2024 NCAA Tournament Bracket Watch: Purdue, Arizona, Houston, Kansas are top seeds

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We mightiness retrieve 2023 arsenic nan twelvemonth America went backmost to nan movie theater. With high-profile releases from legendary board and nan “Barbenheimer” phenomenon, nan container agency returned to pre-pandemic levels — moreover arsenic a months-long onslaught halted nan intermezo industry.

We present astatine Bracket Watch spent a adjacent magnitude of clip astatine nan movies this summertime and fall, and our favourite cinematic acquisition progressive a unrecorded performance movie that sewage america dancing successful our seats. No, not Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” aliases Beyoncé’s “Renaissance.” We’re talking astir nan restoration and re-release of Talking Heads’ 40-year-old masterpiece “Stop Making Sense,” which Roger Ebert erstwhile perfectly described arsenic 90 minutes “of tremendous energy, of life being lived astatine a joyous high.” We admired “Oppenheimer,” but we loved watching this lanky man successful a grey suit:

And if you deliberation astir it, “Stop Making Sense” would make an fantabulous motto for March Madness. Did anyone foretell San Diego State and Florida Atlantic burning down nan house, er, brackets connected their measurement to nan 2023 Final Four?

We can’t foretell what’s going to hap successful nan remainder of this already wacky season, but pinch nan nonconference information of nan schedule mostly successful nan books and nan caller twelvemonth almost here, we tin commencement making consciousness of nan 2024 NCAA Tournament field.

Stop talking, thief america get ready. Fair enough. Let’s dive into nan first version of our play 68-team mocks — pinch immoderate thief from David Byrne and friends:

• Same arsenic it ever was. You whitethorn inquire yourself, who are nan No. 1 seeds? Somehow nan apical 5 teams connected our seed database are exactly nan same arsenic they were for america this clip a twelvemonth ago. They’re conscionable successful a different order, pinch Purdue nan clear prime arsenic nan No. 1 wide seed acknowledgment to its 5 Quad 1 wins, including a head-to-head triumph complete No. 2 overall, Arizona.

• Heard astir Houston? Kelvin Sampson’s Cougars person drawn immoderate disapproval for their nonconference schedule, but they person 4 Quad 1 wins and 3 against nan NET’s apical 25 (Texas A&M, Dayton and Utah). Houston besides ranks No. 1 successful NET and KenPom — conscionable for illustration it did past Selection Sunday. Facts are simple, facts are straight. That’s why nan Coogs get nan No. 3 wide seed, up of Kansas, which has immoderate shaky metrics (15th successful NET, 16th astatine KenPom) but an fantabulous resume. UConn looked for illustration a No. 1 seed for astir of nan first 2 months of nan season, but Donovan Clingan’s wounded and nan deficiency of a top-25 NET triumph relegated nan Huskies to nan No. 2 line.

• What astir nan clip you were rollin’ over? Michigan State slipped into nan section contempt its 7-5 record. The Spartans person played a top-10 schedule, person that blowout triumph complete Baylor and rank successful nan apical 25 successful NET and KenPom. That gets them a No. 10 seed — 2 spots connected nan seed statement down James Madison. Remember, erstwhile you wade successful nan water of NCAA Tournament selection, who you hit and who you played are ever precocious priorities for nan committee. That’s why Iowa State (No. 5 successful NET) and Ole Miss (one of 3 remaining undefeated teams) are person to nan bubble than nan apical of nan bracket; nan Cyclones person 4 sub-300 wins and nary victories against a squad successful this field, while nan Rebels person a bully location triumph complete Memphis but not overmuch other to brag about.

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• O-U-T. But nary difficult feelings. Some notable teams not successful nan section this week, and pinch overmuch activity to do successful nan weeks ahead: UCLA, Texas, Indiana, Arkansas and Maryland. Teams without a triumph successful Quads 1 and 2 were not considered for at-large bids, frankincense TCU, Pitt and Cincinnati were among those excluded contempt decent metrics. That sound you perceive is nan wailing from CBS and Turner execs complete USC — and Bronny James — not making nan cut.

Some housekeeping earlier we get to our (new and improved!) brackets:

• Final Four pairings are Midwest vs. East regions and West vs. South, based connected our seed list, which you tin spot below. Projected autobid qualifers are designated pinch an AQ connected nan list; for projected one-bid leagues, we are mostly going by highest NET number until convention play originates successful earnest.

• Please remember: This section has been assembled arsenic if Selection Sunday were today. It is not a projection of wherever teams mightiness beryllium successful 79 days for nan existent thing. Don’t get upset, it’s not a awesome disaster if your squad is not wherever you deliberation it should beryllium correct now. It’s only Dec. 29.

• This bracket was mostly complete connected Thursday day erstwhile news collapsed astir Illinois suspending starring scorer Terrence Shannon Jr. aft he was charged pinch rape.  There are still galore specifications we don’t cognize astir this situation, and truthful it is not reflected successful nan Illini’s seeding. We will set arsenic needed going forward.

• Questions? Gripes? Bring them to nan comments section, and arsenic agelong arsenic nan chat remains civil, we’ll do our champion to respond. So spell ahead: Sing into my mouth. And if you’re still wondering what a mid-1980s performance movie has to do pinch assemblage basketball, conscionable cheque retired this surface shot:

First Four OutNext Four OutLast Four InLast Four Byes

Kansas State

Texas Tech

Utah State

South Carolina

St. John's

Oregon

Miami

Florida

Butler

Michigan

Washington

Virginia Tech

St. Joseph's

Drake

Nebraska

New Mexico

Multi-bid conferences

SEC

9

Big Ten

7

Big 12

7

ACC

6

Big East

5

Mountain West

5

Pac-12

4

AAC

2

Seed list

1

Purdue

AQ

2

Arizona

AQ

3

Houston

AQ

4

Kansas

5

UConn

AQ

6

Marquette

7

Tennessee

AQ

8

Florida Atlantic

AQ

9

Clemson

AQ

10

Illinois

11

Kentucky

12

Memphis

13

North Carolina

14

Wisconsin

15

BYU

16

Colorado State

AQ

17

Duke

18

Baylor

19

Oklahoma

20

Auburn

21

Villanova

22

Texas A&M

23

Creighton

24

Virginia

25

Ohio State

26

Alabama

27

Gonzaga

AQ

28

Providence

29

Utah

30

Colorado

31

San Diego State

32

Iowa State

33

Ole Miss

34

Dayton

AQ

35

Nevada

36

Northwestern

37

James Madison

AQ

38

Mississippi State

39

Michigan State

40

South Carolina

41

Grand Canyon

AQ

42

Princeton

AQ

43

Florida

44

Virginia Tech

45

New Mexico

46

Indiana State

AQ

47

Utah State

48

Miami

49

Washington

50

Nebraska

51

Liberty

AQ

52

UNC Wilmington

AQ

53

UC Irvine

AQ

54

McNeese State

AQ

55

Kent State

AQ

56

Samford

AQ

57

Colgate

AQ

58

Vermont

AQ

59

Portland State

AQ

60

Purdue Fort Wayne

AQ

61

High Point

AQ

62

Morehead State

AQ

63

Marist

AQ

64

Denver

AQ

65

Norfolk State

AQ

66

Southern

AQ

67

Lipscomb

AQ

68

Merrimack

AQ

(Top photograph of Houston’s Emanuel Sharp: Kevin M. Cox / AP)

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