2012NCAA_MensBracket

Won’t You (Not) Be My Neighbor?

There are some new bracket rules in place for the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Diehard college basketball fans are aware of these changes, but if you haven't had the time or space to do your own research, here's a chance to get caught up to speed.

All the semifinals in the big conference tournaments are done. This means that one very important part of the new bracketing landscape is fixed in place.

Read this primer by Andy Glockner. Then take note of the number of times various conference teams have played each other this season. What follows is a listing of meetings and relevant bracket specifications that will shape what you see on Selection Sunday evening:

NOTE: This is not a comprehensive listing of all NCAA tournament teams from each power conference. This is a listing of schools that — if paired in the Big Dance — would create high-profile matchups. The new bracketing rules place restrictions on when these teams can meet.

What this means in plain language:

Arizona will be a number one seed in the West Region. Oregon might be a 9 seed. Under the bracketing rules (see below), the Wildcats and Ducks can't play until the Sweet 16, which means that if Oregon is indeed a 9 seed, it must be shipped to a non-West region, since a 9 plays a 1 in the round of 32.

ACC

Virginia will have played Duke two times this season. This means that the Cavaliers and Blue Devils cannot meet until the Sweet 16.

Syracuse played Duke two times this season. The two teams can't meet until the Sweet 16.

THE AMERICAN

Louisville played Connecticut three times this season. The two teams can't meet until the Elite Eight.

Louisville played Cincinnati twice this season. The Cardinals and Bearcats can't meet until the Sweet 16.

Cincinnati played Connecticut three times this season. The Bearcats and Huskies can't meet until the Elite Eight.

BIG 12

Kansas played Iowa State three times this season. The two teams can't meet until the Elite Eight.

Kansas played Texas and Oklahoma twice this season. KU can't face either the Longhorns or Sooners until the Sweet 16.

BIG EAST 

Creighton played Xavier three times this season. If Xavier makes the field, the Musketeers can't face the Bluejays until the Elite Eight.

BIG TEN

Michigan played Wisconsin two times this season. The Wolverines and Badgers can't meet until the Sweet 16.

Michigan will have played Michigan State three times. The Wolverines and Spartans can't meet until the Elite Eight.

Wisconsin played Michigan State twice. The Badgers and Spartans can't meet until the Sweet 16.

Michigan played Ohio State twice. The Wolverines and Buckeyes can't meet until the Sweet 16.

Michigan State played Ohio State twice. The Spartans and Buckeyes can't meet until the Sweet 16.

Wisconsin played Ohio State once. The Badgers and Buckeyes can't meet until the round of 32.

PAC-12

Arizona played UCLA twice. The Wildcats and Bruins can't meet until the Sweet 16.

Arizona played Oregon twice. The Wildcats and Ducks can't meet until the Sweet 16.

SEC

Florida will have played Kentucky three times. The Gators and Wildcats can't meet until the Elite Eight.

 

 

Matt Zemek

About Matt Zemek

Matt Zemek is the managing editor of The Student Section, covering college football and basketball with associate editors Terry Johnson and Bart Doan. Mr. Zemek is also Bloguin's lead tennis writer, covering the major tournaments in 2014. He contributes to Crossover Chronicles and other Bloguin sites.

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