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College basketball's NCAA tournament bracket projections: Louisville is No. 3

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Jerry Palm of CBS Sports released his new NCAA tournament projections on Thursday. It’s easy to notice the major changes at the top of the bracket. More importantly, teams seem to be making bigger jumps than usual. Of course, for every upgraded team, there has to be a team falling in the projected seeds.

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Kansas Jayhawks stay at No.2 Seed.

Biggest Risers:

Louisville has been all over the seed lines these past couple of weeks. Shockingly, the defending champion was sitting at No. 6 seed entering their road test at SMU. After a nice double digit victory, Louisville moved up three lines to a No. 3 seed. With one game and a conference tournament left, Louisville could be in line for the fourth No.1 seed. If that happens, the Cardinals swept the regular season and tournament title.

Colorado moved up to a No.9 seed. The Buffalos are still on the bubble, but they had a great road win at Stanford. They have one more chance to get a big win against California on the road. It’s not only a PAC-12 battle, it’s a battle to make the tournament.

Kansas State moved up one seed line to No.9, but Jerry Palm doesn’t have them as a bubble team. When the Wildcats take the court on Saturday it will be their last chance to make an impression. It’s almost a must win for Kansas State.

Dayton also moved up one seed line. They’ve been removed from the first round game in Dayton to an 11 seed. Their huge win over St. Louis might be what they needed to secure their NCAA berth.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers are now one of the first four teams according to Jerry Palm. The Huskers knocked off Indiana for the second time to complete the sweep. Nebraska is currently in fourth place in the Big 10. They aren’t a lock but a final win over Wisconsin will go a long way to securing that bid.

Biggest Falls:

Duke had a chance to battle for the top seed in the tournament, but their loss to Wake Forest now has the Blue Devils projected as No. 5 seed. They still have to play North Carolina in the ACC finale.

Saint Louis has continued to slide. Their third consecutive loss now has the Billikens at a No. 6 seed. They still lead the Atlantic 10, but if they don’t win the conference tournament, there’s no telling where Saint Louis could fall to.

Stanford also dropped two spots after their loss to Colorado. Not only are the seeds close, but the games are close. Stanford was a possession away from winning. Instead, they’ve gone from a No.8 to a No. 10. The whole PAC-12 battle will be amazing until selection Sunday

SMU also dropped a seed line to No. 10. They aren’t a lock to make the tournament, but everything about this team says they are “March Madness” worthy.

Saint Joseph’s ended a six game winning streak with a loss to George Washington. That was enough to drop the Hawks to a 10 seed.

Last Four In: Xavier, Providence, Missouri, Nebraska.
Last Four Out: Minnesota, Tennessee, Georgetown, California.

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