ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi released his latest Bracketology predictions for the NCAA Tournament on Jan. 5 and he had the Texas Longhorns and the Baylor Bears as No. 1 seeds. He also had some surprises, including a 48-team and a 16-team scenario for the tournament.
But, first, the top seeds. Texas, which just defeated Kansas on Saturday, moved up to a No. 1 seed line. Lunardi had the Longhorns in Region 4 facing Rice, an old Southwest Conference rival.
Baylor, which has been a No. 1 seed in both ESPN.com and CBSSports.com Bracketology all season, was in Region 2 and would play either Mount St. Mary or Jacksonville.
Kansas, which has lost a pair of Top 10 teams this year, fell to No. 3 in this edition, taking up a place in Region 3 and projected to take on Little Rock in the first round.
West Virginia, which defeated Oklahoma State after a 19-point comeback, dropped to a No. 4 seed in Region 1, with the Mountaineers facing Toledo.
Texas Tech dropped to a No. 5 seed after last week’s action and would play in Region 3, with a first-round game against Winthrop.
Oklahoma State was the last team in on Lunardi’s bracket, with the Cowboys coming in as a No. 11 seed and facing Alabama in a First Four game. If the Cowboys were to win, they would have No. 6 seed Saint Louis.
With six Big 12 teams in Lunardi’s latest bracket, the first Big 12 team out was Oklahoma, which was one of the First Four Teams out of the bracket.
What was interesting about Lundari’s Bracketology was that he also did 48-team and 16-team brackets, citing that COVID-19 could influence exactly how many teams are invited to the NCAA Tournament in March.
In the 48-team bracket, four Big 12 teams made the field.
Texas remained a No. 1 seed in Region 4 with a first-round bye. The Longhorns would then face either Arkansas or Drake in the second round.
Baylor also remained a No. 1 seed in Region 2 with a first-round bye and a second-round matchup against either Florida State or Boise State.
Kansas remained a No. 3 seed in Region 3 with a first-round bye and a second-round matchup against either Ohio State or Toledo.
West Virginia remained a No. 4 seed with a first-round bye before facing either Oregon or UC Irvine.
In the 16-team bracket, Texas, Baylor, Kansas and West Virginia all made the field, with the Mountaineers the last team in. Texas remained a No. 1 seed and would face Oregon, while Baylor remained a No. 1 seed and would face Missouri. Kansas remained a No. 3 seed and would face Wisconsin, while West Virginia remained a No. 4 seed and would face Gonzaga.
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