ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi released his latest Bracketology predictions for the NCAA Tournament on Jan. 12 and, along with maintaining No. 2 Baylor and No. 4 Texas on the No. 1 seed line, Lunardi squeezed seven Big 12 teams into the Field of 68.
Baylor, which was a No. 1 seed in Region 2 last week, remained in Region 2 and would face a first-round game against either Sam Houston State or Story Brook. That indicates that Lunardi considers the Bears to be either the No. 1 or No. 2 overall seed, as No. 1 Gonzaga is on the No. 1 seed line in Region 1 and also faces an opponent playing in a First Four game.
The Bears’ game with West Virginia was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols at West Virginia.
Texas remained as the No. 1 seed in Region 4 and, for now, would face Southern Utah in the first round. The Longhorns are set to face Texas Tech on Wednesday.
Kansas moved up from the No. 3 seed line last week to the No. 2 seed line this week and remained in Region 3, thanks to a pair of wins last week. Right now the Jayhawks would face Northeastern in the first round.
West Virginia remained a No. 4 seed in Region 1, with the Mountaineers facing Furman and, potentially, Gonzaga in a Sweet 16 matchup.
Texas Tech moved up a seed line this time around to No. 4 in Region 3, which would pit the Red Raiders against Belmont in the first round. That puts the Red Raiders in the same region as No. 1 seed Villanova.
Oklahoma State, which was the last team in Lunardi’s bracket last week, wasn’t even among the last four teams in Lunardi’s bracket this week, which may mean Lundari feels more assured of the Cowboys’ NCAA chances, at least at this moment. That move took the Cowboys out of the First Four and into a first-round game with Virginia Tech in Region 2. The Cowboys would be a No. 10 seed.
The Oklahoma Sooners snuck into the bracket this week as one of the last four teams in the 68-team field. With that, Lunardi expects the Sooners to play in a First Four game as a No. 11 seed and face North Carolina. The winner of that game would then go on to face Saint Louis in the first round.
Like last week, Lunardi provided brackets for a 48-team and a 16-team field.
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