What regions will SLU, Mizzou and Illinois end up in?

10:34 AM, Mar 17, 2013   |    comments
Mar 16, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Saint Louis Billikens guard Kwamain Mitchell (3) is fouled while attempting a shot against the Butler Bulldogs in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament at the Barclays Center. Saint Louis Billikens won 67-56. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
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(KSDK Sports) -- The typical St. Louis college basketball fan should be feeling pretty lucky this St. Patrick's Day.  Personal allegiances aside, three regional teams tied to this area are expected to receive invitations to the NCAA Tournament today.

The Saint Louis Billikens story is one for the ages.  In the wake of the death of head coach Rick Majerus, the Billikens have re-ignited a city and it's fan base, as they go for another milestone today, capturing their first Atlantic-10 Championship.  The championship would give SLU an automatic NCAA bid, but even a loss today, should not keep them out. 

Missouri and Illinois have both been eliminated from their conference tournaments, but Patrick Stevens, USA TODAY Sports' bracket/bubble specialist for the 2013 NCAA tournament predicts all three will get invites.

Stevens has covered college sports and projected the NCAA tournament field for more than a decade for various publications, including The Washington Times. Don't like his projections? Tweet him @D1scourse.

Bracket Prediction: The field of 68 less than 24 hours before Selection Show
Indiana could have lost the No. 1 overall seed this weekend - and in the process, its comfortable road to the Final Four.

The Hoosiers not only fell from the top slot in the field in this projection, they also tumbled out of the Midwest regional. The top spot there (and overall) belongs to a Louisville team with top-six finishes in the RPI and strength of schedule, a 10-4 mark against the top 50 and a 14-4 record away from home.

Another No. 1 seed should be Duke, a team whose non-conference work and an obvious injury issue (Ryan Kelly) that's since been resolved more than makes up for an early exit in the ACC tournament.

The nod for the final No. 1 seed goes to Kansas. Yes, the Jayhawks had one dreadful day at Texas Christian. They also have 13 wins against the top 50 (most in the field) and 15 top-100 triumphs (tied for second in the field). That trumps Gonzaga, which owns 11 top-100 victories and possesses a weaker overall and non-conference strength of schedule.

The net result for Gonzaga wouldn't be substantially different. The Bulldogs should still wind up in Salt Lake City the opening weekend of the tournament, should still play in the West regional and should still be a fine candidate to reach the Final Four. But as the regular season comes to a close, Louisville, Duke, Indiana and Kansas stand as the teams with the deepest résumés over a full 32 to 34 games.


Last four in: Mississippi, Middle Tennessee, La Salle, Saint Mary's

First four out: Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts

Next four out: Kentucky, Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Charlotte

Conference call: Big East (8), Big Ten (7), Atlantic 10 (5), Big 12 (5), Mountain West (5), Pac-12 (5), Atlantic Coast (4), Missouri Valley (2), Southeastern (3), Sun Belt (2), West Coast (2)

Moving in: Albany, Mississippi, North Carolina A&T, Northwestern State

Moving out: Massachusetts, Morgan State, Stephen F. Austin, Vermont



At Lexington, Ky.
















(1) BIG EAST/Louisville vs. (16) NORTHEAST/Long Island-MID-EASTERN/North Carolina A&T

(8) CONFERENCE USA/Memphis vs. (9) MISSOURI VALLEY/Creighton

At Kansas City, Mo.

(4) Kansas State vs. (13) MID-AMERICAN/Akron

(5) Wisconsin vs. (12) Boise State

At Dayton, Ohio

(3) BIG TEN/Ohio State vs. (14) SOUTHLAND/Northwestern State

(6) UNLV vs. (11) La Salle/Middle Tennessee

At Lexington, Ky.

(2) ATLANTIC COAST/Miami vs. (15) IVY/Harvard

(7) Missouri vs. (10) Cincinnati


At Philadelphia

(1) Duke vs. (16) SOUTHWESTERN/Southern

(8) lllinois vs. (9) Oklahoma

At San Jose, Calif.

(4) Marquette vs. (13) WESTERN ATHLETIC/New Mexico State

(5) UCLA vs. (12) PATRIOT/Bucknell

At Auburn Hills, Mich.

(3) Michigan State vs. (14) BIG SKY/Montana

(6) Butler vs. (11) Mississippi/Saint Mary's

At Salt Lake City

(2) MOUNTAIN WEST/New Mexico vs. (15) BIG WEST/Pacific

(7) Notre Dame vs. (10) Colorado


At Dayton, Ohio

(1) Indiana vs. (16) COLONIAL/James Madison-BIG SOUTH/Liberty

(8) N.C. State vs. (9) Colorado State

At Austin, Texas

(4) Syracuse vs. (13) SOUTHERN/Davidson

(5) Oklahoma State vs. (12) OHIO VALLEY/Belmont

At Austin, Texas

(3) SOUTHEASTERN/Florida vs. (14) ATLANTIC SUN/Florida Gulf Coast

(6) Virginia Commonwealth vs. (11) Iowa State

At Philadelphia

(2) Georgetown vs. (15) METRO ATLANTIC/Iona

(7) PAC-12/Oregon vs. (10) Wichita State


At Kansas City, Mo.

(1) BIG 12/Kansas vs. (16) SUN BELT/Western Kentucky

(8) San Diego State vs. (9) Minnesota

At San Jose, Calif.

(4) Arizona vs. (13) SUMMIT/South Dakota State

(5) ATLANTIC 10/Saint Louis vs. (12) Villanova

At Auburn Hills, Mich.

(3) Michigan vs. (14) HORIZON/Valparaiso

(6) Pittsburgh vs. (11) California

At Salt Lake City

(2) WEST COAST/Gonzaga vs. (15) AMERICA EAST/Albany

(7) North Carolina vs. (10) Temple

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