(Updated March 9th, 2012) 2012 March Madness Bracketology Predictions and Projections – NCAA Bracket Field of 68 from Expert March Madness Bracket Prognosticators: The field of 68 for this year’s 2012 NCAA Tournament will finally be announced on Sunday, March 11th and teams are starting to punch and secure their March Madness tickets by playing themselves into at-large and automatic bids in this week’s exciting Conference Tournament action and some less fortunate programs are playing themselves completely out and off the “March Madness Bubble” by losing must-win games in their March Madness Postseason Conference Tournaments. Who will make it in this year’s Field of 68 as this year’s 37 at-large selections? We got a pretty good idea on who will make it and have listed our March Madness Expert Predictions below as we get set to finally see the field announced so we can get down to our main business and start forecasting and predicting the WINNERS of each game and round in this year’s NCAA Tournament 2012 Bracket. Well, enough of of the talk, let’s get down to picking and predicting who will make it in and out of this year’s March Madness Bracket baby!

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ACC Conference
LOCKS: North Carolina, Duke, Florida St, Virginia
“Bubble Teams” IN: Miami-Fl, NC State
“Bubble Teams” OUT: Clemson
NOTES: Both Duke and North Carolina have legit claims and hopes for a #1 seed and the ACC Tournament Championship should seal a #1 seed for either school. FSU and Virginia are comfortably in the field while Miami-Fl and NC State should get in barring a slew of upsets in other conference tournaments that see one-bid leagues claiming multiple bids.

ATLANTIC 10 Conference
LOCKS: Temple, Saint Louis
“Bubble Teams” IN: Xavier
“Bubble Teams” OUT: St Joe’s, St Bonaventure, LaSalle
NOTES: Xavier needs a run in the A-10 Tournament to at least the semifinals to secure an at-large bid. Their nonconference wins over Cincinnati, Vanderbilt and Purdue should sneak them just in unless upsets occur in other tournaments to knock them out of the last four in.

BIG EAST Conference
LOCKS: Syracuse, Louisville, Marquette, Georgetown, Cincinnati, South Florida, Louisville
“Bubble Teams” IN: Uconn
“Bubble Teams” OUT: West Virginia, Seton Hall
NOTES: Uconn has an RPI of 34 and quality Top 50 RPI wins on it’s resume which should still sneak them into the field after their win in their first two Big East Tournament games over Depaul and West Virginia. West Virginia now appears to be right on the fringe of being one of the last teams in or out. Seton Hall needed a win over Louisville in the Big East quarterfinals but now they are OUT for good.

BIG 10 Conference
LOCKS: Ohio St, Michigan St, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue
“Bubble Teams” IN: NONE
“Bubble Teams” OUT: Northwestern
NOTES: Purdue was barely on the Bubble but now is a sure fire bonafide LOCK to make the field after their win their Big 10 Tournament opener yesterday. Northwestern was OUT of our field before yesterday’s loss to Minnesota and now is definitely NOT making the field of 68.

BIG 12 Conference
LOCKS: Kansas, Missouri, Baylor, Iowa St, Kansas St
“Bubble Teams” IN: Texas
“Bubble Teams” OUT: NONE
NOTES: Texas sealed a bid with it’s win it’s Big 12 Tournament opener against Iowa St. It’s hard to fathom the committee leaving Texas out of the field now.

Colonial Athletic Conference
LOCKS: VCU
“Bubble Teams” IN: Drexel
“Bubble Teams” OUT: George Mason
NOTES: Drexel’s regular season CAA title should get them in while VCU is now a LOCK after securing the automatic bid with it’s CAA Tournament Championship win over Drexel. George Mason appears to be on the outside looking in.

Conference USA Conference
LOCKS: Memphis, So Miss
“Bubble Teams” IN: NONE
“Bubble Teams” OUT: Central Florida
NOTES: Memphis’ RPI of 17 and So Miss’s RPI of 18 are so strong that it’s almost impossible for them to get snubbed as at-large bids. UCF at 64 needs a run to the CUSA Championship Game to warrant serious consideration and even that may not be enough unless they win the CUSA automatic bid.

