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College basketball's NCAA tournament bracket projections: Kentucky is No. 5

Julius Randle attacks the rim with ferociousness
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Jerry Palm of CBS Sports updated the projected NCAA tourney bracket on Thursday. With the conference season winding down, every game will be magnified for the potential number one seeds, as well the bubble teams. This is only a projection and all of these teams are subject to change.

On Wednesday the projected tourney discussion centered around the top four seeds in each region. Now it's time to take a look at the seeds five through eight. the majority of the teams will be dark horse candidates to make moves deep in the NCAA tournament.

College basketball's "Treat 16" power poll.

The #5 seeds have plenty of talent on each roster. The past two national champions, Louisville and Kentucky have had some questionable losses this season, but they seem to be hitting a nice stride heading towards the postseason. It was especially important for Louisville to get their best win of the season over Cincinnati recently. Texas and Ohio State are the other seeds. According to Jerry Palm, there could be a potential third round match with Michigan State and Kentucky.

The #6 seeds are also littered with talented teams. Memphis, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Connecticut are currently penciled in. It will be interesting to see where Iowa lands by the end of the regular season. Their scoring ability should be a problem for any opponent in the future. It will also be a final chance to see Shabazz Napier with the Huskies.

The #7 seeds have two Atlantic 10 teams in the fold. Massachusetts and VCU are battling for second place in the conference, but they will be in full upset mode if each team can win a game during the tournament. The other two teams are the highest profile programs. UCLA and North Carolina have been on the rise in the last month. So much so, it looks like both teams could be moving up in next week's bracket projection.

Only one team moved up into the #8 seed range. Arizona State replaced conference foe Stanford, but the rest of the seeds stayed the same. George Washington, Pittsburgh, and New Mexico have all arrived on the same seed line in different ways. While Pittsburgh has been dropping, it looks like New Mexico has a couple of opportunities to move up in the next couple weeks.

Nebraska lost a road game to Illinois in the Big 10, but they weren't the only bubble team to have a set back. California got blown out by Arizona, and Richmond lost to down and out George Mason. California could have cemented their place in the field with a sweep of Arizona.

Georgetown and Marquette are set to battle in another game featuring bubble teams.


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