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Archeology: Auburn, LSU Jump to No. 1 in Latest NCAA Championship Projection

It’s been a week since my last slide, so naturally it was a chaotic week. The day after the latest arc was published, three of the first seeds were lost. One of those three, Iowa has lost again since then. Baylor was the fourth of those top seed and lost his first home loss on Tuesday to Texas Tech. USC also lost that night to Stanford, so there were no longer any undefeated teams.

Sometimes, when everyone loses, no one loses. In this case, Baylor is still ranked #1 overall in a close call over Auburn. LSU joins the top streak of the arc as the SEC’s 3rd overall and 2nd ranked first. The fourth seed No. 1 is Duke, who has fallen from second place overall.

Top seed brackets

Check out the latest Palm chip, a full field of 68 and all the teams in the bubble in the Bracketology hub.

Team play leads to chaos

Now that multiplayer has begun, we can expect even more chaos. After all, familiarity breeds not only contempt, but also unrest.

Alabama is one of the hardest teams to know what to do in this category. The Crimson Tide has been struggling lately, having lost three of the last five. One of those losses came in Missouri, which is going through a tough season. They also have losses for Davidson, Iona and Memphis, all of which are great frontier teams. On the other hand, Alabama also beat Gonzaga, Houston and Tennessee. Oh, and Tide still has to play a four-way opponent, although a home game against Mizzou might qualify for that.

Compare that to Kentucky, which has played nine four-way opponents and had its best wins over North Carolina (ranked #11), Ohio (ranked #12 as the expected auto show from the MAC), Western Kentucky and at Vanderbilt. You could argue that the Wildcats lost to their top three teams: LSU, Duke and Notre Dame.

I have a #6 seeded Crimson Tide A and a #7 seed Kentucky ahead, due to the strength of the schedule and the quality of the wins.

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Placing BYU braces is always a challenge

One of the challenges that came up with trying to put up an arc is making accommodations for the fact that seed No. 11 BYU will not play on Sundays for religious reasons. This means that they must be bracketed to play in the opening round on Thursday, Saturday and regional locations. Sometimes this means having to change their seed or relocate teams from the locations closest to them.

In this case, I had to switch first-round locations for Michigan and Purdue. Boilermakers ended up in Indianapolis so that BYU could have a track without a location on Sundays. The other option was to replace the Regionals with Spartans and Boilers, but this would have thrown the scales of the arc.

Kentucky vs Indiana is going to be a hot ticket

Speaking of Indianapolis, it would be very difficult to get tickets for this location in a category like this. The three fan bases will seem long and difficult to get tickets for a room that includes Kansas and a first-round game between Kentucky and Indiana. It happened due to the fact that geography is driving the correction and this is how the chips fell. If the commission cared about ticket sales rather than geography, they would move Kentucky to a place where they had trouble selling tickets. Their fans would sell Helsinki regional if there was one.

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