What a wild year projecting the bracket. Not only was the bottom of the bubble as soft as usual but as many as seven teams have legit claims for a No. 1 seed.
After devouring resumes and comparing profiles this is our final projection of what the bracket will look like (if the committee is smart):
Analysis: Louisville gets the slight edge over Indiana for the overall No. 1 seed (and a spot in Indianapolis) because it won its conference tournament. The committee will say that doesn't matter but history says it does (a lot).
Gonzaga could get bumped to the No. 2 line but the Zags profile is just as good as Kansas and Miami's - two teams that also won regular season and conference tournament titles. I like Kansas's profile slightly more than Miami's so the Jayhawks get the final No. 1.
Duke is an interesting case: It's rare for a team to not only fail to win its conference tournament and receive a No. 1 seed but almost as rare for a team not to win the regular season title either and grace the top line. I think too many teams passed Duke (slightly) this week for the Blue Devils to be on the top line.
Bubble: My last four teams are all "major" schools, but that's because I have Boise State and Middle Tennessee State in the field as No. 11 seeds. Every team is flawed at the No. 11 line and below but a team like La Salle really has a bad profile. Nothing sticks out as being good and everything screams NIT. I don't think any non-Explorer fans will be complaining about the Explorers being in the NIT.
FINAL FOUR: If this was the actual bracket all four No. 1 seeds look like Final Four teams to me. Duke presents the challenge to Indiana as well as Miami to Kansas. It's going to be a wild ride regardless.