Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Kansas back on top-seed line in latest field of 68 projection

Feb 3, 2024; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Kevin McCullar Jr. (15) dunks the ball
Feb 3, 2024; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Kevin McCullar Jr. (15) dunks the ball / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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South Region (Dallas)

1.) North Carolina vs. 16.) Morehead State

8.) Nebraska vs. 9.) Saint Mary's

5.) Kentucky vs. 12.) McNeese State

4.) Baylor vs. 13.) Akron

6.) Utah vs. 11.) Butler

3.) Alabama vs. 14.) Vermont

7.) Utah State vs. 10.) Seton Hall

2.) Houston vs. 15.) Quinnipiac

What better way to bounce back from an upset loss than to get a win in front of your home crowd against your arch-rival on Saturday, that’s exactly what the top seed in the South, the North Carolina Tar Heels did against a surging Duke Blue Devils squad, winning 93-84. The main reason UNC gets a No. 1 seed is the metrics edge and their five road wins, including two in quad 1. The Tar Heels have been playing lights-out defense of late, allowing just 65.6 points per game during the 12-game stretch that has seen them go 11-1.

With Houston’s loss to Kansas, North Carolina jumped up on the seed list, but as a result, ended up with the toughest road to Las Vegas. Not only do Houston, Baylor, and Kentucky have seeds No. 2, No. 4, and No. 5 in this region, the No. 3 seed is the leader of the SEC and winner of 10 of their last 11, the Alabama Crimson Tide. If UNC finds their way to Las Vegas, they very well may be considered the favorite to cut down the nets, given the road they have to get there.

No. 12 seeds are always dangerous in March and the McNeese State Cowboys should be no exception. The 19-3 Cowboys are the 2nd best three-point shooting team in the country knocking down nearly 41% of their attempts. If a team wants to beat McNeese State they have to be good in the half-court because the Cowboys don’t allow you to get out and run, turning it over less than 10 times per game. You must also protect the ball because McNeese State also forces over 16 turnovers of their own.