No. 1 seeds: Duke, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas

Updated: March 11, 2004, 12:38 PM ET
By Charlie Creme | Special to ESPN.com

Editor's note: Click here for a glance at this month's field of 64.

You've already seen which teams we predict to reach the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Now here's why (projected pairings listed below):

EAST REGION
1. Purdue: Big Ten tournament win fresh in the mind.
2. Connecticut: Frustrations in Storrs showing at the wrong time.
3. Texas Tech: Six wins over Top 25 teams.
4. Georgia: Run to SEC title game makes a difference.
5. TCU: Just couldn't quite match Houston, but still dangerous.
6. Minnesota: Profile not as good as you might think, and Whalen injury status still a major factor.
7. Auburn: Stock dipped with three losses in last four games.
8. George Washington: A-10 semifinal loss somewhat shocking.
9. Louisville: Lost only once in last six weeks.
10. Marquette: Big jump in RPI and SOS with two wins over DePaul since last projection.
11. West Virginia: 21 overall wins, four Top-50 wins, 11 road wins.
12. Missouri: Solid road record and SOS.
13. Maine: Season-long domination of America East, hoping to finish the job in tournament this year.
14. Wisconsin-Green Bay: Regular-season and tournament champs in Horizon.
15. Marist: Finished with eight wins in nine games, including MAAC tournament title.
16. Colgate: Wins Patriot tournament as top seed.

MIDEAST
1. Tennessee: Loss in SEC tournament didn't hurt.
2. Houston: Quietly put together an enormous season.
3. Vanderbilt: Surprising SEC title did wonders for the Commodores' profile.
4. Colorado: Benefiting most from high RPI.
5. North Carolina: Seem to be playing best basketball of the year despite loss to Duke.
6. Virginia Tech: One of the teams that had to be moved from original seed line.
7. Louisiana Tech: Lady Techsters were a No. 5 seed last year and profile isn't as good in 2004.
8. Old Dominion: SOS has dipped in the last few weeks.
9. Chattanooga: Conversely, Lady Mocs have seen an RPI jump.
10. Iowa: High SOS helped offset a tough finish against the Big Ten elite.
11. Richmond: Nonconference RPI and SOS best part of Spiders' résumé.
12. UC Santa Barbara: No good wins since November.
13. Middle Tennessee State: Won Sun Belt as the fourth seed.
14. Austin Peay: No slip ups in OVC tournament for the top seed.
15. Valparaiso: Took advantage of loss by top-seed Western Illinois to win a second straight Mid-Continent bid.
16. Lipscomb: Has a win over Mississippi and two over Atlantic Sun favorite Georgia State.

MIDWEST
1. Texas: Could lose top seed without a Big 12 tourney title.
2. Penn State: Good enough to be a No. 1 seed.
3. Boston College: Big East championship fresh in everyone's minds and looks good at the top of the résumé.
4. Oklahoma: If this holds, Sooners might have to win on the road to get home.
5. Florida: Bid will officially complete the amazing turnaround.
6. Ohio State: Came on late to finish third in Big Ten, but nonconference profile a little lacking.
7. Rutgers: No one outside of the top seeds played more Top-50 teams.
8. Miami: Won six of last seven Big East regular-season games.
9. Arizona: Nonconference numbers just not there.
10. Temple: Took the math out with A-10 tourney win.
11. Mississippi: Three Top-50 wins became difference against competition for the last few spots.
12. UCLA: Strong finish gets Bruins in..
13. New Mexico: As MWC tournament's top seed, Lobos make the projection as the automatic bid.
14. St. Francis (Pa.): One more win away from getting to the NEC finish line.
15. Penn: First qualifier as Ivy champ.
16. Jackson State: Regular season co-champs in SWAC with Alabama State, which is already out of league tourney.

