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Geography, bubble still the focus

Geography and the bubble remain the biggest dilemmas in the latest Bracketology update. Neither has an easy answer.

After delving into some more history and the underlying stated goals of earlier committees, it seems the commitment to the S-curve takes a distant second place to keeping teams as close to home as possible. So Oregon State, as the last team on the No. 2 line, is back in the Spokane Regional, paired with the final No. 1 seed, Maryland.

That also means the top No. 2 seed, Tennessee, is now with Connecticut, the No. 1 overall seed. That isn't exactly even at the top, but with the right mix of 3- and 4-seeds, and geography still a priority, the overall regional balance is there.

It's not ideal for some, but it accurately follows what past committees have done and honors what the NCAA has said is the hope of the individual institutions -- to enhance the experience by playing closer to home even if it means a more difficult path.

The teams near the bottom of the at-large pool continue do nothing but lose. Since Tuesday, West Virginia, TCU, NC State, Michigan, Pacific, Saint Mary's and Pittsburgh all lost. The Horned Frogs were the only team to lose to a better team. The Wolverines were blown out. The Wolfpack fell to a team outside the top 200.

Arkansas and Miami managed to win, keeping themselves in the field, but the Razorbacks and Hurricanes were essentially the only bubble teams that didn't falter. Getting to 64 continues to be a struggle.

A look at the top-16 seeds by their region:

Greensboro: South Carolina, Florida State, Arizona State, North Carolina

Oklahoma City: Notre Dame, Baylor, Iowa, Mississippi State

Albany: Connecticut, Tennessee, Duke, California

Spokane: Maryland, Oregon State, Louisville, Kentucky

Last four in:
Miami
Arkansas
TCU
San Diego

First four out:
West Virginia
Tulane
Washington State
Duquesne