March Madness bracket predictions: Projecting the Field of 68 for 2022 NCAA Tournament

March Madness bracket predictions: Projecting the Field of 68 for 2022 NCAA Tournament

March Madness is only one month away.

With that in mind, Sporting News unveils its first Field of 68 for the upcoming NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which begins March 15. This year’s Final Four is at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans from April 2-4. 

Each week, SN will update our tournament projections leading up to the Big Dance. 

DECOURCY: UCLA, Providence on rise in SN’s latest NCAA basketball power rankings

Our first installment features Auburn, Gonzaga and Big 12 rivals Kansas and Baylor on the No. 1 seed line. The Jayhawks and Bears both lost in the SEC-Big 12 challenge, but they meet Saturday in a matchup that should give the conference a hold on at least one of the top seeds. 

We will also break down the tournament bubble each week. Creighton, West Virginia and San Diego State are among the tournament regulars on that bubble this week. 

Who is our Field of 68? Here is a closer look: 

NCAA Tournament Field of 68 projections

No. 1 Seeds

*Auburn (20-1, 8-0 SEC)

Resume: Net: 6, KenPom: 6. The Tigers are the first team to 20 wins and Bruce Pearl is locked in on an extension. Auburn is the most solid No. 1 seed at this point. 

*Gonzaga (17-2, 6-0 WCC)

Resume: Net: 1, KenPom: 1. The Bulldogs are 6-2 in games against Quad 1 and Quad 2. 

*Kansas (17-3, 6-1, Big 12) 

Resume: Net: 9, KenPom: 10. The loss to Kentucky was a setback, but the Jayhawks can stay on this line with a win against Baylor on Saturday. 

Baylor (18-3, 6-2, Big 12)

Resume: Net: 4, KenPom: 2. The loser of Saturday’s Big 12 showdown will fall to the No. 2 line. For now, both are on this line. 

No. 2 Seeds

*Wisconsin (17-3, 8-2 Big Ten)

Resume: Net: 21, KenPom: 26, at Illinois on Feb. 2. The Badgers have piled up 10 victories against Quad 1 or Quad 2 teams. 

Purdue (18-3, 7-3 Big Ten)

Resume: Net: 8, KenPom: 8. The Boilermakers are a solid No. 2 with a 6-2 record against Quad 1 teams. 

*UCLA (16-2, 8-1 Pac-12)

Resume: Net: 10, KenPom: 9. The Bruins are 7-2 against Quad 1 or Quad 2 teams, which keeps them on this line. 

*Duke (17-3, 7-2 ACC)

Resume: Net: 13, KenPom: 12. Duke’s ratings are a little lower, but road games at Notre Dame and North Carolina will generate attention this week. 

No. 3 Seeds 

Kentucky (17-4, 6-2 SEC)

Resume: Net: 7, KenPom: 3. The Wildcats served notice with a decisive 80-62 victory against Kansas on Saturday. 

Texas Tech (16-5, 5-3 Big 12)

Resume: Net: 11, KenPom: 11. The Red Raiders face Texas on Tuesday in Chris Beard’s first game back at Lubbock. 

*Providence (18-2, 8-1 Big East)

Resume: Net: 30, KenPom: 46. The Friars are 4-0 against ranked Big East teams despite Net and KenPom rankings that lag behind other Big East contenders. 

LSU (16-5, 4-4 SEC)

Resume: Net: 10, KenPom: 12. The TCU loss is a setback, but the Tigers’ next six games are against unranked opponents. 

No. 4 seeds 

Villanova (16-5, 9-2 Big East)

Resume: Net: 5, KenPom: 7. The Wildcats have higher Net and KenPom ratings than their record, and they need to pass Providence in the Big East race to bump up.

Michigan State (16-4, 7-2 Big Ten)

Resume: Net: 18, KenPom: 19. The Spartans face Maryland and Rutgers this week before a chance to sweep the Badgers on Feb. 8. 

*Houston (18-2, 7-0 AAC)

Resume: Net: 2, KenPom: 5. The Cougars have a strong case for a No. 2 seed, but there isn’t much margin for error. 

Arizona (16-2, 6-1 Pac-12)

Resume: Net: 3, KenPom: 4. The Wildcats are 6-2 in Quad or Quad 2 games. 