WEST
1. Duke: Two home games then off to Seattle?.
2. Kansas State: Three points vs. Texas away from outright Big 12 title and, perhaps, a top seed.
3. LSU: Only No. 1's have more wins vs. the Top-50.
4. Stanford: Pac-10 tournament title rescued what was an uneven February.
5. Baylor: Reverse double overtime loss to Texas, and we'd be talking really big things for the Lady Bears.
6. Michigan State: Might have peaked a little early.
7. Notre Dame: First-round Big East tournament loss didn't help.
8. Villanova: Another first-round loser in Big East one week after beating Connecticut in regular season..
9. DePaul: End-of-season skid when schedule got tougher exposed a lot.
10. Southwest Missouri State: Gaudy record, brutal schedule with 19 sub-150 opponents.
11. Loyola Marymount: RPI number might surprise some.
12. Montana: Home games make Lady Griz dangerous to a high seed in second round.
13. Miami Ohio): Still need to survive MAC tournament.
14. Liberty: Going for eighth straight Big South tournament title.
15. Northwestern State: Been in Southland driver's seat all season.
16. Delaware State: Still team to beat in MEAC.

PAIRINGS
Team that have won or are predicted to win their conference's automatic bid are followed by their respective league name in parentheses.

EAST REGION
Hartford, Conn.

March 21
Ames, Iowa
(1) Purdue (Big Ten) vs. (16) Colgate (Patriot)
(8) George Washington vs. (9) Louisville
March 20
Tallahassee, Fla.

(5) TCU vs. (12) Missouri
(4) Georgia vs. (13) Maine (America East)
March 21
Minneapolis, Minn.
(6) Minnesota vs. (11) West Virginia
(3) Texas Tech vs. (14) Wisconsin-Green Bay (Horizon)
March 21
Fairfield, Conn.
(7) Auburn vs. (10) Marquette
(2) Connecticut vs. (15) Marist (MAAC)

MIDEAST REGION
Norfolk, Va.
March 20
Chattanooga, Tenn.

(1) Tennessee vs. (16) Lipscomb (Atlantic Sun)
(8) Old Dominion/Colonial vs. (9) Chattanooga (Southern)
March 20
Santa Barbara, Calif.

(5) North Carolina vs. (12) Santa Barbara (Big West)
(4) Colorado vs. (13) Middle Tennessee State (Sun Belt)
March 21
Blacksburg, Va.

(3) Vanderbilt/SEC vs. (14) Austin Peay (OVC)
(6) Virginia Tech vs. (11) Richmond
March 20
Tempe, Ariz.

(7) Louisiana Tech (WAC) vs. (10) Iowa
(2) Houston/C-USA vs. (15) Valparaiso (Mid-Continent)

MIDWEST REGION
Norman, Okla.
March 21
Austin, Texas

(1) Texas (Big 12) vs. (16) Jackson State State (SWAC)
(8) Miami vs. (9) Arizona
March 20
Albuquerque, N.M.

(5) Florida vs. (12) UCLA
(4) Oklahoma vs. (13) New Mexico (MWC)
March 20
Columbus, Ohio

(3) Boston College (Big East) vs. (14) St. Francis (Pa.) (NEC)
(6) Ohio State vs. (11) Mississippi
March 20
Philadelphia, Pa.

(7) Rutgers vs. (10) Temple (Atlantic 10)
(2) Penn State vs. (15) Penn (Ivy)

WEST REGION
Seattle
March 21
Durham, N.C.

(1) Duke (ACC) vs. (16) Delaware State (MEAC)
(8) Villanova vs. (9) DePaul
March 20
Missoula, Mont.

(5) Baylor vs. (12) Montana (Big Sky)
(4) Stanford (Pac-10) vs. (13) Miami (Ohio) (MAC )
March 21
Baton Rouge, La.

(3) LSU vs. (14) Liberty (Big South)
(6) Michigan State vs. (11) Loyola Marymount (WCC)
March 21
South Bend, Ind.

(7) Notre Dame vs. (10) Southwest Missouri State (MVC)
(2) Kansas State vs. (15) Northwestern State (Southland)

Charlie Creme can be reached at cwcreme@hotmail.com.

Charlie Creme | email

Women's College Basketball
Charlie Creme projects the women's NCAA Tournament bracket for ESPN.com.

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