Big 12 Sports Articles

How the 2022 NCAA Tournament Bracket Will Look, Without the Regular Season

NCAA Basketball: Final Four City Scenes

The saying is “that’s why they don’t play the games on paper”. What if they did though? That’s exactly what I created with this bracket. First, I found out who won the media polls. Secondly, I used the AP Top 25 Poll to fill in the top seeds. To finish out the First Four, I took three teams who were fairly close to others in their conference preseason polls. Granted, I took them from conferences with major contenders. For example, Oregon State did not receive a vote in the AP Top 25 Poll. Yet, the Beavers were voted ahead of Colorado in the Pac-12 Preseason Poll. West Virginia scored the same amount of votes as Oklahoma State did. Notice, Oklahoma State is not in this field of 64 due to their postseason ban. Whether it’s justified or not (and it’s likely not justified), they will not be in the NCAA Tournament this year. There’s no use in placing them into this bracket. Finally, the West Coast Conference typically gets a third team in. That third team is almost always Saint Mary’s. Guess who finished third in the West Coast Conference Poll behind Gonzaga and BYU: Saint Mary’s. Thus, I give them the final slot.

Alas, if we skipped the entire regular season and all of the conference tournaments, this is how the NCAA Tournament would look based on the AP Top 25 and each conference’s preseason polls. Current Big 12 teams are in bold. Future Big 12 teams are in italics. Conference Champions are marked with an *.


East Region

  1. Villanova*
  2. Michigan*
  3. Duke*
  4. Arkansas
  5. Florida State
  6. Auburn
  7. Southern California
  8. Texas Tech
  9. Colorado State*
  10. San Diego State
  11. Colorado
  12. Iona*
  13. Liberty*
  14. Norfolk State*
  15. Stony Brook*
  16. Yale*

Midwest Region

  1. Kansas*
  2. Purdue
  3. Kentucky*
  4. Oregon
  5. North Carolina
  6. St. Bonaventure*
  7. Virginia
  8. Arizona
  9. LSU
  10. St. John’s
  11. BYU
  12. Oregon State/West Virginia
  13. Cleveland State*
  14. UAB*
  15. Chattanooga*
  16. Wagner*/Boston University*

South Region

  1. UCLA*
  2. Texas
  3. Memphis
  4. Alabama
  5. Ohio State
  6. Connecticut
  7. Indiana
  8. Xavier
  9. Rutgers
  10. Syracuse
  11. Drake*
  12. Louisville/Saint Mary’s
  13. New Mexico State*
  14. South Dakota State*
  15. Campbell*
  16. Texas Southern*/Nicholls State*

West Region

  1. Gonzaga*
  2. Baylor
  3. Illinois
  4. Houston*
  5. Tennessee
  6. Maryland
  7. Michigan State
  8. Virginia Tech
  9. Richmond
  10. Belmont*
  11. Mississippi State
  12. Notre Dame
  13. UC Santa Barbara*
  14. Buffalo*
  15. Delaware*
  16. Southern Utah*
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