Horizon League Conference
LOCKS: Detroit
“Bubble Teams” IN: NONE
“Bubble Teams” OUT: NONE
NOTES: This is a one bid league this year. Only the Horizon League Tournament winner will make the field and that was Detroit with a big win over Valparaiso.

IVY League Conference
LOCKS: Harvard
“Bubble Teams” IN: NONE
“Bubble Teams” OUT: NONE
NOTES: Despite Harvard’s strong year this still would have been only a one bid league with the winner(Harvard or Penn) of the IVY regular season title getting in. With Penn’s loss at Princeton tuesday that gave Harvard the Ivy League title and automatic bid.

Missouri Valley Conference
LOCKS: Wichita St, Creighton
“Bubble Teams” IN: NONE
“Bubble Teams” OUT: NONE
NOTES: Wichita St’s impressive 27-5 record and MVC regular season title make it a LOCK to get in despite getting upset in the MVC Tournament. Creighton would have got in even if it hadn’t won the MVC Tournament over Illinois St.

Mountain West Conference
LOCKS: New Mexico, San Diego St, UNLV
“Bubble Teams” IN: Colorado St
“Bubble Teams” OUT: NONE
NOTES: New Mexico, San Diego St and UNLV will all get in regardless of what happens in the MWC postseason tournament. Colorado St has a strong RPI of 21 but still needs to make the MWC Title Game to be a LOCK at an at-large bid. Right now they are the LAST TEAM IN our field.

Pac 12 Conference
LOCKS: Washington, Cal
“Bubble Teams” IN: Arizona
“Bubble Teams” OUT: Colorado, Oregon
NOTES: Can’t see Colorado getting in with an RPI of 76 unless it makes the PAC 12 Championship Game. Arizona needed to win it’s Pac 12 Tournament opener at minimum to have a shot at securing an at-large bid after it’s horrible loss in it’s regular season finale versus Arizona St. In reality, they probably need at least two Pac 12 Tournament wins so Arizona probably needs to beat Oregon St today to lock up a bid. If Colorado can upset Cal then they should start to get serious consideration as one of the last team’s IN. Oregon is now OUT after a lackluster nonconference resume and a loss to Colorado in the Pac 12 Tourney.

Southeastern Conference(SEC)
LOCKS: Florida, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Alabama
“Bubble Teams” IN: NONE
“Bubble Teams” OUT: Tennessee, Miss St
NOTES: Alabama’s RPI of 28 gives it a major edge over both Tennessee(RPI 81) and Miss St(RPI 61) for the 4th bid from the SEC. Plus Alabama’s nonconference wins over VCU and Purdue will help them greatly in the eyes of the selection committee. Alabama is a LOCK. Miss St has nonconference wins over Arizona, Detroit and West Virginia but an average 8-8 SEC record and loss to Georgia in the SEC Tourney knocked them OUT. Tennessee needs to make the SEC Title Game to have any chance at an at-large bid.

West Coast Conference
LOCKS: Gonzaga, St Mary’s, BYU
“Bubble Teams” IN: NONE
“Bubble Teams” OUT: NONE
NOTES: BYU should get in with a RPI of 47 despite a 1-4 record versus St Mary’s and Gonzaga this season in the WCC.

LAST FOUR BUBBLE TEAMS IN THE FIELD: NC State, Arizona, Xavier, Colorado St
LAST FOUR BUBBLE TEAMS OUT OF THE FIELD: West Virginia, Oregon, Seton Hall, Miss St

BREAKDOWN BY LEAGUE:
8: Big East
6: Big Ten
6: Big 12
6: ACC
4: SEC, Mountain West
3: PAC 12
3: Atlantic 10, West Coast
2: Colonial, Conference USA, Missouri Valley
1: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Horizon, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern Athletic, Summit, Sun Belt, Western Athletic (19)

2012 NCAA TOURNAMENT DATES

March 13-14
First Four
Dayton, Ohio

March 15, 17
Second and Third
Albuquerque, N.M.
Louisville, Ky.
Pittsburgh
Portland, Ore.

March 16, 18
Second and Third
Columbus, Ohio
Greensboro, N.C.
Nashville, Tenn.
Omaha, Neb.

March 22, 24
Regionals
Boston
Phoenix

March 23, 25
Regionals
Atlanta

Regionals
St. Louis

March 31, April 2
Final Four
New Orleans