No. 1 seeds: LSU, Duke, OSU, Tennessee
Updated: February 17, 2005, 10:20 AM ETBy Charlie Creme | Special to ESPN.com
Editor's note: Charlie Creme will project the 2005 NCAA Tournament bracket each month throughout the season. Click here for a glance at this month's field of 64.You've already seen which teams we predict to reach the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Now here's why (projected pairings listed below):
1. Ohio State: Hasn't lost in 2005.
2. Stanford: Barely on the outside looking in for a top seed.
3. Rutgers: Offense has really struggled against Big East's upper-division foes.
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5. Arizona State: Real shot at sweeping its final four games, which would mean the No. 2 seed in the Pac-10 tournament.
6. Maryland: RPI is probably a bit inflated.
7. New Mexico: Two wins over Utah and easy schedule the rest of the way likely make Lobos the MWC champ.
8. Virginia Tech: Despite high RPI and SOS, Hokies (still below .500 in ACC) need to do more to ensure a bid.
9. Mississippi: Will make the field if it can stay above .500 in SEC.
10. Nebraska: Schedule favorable for a potentially strong finish.
11. George Washington: Might be getting hot at the right time.
12. Montana: Led by center Hollie Tyler, Griz have won 21 straight regular-season Big Sky games.
13. Idaho: Two wins over UC Santa Barbara give Vandals a huge leg up in final three weeks of Big West race.
14. Marist: Win at Canisius is the difference in tight MAAC race.
15. Texas-Arlington: Top seed in Southland tournament might not be determined until March 2 meeting with Texas State.
16. Alcorn State: The best right now in what is still a wide-open SWAC.
1. Tennessee: SEC 42-game regular-season winning streak is gone, but not hopes for a top seed.
2. Notre Dame: Win at Connecticut stakes claim as the Big East's best.
3. North Carolina: RPI numbers finally reflecting Tar Heels' season after some ACC road wins.
4. North Carolina State: Has overcome a lot to become arguably the ACC's third-best team.
5. Iowa State: Lost last two at Texas Tech and Nebraska by a combined 58 points.
6. Penn State: Loss to Northwestern and inconsistency on road tempers the impact of 12 top-100 wins.
7. Wisconsin-Green Bay: Riding school-record 15-game winning streak and top-25 ranking.
8. TCU: Heartbreaker at DePaul probably means no C-USA title.
9. Iowa: Laboring and hasn't had a top-50 win since Dec. 1.
10. Florida: Vandy-Georgia-LSU finish will make or break chances.
11. Oklahoma Was the Kansas State win the wake-up call?
12. Gonzaga: Riding nation's longest winning streak at 18.
13. Western Kentucky: Unbeaten in Sun Belt, but will still need to win conference tournament.
14. Bowling Green: MAC is still wide open, but it will only get one bid.
15. Central Florida: On the verge of completely pulling away in Atlantic Sun.
16. Dartmouth: Saturday's win over Brown gives unbeaten Big Green two-game Ivy lead.
1. Duke: Gail Goestenkors has to be the front-runner for national coach of the year.
2. Michigan State: Held eight of last nine opponents to 60 points or fewer.
3. Connecticut: First time with more than five losses in 12 seasons.
4. Texas Tech: Need to get hot again to make season finale at Baylor matter.
5. Temple: Dawn Staley's bunch has separated itself from the rest of the A-10.
6. Virginia: Weekend win over Virginia Tech might have wrapped up a return to the Dance.
7. DePaul: High-scoring Blue Demons on the short list of Cinderella Final Four candidates.
8. Vanderbilt Commodores beat almost everyone they're supposed to.
9. Utah: Solid profile, but still lacking signature wins; TCU back on Dec. 11 is all there is.
10. Richmond: Could use another marquee win to be safe, but won't get it with remaining A-10 foes.
