Bracketology: How UCLA could end up as a No. 1 seed; Bubble Watch winding down with two teams still playing


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It is the penultimate day of the season, and we have just one day until Selection Sunday. Here are some of the things I am keeping an eye on during Saturday’s busy slate. 

The battle for the final No. 1 seed comes down to Purdue vs. UCLA. The Bruins are already without Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Jalen Clark. Then, in Friday’s Pac-12 semifinal against Oregon, Adem Bona went down with an apparent shoulder injury and did not return. UCLA won comfortably anyway. 

The Bruins will face Arizona for the Pac-12 Tournament championship Saturday. A victory for the Bruins could secure a No. 1 seed, but it may still depend on what Purdue does.

The Boilermakers got by their old nemesis Rutgers on Friday and will play potential bid-stealer Ohio State in the Big Ten semifinals this afternoon. The Buckeyes are the No. 13 seed and have won three straight games to get here. Friday, they took down No. 4 seed Michigan State.

Bracketology top seeds

Check out Palm’s latest bracket, full field of 68 and all the teams on the bubble on the Bracketology hub.

Bubble teams will be closely monitoring the Conference USA final today between Florida Atlantic and UAB. The Owls are likely an at-large team win or lose, but UAB has to win to be a potential bid-stealer. At the moment, it would be Rutgers’ spot in the bracket at stake.

NCAA Tournament locks

Locks based on résumé: 28 | Automatic bids secured: 14 of 32 | At-large spots up-for-grabs: 8



Miami, Virginia, Duke

Big East


Marquette, UConn, Xavier, Creighton

Big Ten


IndianaPurdue, Michigan State, Iowa, Northwestern

Big 12


BaylorKansas, Texas, Kansas State, Iowa State, TCU



Arizona, UCLA



Alabama, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Missouri, Kentucky






Saint Mary’s, San Diego State

On the cutline

Check out all the teams on Palm’s Bubble Watch, the field of the 68 and the entire bracket on the Bracketology hub    

Bubble teams in action Saturday

All references to NCAA Tournament selection records and trends refer only to tournaments going back to 1994 with the exception of 2021. Due to shortened schedules and a relatively small number of nonconference games in 2021, those rankings were not reliable enough to be considered.

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