Preseason 65-team field projection

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As much as brackets are welcome in the world of D1scourse, one thing’s for certain: There’s no rational way to truly seed the NCAA tournament’s 65-team field before a game is even played.

That, of course, happens tomorrow when Florida International and defending national champ North Carolina meet. And let there be no mistake – a content shift is about to occur here, tilting from football to basketball.

That said, a 65-team list as a projected field is certainly a better idea than a bracket at this stage. It’s less time-consuming for starters, and a bracket based on nothing is essentially nothing.

So bookmark this, or hit print and stow this away for mid-March. For now, anyway, it’s the best guess at a full NCAA tournament field:

* America East (1): Vermont

* Atlantic Coast (7): Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina

* Atlantic Sun (1): Jacksonville

* Atlantic 10 (2): Dayton, Xavier

* Big East (7): Connecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia

* Big Sky (1): Weber State

* Big South (1): Radford

* Big Ten (7): Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin

* Big 12 (6): Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M

* Big West (1): Long Beach State

* Colonial (1): Old Dominion

* Conference USA (2): Memphis, Tulsa

* Horizon (1): Butler

* Ivy (1): Cornell

* Metro Atlantic (1): Siena

* Mid-American (1): Akron

* Mid-Eastern Athletic (1): Morgan State

* Missouri Valley (2): Creighton, Northern Iowa

* Mountain West (2): Brigham Young, San Diego State

* Northeast (1): Mount St. Mary’s

* Ohio Valley (1): Murray State

* Pac-10 (4): Arizona, California, UCLA, Washington

* Patriot (1): Lehigh

* Southeastern (5): Kentucky, Mississippi State, Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt

* Southern (1): College of Charleston

* Southland (1): Sam Houston State

* Southwestern Athletic (1): Prairie View

* Summit (1): Oakland

* Sun Belt (1): Western Kentucky

* West Coast (1): Gonzaga

* Western Athletic (1): Utah State

Patrick Stevens

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