11. Delaware: The CAA's best with two wins over Old Dominion and a top-50 RPI.
12. Southwest Missouri State: Likely regular-season MVC winner, but no top-50 wins could hurt at-large chances.
13. Liberty: No one is even close in the Big South.
14. Maine: Just forged past Hartford in the two-team America East race.
15. Holy Cross: Unbeaten in Patriot; loss column includes UConn, BC, Duke and DePaul.
16. St. Francis (Pa.): Four NEC foes right on the Red Flash's heels.
1. LSU: Win over Tennessee cements Lady Tigers' status as the country's best team.
2. Baylor: Solid No. 2, but would have to do a lot to get to a 1 seed.
3. Georgia: Only Tennessee has beaten the Lady Dogs since mid-January.
4. Minnesota: Thirteen top-100 wins, but 0-4 against the top 25.
5. Florida State: Three biggest wins (Maryland, UNC, Virginia Tech) came all in a row, all against ACC opponents and all via overtime.
6. Texas: Remains the most perplexing team in the country. And now keep an eye on Nina Norman's ankle injury.
7. Arizona: Overtime loss to Maryland gets more attention, but losing at Cal a week later hurts more.
8. Louisiana Tech: Difficult to guage what being the class of the WAC means this season.
9. Southern California: Women of Troy struggle mightily when 3s aren't falling.
10. Boston College: Just 1-4 since losing Jess Deveny, and no longer a lock to make the field.
11. Louisville: Any more stumbles such as Sunday at East Carolina and the Cardinals are out.
12. UCLA: Bruins surviving without Noelle Quinn; date of her return will have seeding impact.
13. Chattanooga: Still the unquestionable class of the Southern, but probably won't equal last year's No. 10 seed.
14. Eastern Kentucky: Fighting Southeast Missouri State and Tennessee Tech for OVC regular-season title.
15. Western Illinois Saturday's loss at Valpo was a hit to what was a comfortable lead in the Mid-Continent.
16. Hampton: RPI above 200, but just took a one-game lead over Coppin State in MEAC.
Team predicted to win its conference's automatic bid are followed by its respective league name in parentheses. KANSAS CITY
(1) Ohio State (Big Ten) vs. (16) Alcorn State (SWAC)
(8) Virginia Tech vs. (9) Mississippi
(5) Arizona State vs. (12) Montana (Big Sky)
(4) Kansas State vs. (13) Idaho (Big West)
College Park, Md.
(6) Maryland vs. (11) George Washington
(3) Rutgers vs. (14) Marist (MAAC)
(7) New Mexico (MWC) vs. (10) Nebraska
(2) Stanford (Pac-10) vs. (15) Texas-Arlington (Southland) TEMPE
(1) Tennessee vs. (16) Dartmouth (Ivy)
(8) TCU vs. (9) Iowa
(5) Iowa State vs. (12) Gonzaga (WCC)
(4) North Carolina State vs. (13) Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)
Chapel Hill, N.C.
(3) North Carolina vs. (14) Bowling Green (MAC)
(6) Penn State vs. (11) Oklahoma
College Park, Md.
(7) Wisconsin-Green Bay (Horizon) vs. (10) Florida
(2) Notre Dame (Big East) vs. (15) Central Florida (Atlantic Sun) CHATTANOOGA
(1) LSU (SEC) vs. (16) Hampton (MEAC)
(8) Louisiana Tech (WAC) vs. (9) Southern California
(5) Florida State vs. (12) UCLA
(4) Minnesota vs. (13) Chattanooga (Southern)
(3) Georgia vs. (14) Eastern Kentucky (OVC)
(6) Texas vs. (11) Louisville
(7) Arizona vs. (10) Boston College
(2) Baylor (Big 12) vs. (15) Western Illinois (Mid-Continent)
Chapel Hill, N.C.
(1) Duke (ACC) vs. (16) St. Francis (Pa.) (NEC)
(8) Vanderbilt vs. (9) Utah
(5) Temple (A-10) vs. (12) Southwest Missouri State (MVC)
(4) Texas Tech vs. (13) Liberty (Big South)
(3) Connecticut vs. (14) Maine (America East)
(6) Virginia vs. (11) Delaware (Colonial)
(7) DePaul (C-USA) vs. (10) Richmond
(2) Michigan State vs. (15) Holy Cross (Patriot)
Charlie Creme can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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