The Gators likely will stick on this line. 

Walter Clayton Jr.

(Getty Images)

No. 7 seeds 

*Saint Mary’s (24-7, 15-1 West Coast) 

Resume: Net: 17, KenPom: 22. A 70-57 loss to Gonzaga in the regular-season finale is telling, but the West Coast Conference should still be a two-bid league if they play in the conference tournament championship game. 

Texas Tech (21-9, 10-7 Big 12)

Resume: Net: 42, KenPom: 33. The Red Raiders are 5-5 in their last eight games, but that Big 12 strength of schedule will keep them on this line. Texas Tech finishes the regular season with Baylor. 

*Dayton (24-6, 24-4 Atlantic-10) 

Resume: Net: 21, KenPom: 27. The Flyers are 3-3 in their last six games, and they must deal with Richmond and Loyola in the Atlantic-10 tournament. This is a tenuous position. 

Nevada (25-6, 12-5 MWC) 

Resume: Net: 40, KenPom 41. Jarod Lucas’ buzzer-beater against Colorado State is part of a run of five straight victories. The Wolfpack are safe on this line with room to move up. 

No. 8 seeds 

Boise State (22-9, 13-5 MWC) 

Resume: Net: 24, KenPom: 35. The Broncos continue to trend upward with a strong ranking combination. Forward Tyson Degenhart averages 17 points and 5.6 rebounds. 

Gonzaga (24-6, 14-2 West Coast) 

Resume: Net: 16, KenPom: 15. The Bulldogs have won eight in a row heading into the West Coast Conference tournament. An at-large bid is all but secured.

FAU (23-7, 13-4 AAC) 

Resume: Net: 35, KenPom: 40. The Owls might need to beat South Florida in the AAC tournament just to be sure, but they should be able to snag an at-large bid if they don’t. 

Texas (19-11, 8-9 Big 12)

Resume: Net: 27, KenPom: 26. The Longhorns are trending up after beating Texas Tech and Oklahoma State last week. The other teams on the No. 9 line are trending down. 

Rest of the field … 

No. 9 seeds 

Michigan State (18-12, 10-9 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 22, KenPom: 20. 

TCU (20-10, 9-8 Big 12) 

Resume: Net: 38, KenPom: 32.

Mississippi State (19-11, 8-9 SEC)

Resume: Net: 32, KenPom: 30. 

Northwestern (20-10, 12-7 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 53, KenPom: 46.

No. 10 seeds 

Oklahoma (20-10, 8-9 Big 12) 

Resume: Net: 41, KenPom: 37. 

Nebraska (21-9, 11-8 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 43, KenPom: 34.

*Indiana State (27-5, 15-3 MVC) 

Resume: Net: 29, KenPom: 45.

Richmond (23-7, 15-2 Atlantic-10) 

Resume: Net: 70, KenPom: 77.

No. 11 seeds

Virginia (21-9, 12-7 ACC) 

Resume: Net: 49, KenPom: 69.

New Mexico (22-8, 10-7 MWC) 

Resume: Net: 28, KenPom: 38. 

**Colorado State (21-9, 9-8 MWC) 

Resume: Net: 34, KenPom: 36. 

**Colorado (21-9, 12-7 Pac-12) 

Resume: Net: 30, KenPom: 29.

**St. John’s (18-12, 10-9 Big East) 

Resume: Net: 39, KenPom: 28.

**Providence (19-11, 10-9 Big East)

Resume: Net: 61, KenPom: 58.

No. 12 seeds

*South Florida (23-5, 13-1 AAC)

Resume: Net: 79, KenPom 89.

*Princeton (23-3, 11-2 Ivy) 

Resume: Net: 51, KenPom: 64.

*Grand Canyon (26-4, 16-3 WAC) 

Resume: Net: 55, KenPom: 57.

*McNeese (28-3, 17-1 Southland) 

Resume: Net: 56, KenPom: 66.

No. 13 seeds

*Appalachian State (26-5, 16-2 Sun Belt) 

Resume: Net: 69, KenPom: 73.

*UC-Irvine (23-8, 16-3 Big West) 

Resume: Net: 76, KenPom: 74.

*Samford (26-5, 15-3 Southern) 

Resume: Net: 81, KenPom: 86.

*Louisiana Tech (21-9, 11-4 C-USA) 

Resume: Net: 86, KenPom: 83.

No. 14 seeds

*Vermont (25-6, 15-1 America East) 

Resume: Net: 97, KenPom: 97.

*Charleston (24-7, 15-3 CAA) 

Resume: Net: 102, KenPom: 104.

*High Point (25-7, 13-3 Big South) 

Resume: Net: 107, KenPom: 112.

*Toledo (20-11, 14-4 MAC) 

Resume: Net: 128, KenPom: 132.

No. 15 seeds 

*Eastern Washington (21-10, 15-3 Big Sky) 

Resume: Net: 132, KenPom: 137.

*Colgate (23-9, 16-2 Patriot) 

Resume: Net: 130, KenPom: 143.

*Oakland (21-11, 15-5 Horizon) 

Resume: Net: 138, KenPom: 141.

*South Dakota State (19-12, 12-4 Summit) 

Resume: Net: 153, KenPom: 149.

No. 16 seeds

*Quinnipiac (22-8, 14-5 MAAC) 

Resume: Net: 171, KenPom 189.

*Merrimack (20-11, 13-3 Northeast)

Resume: Net: 198, KenPom: 198.

**Little Rock (21-11, 14-4 OVC) 

Resume: Net: 188, KenPom: 192.

**Stetson (21-12, 11-5 A-Sun) 

Resume: Net: 208, KenPom: 211.

**Norfolk State (21-10, 11-3 MEAC) 

Resume: Net: 235, KenPom: 254.

**Grambling (17-13, 14-3 SWAC) 

Resume: Net: 294, KenPom: 285.

Bubble Watch 

Seton Hall (19-11, 12-7 Big East) 

Resume: Net: 63, KenPom: 56. Seton Hall will fight with Providence, Saint John’s and Villanova for the Big East bubble, and that makes the conference tournament intriguing. 

Pitt (20-10, 11-8 ACC) 

Resume: Net: 44, KenPom: 44. The Panthers have supplanted Wake Forest as the ACC bubble team, and it will be a close call heading into conference tournament week. 

Iowa (18-12, 10-9 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 57, KenPom: 49. This is Iowa’s first appearance on the bubble. The Hawkeyes have won four of five and close the regular season against Illinois. 

Utah (18-11, 9-9 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 46, KenPom: 48. The Utes are back on the bubble after winning three of four games, but there is no margin for error at Oregon State and Oregon this week.

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