As we reach the midpoint of January and put the college football season behind us, it’s time to start paying a closer attention to the ‘bracketology’ of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
After all, we’re only a handful of weeks away from the thought process of making the field of 68 dominating the minds of many SEC fans.
On Monday, ESPN’s NCAA Tournament bracket guru Joe Lunardi released a new projection for the 2018 men’s field. Inside, he included more than half of the SEC’s basketball teams.
Here’s a look at each SEC team he projects to make the NCAA Tournament, along with the predicted seed and opponent:
|SEC TEAM||PROJECTED SEED||PROJECTED OPPONENT|
|Alabama||No. 11 in East||West Virginia|
|Arkansas||No. 7 in East||Marquette|
|Auburn||No. 4 in East||Vermont|
|Florida||No. 7 in South||Louisville|
|Kentucky||No. 4 in South||Louisiana-Lafayette|
|Missouri||No. 10 in Midwest||Miami|
|Tennessee||No. 5 in Midwest||South Dakota St.|
|Texas A&M||No. 8 in West||St. Mary’s|
Lunardi lists Alabama and Missouri among the last four teams to avoid the play-in games, which would indicate that the Crimson Tide and Tigers are on the front end of the tournament bubble.
Georgia is listed as one of Lundardi’s “first four out” for the tournament field.
While the SEC is trending toward an uptick in numbers in the NCAA tournament this season, it is worth noting that there is no team projected to be higher than a No. 4 seed at this time.