Commentary

Projecting the Field

Updated: November 12, 2008, 9:16 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

OK, OK, it is time to get out the chalkboard and help out the NCAA selection committee. Those members have a tough job, and I want to give them an early list, baby! I sat down and figured out the 65 teams that I believe will be dancing come March Madness. It is not an easy task as expectations, expectations, expectations can weigh heavy on a team. Injuries can take their toll. Plus you know there will be a handful of upsets in the conference tournaments.

I went on a limb in a lot of cases. Save this and compare it to the real thing come March. I hope it is awesome with a capital A! If not, it was fun trying to figure it out.

Here is a look at Dickie V's preseason projection for the 2009 field of 65 at the big dance:

Dick Vitale's NCAA Tournament Teams
Conference Number Teams
America East 1 Vermont
Atlantic 10 2 Xavier, Temple
ACC 6 North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, Miami, Virginia Tech, Clemson
Atlantic Sun 1 Belmont
Big East 9 Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Connecticut, Notre Dame, W. Virginia, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Syracuse
Big 12 6 Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas A&M, Missouri
Big Sky 1 Portland
Big South 1 Gardner-Webb
Big Ten 4 Wisconsin, Purdue, Ohio St., Michigan St.
Big West 1 Cal State-Northridge
CAA 1 Virginia Commonwealth
C-USA 2 Memphis, UAB
Horizon 1 Cleveland St.
Ivy 1 Cornell
MAAC 1 Siena
MAC 1 Kent St.
MEAC 1 Hampton
MVC 2 Creighton, Southern Illinois
Mountain West 2 UNLV, BYU
Northeast 1 Mt. St. Mary's
OVC 1 Tennessee-Martin
Pac-10 5 UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, USC, Washington
Patriot 1 American
SEC 5 Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, LSU
Southern 1 Davidson
Southland 1 Texas-Arlington
SWAC 1 Alabama St.
Summit 1 North Dakota St.
Sun Belt 1 Arkansas-Little Rock
WCC 2 Gonzaga, St. Mary's
WAC 1 Nevada

On the fringe: Providence, Tulsa, Oklahoma State, Mississippi, Auburn, Washington State, San Diego.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.