No. 5 seeds

Texas (16-5, 5-3 Big 12)

Resume: Net: 17, KenPom: 15. The Longhorns bump up a line after the 52-52 victory against Tennessee and former coach Rick Barnes. 

Tennessee (14-5, 5-3 SEC)

Resume: Net: 12, KenPom: 14. The Vols are 6-6 vs. Quad 1 and Quad 2, so the case for a No. 4 seed remains strong. 

Illinois (15-5, 8-2 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 15, KenPom: 16. The Illini have a statement game at home against Wisconsin on Wednesday. 

Alabama (14-7, 4-4 SEC)

Resume: Net: 22, KenPom: 18. The 87-78 win against Baylor is a huge booster. 

No. 6 seeds

UConn (15-4, 6-2 Big East) 

Resume: Net: 16, KenPom: 17. The Huskies can move up with victories against Creighton and Villanova this week. 

Ohio State (13-5, 6-3 Big Ten)

Resume: Net: 19, KenPom: 21. The Buckeyes have six straight games against unranked opponents. 

Iowa State (16-5, 3-5 Big 12) 

Resume: Net: 27, KenPom: 28. The Cyclones get Kansas at home on Tuesday. 

USC (18-3, 8-3 Pac-12) 

Resume: Net: 26, KenPom: 27. The Trojans have consistent Net/KenPom with this line. 

No. 7 seeds

Xavier (15-5, 5-4 Big East)

Resume: Net: 20, KenPom: 23. The Musketeers have a head-to-head loss against Marquette. Otherwise, we would push them up to the No. 6 line. 

Indiana (16-5, 7-4 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 25, KenPom: 29. The Hoosiers are 4-5 against Quad 1/Quad 2. 

St. Mary’s (17-4, 5-1 WCC)

Resume: Net: 24, KenPom: 20. The Gaels are 5-4 vs. Quad 1/Quad 2. 

Marquette (15-7, 7-4 Big East) 

Resume: Net: 28, KenPom: 30. The Eagles are 5-5 against Quad 1. 

No. 8 seeds 

*Loyola-Chicago (16-4, 7-2) 

Resume: Net: 31, Ken:Pom 32. Watch out for Drake, which beat the Ramblers 77-68 on Jan. 29. 

Miami (16-5, 8-2 ACC)

Resume: Net: 61, KenPom: 54. The Hurricanes’ Net/KenPom does not match the first-place standing in ACC. 

Wake Forest (17-5, 7-4 ACC) 

Resume: Net: 43, KenPom: 43. The Deacons are coming off a rough loss to Syracuse. 

Iowa (14-6, 4-5 Big Ten) 

Resume: Net: 23, KenPom 22. The Hawkeyes can score a huge road win at Ohio State on Thursday. 

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No. 9 seeds

Arkansas (16-5, 5-3 SEC)

Resume: Net: 46, KenPom: 39. The Razorbacks have won six straight games. 

Oklahoma (13-8, 3-5 Big 12) 

Resume: Net: 34, KenPom: 28. The Sooners are 3-7 vs. Quad 1. 

*Boise State (17-4, 8-0 MWC) 

Resume: Net: 39, Ken:Pom 40. The Broncos are 4-1 vs. Quad. 

TCU (14-4, 3-3 Big 12)

Resume: Net: 52, KenPom: 50. The Horned Frogs picked up a resume-booster with a 77-68 victory against LSU. 

No. 10 seeds

Colorado State (16-2, 6-2 MWC)

Resume: Net: 36, Ken:Pom 48. The Rams will have to shake off a 88-74 loss to UNLV. 

*Murray State (20-2, 10-0 OVC)

Resume: Net: 27, KenPom: 37. The Racers were a No. 12 seed in 2018 and 2019. 

BYU (17-6, 5-3 WCC)

Resume: Net: 28, KenPom: 33. The Cougars drop after losses to Santa Clara and Pacific. 

*Davidson (17-3, 7-1 A-10) 

Resume: Net: 48, KenPom: 51. The Wildcats are 13-0 vs. Quad 3 and Quad 4 teams. 

No. 11 seeds 

North Carolina (14-6, 6-3 ACC)

Resume: Net: 37, KenPom: 34. The Tar Heels can firm their resume with Louisville and Duke this week. 

Wyoming (16-3, 5-3 MWC) 

Resume: Net: 35, KenPom: 53. The Cowboys play Boise State on Thursday. 

Seton Hall (12-7, 3-6 Big East) 

Resume: Net: 42, KenPom: 44. Three Quad 1 wins are helping Pirates. 

San Francisco (17-5, 4-3 WCC)

Resume: Net: 40, KenPom: 36. The Dons are 2-3 vs. Quad 1 teams. 

No. 12 seeds 

Oregon (13-7, 6-3 Pac-12)

Resume: Net: 58, KenPom: 49. The Ducks have wins vs. USC and UCLA. 

Florida State (13-7, 6-3 ACC) 

Resume: Net: 79, KenPom: 79. The Seminoles are 5-5 vs. Quad 1 and Quad 2. 

Notre Dame (14-6, 7-2 ACC)

Resume: Net: 68, KenPom: 66. The Irish are 1-4 vs. Quad 1 teams. 

Texas A&M (15-6, 4-4 SEC)

Resume: Net: 65, KenPom: 72. The Aggies are on a four-game losing streak. 

*North Texas (15-4, 8-1)

Resume: Net: 54, KenPom: 67. The Mean Green will have to hold UAB in C-USA. 

*Iona (18-3, 10-0 MAAC)

Resume: Net: 57, KenPom: 70. Rick Pitino has Gaels at 9-0 at home. 

No. 13 seeds

*Chattanooga (18-4, 8-1 Southern) 

Resume: Net: 39, KenPom: 59

*Toledo (17-4, 9-1 MAC) 

Resume: Net: 60, KenPom: 71

*Vermont (15-4, 7-2 America East) 

Resume: Net: 70, KenPom: 76

*South Dakota State (19-4, 10-0 Summit)

Resume: Net: 74, KenPom: 78

No. 14 seeds

*Wagner (14-2, 10-0 Northeast) 

Resume: Net: 84, KenPom: 108

*Oakland (16-5, 9-1 Horizon) 

Resume: Net: 101, KenPom: 110

*Jacksonville State (15-6, 8-0 A-Sun)

Resume: Net: 111, KenPom: 113

*Princeton (15-4, 5-1 Ivy)

Resume: Net: 129, KenPom: 148

MORE: Sporting News’ Midseason All-Americans

No. 15 seeds 

*Seattle (17-4, 8-0 WAC) 

Resume: Net: 118, KenPom: 125

*Weber State (16-5, 9-1 Big Sky) 

Resume: Net: 122, KenPom: 119

*Cal-State Fullerton (12-6, 5-1 Big West) 

Resume: Net: 143, KenPom: 147

*Longwood (15-5, 7-0 Big South)

Resume: Net: 141, KenPom: 161

No. 16 seeds

*Appalachian State (14-9, 8-2 Sun Belt)

Resume: Net: 150, KenPom: 157

*Norfolk State (15-4, 6-0 MEAC) 

Resume: Net: 144, KenPom: 206

*UNC-Wilmington (14-5, 7-0 CAA)

Resume: Net: 196, KenPom: 222

*Army (13-9, 7-3 Patriot) 

Resume: Net: 261, KenPom: 276

*New Orleans (12-8, 5-0 Southland) 

Resume: Net: 256, KenPom: 272

*Florida A&M (8-11, 6-2 SWAC) 

Resume: Net: 305, KenPom: 303

Four on the bubble 

Creighton (12-6, 4-3 Big East)

Resume: Net: 67, KenPom: 56. The Blue Jays are on a two-game losing streak and have a tough week ahead against UConn and Seton Hall. 

West Virginia (13-7, 2-5 Big 12)

Resume: Net: 64, KenPom: 64. The Mountaineers have lost five straight. 

San Diego State (11-5, 3-2 MWC) 

Resume: Net: 51, KenPom: 38. At 10-1 in Quads 3-4, the Aztecs have work to do in a competitive MWC. 

SMU (16-4, 7-1 AAC)

Resume: Net: 55, KenPom: 60. The Mustangs have not lost since Jan. 6 and could make AAC a two-bid league. 

Upcoming Bubble games to track 

Iowa State at West Virginia (Tuesday) 

Wyoming vs. Boise State (Thursday) 

Stanford at Oregon (Thursday) 

Seton Hall at Creighton (Friday)

Wake Forest at Florida State (Saturday)





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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.