Bracket experts offer early predictions of who could land in St. Louis for NCAA hoops tourney

Photo Credits: Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller (Christian Petersen/Getty Images), Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari (Andy Lyons/Getty Images), Auburn Head Coach Bruce Pearl (Emilee Chinn/Getty Images), Marquette Head Coach Steve Wojciechowski (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS, MO- Two months from now, the Gateway City will be consumed by March Madness, as Enterprise Center plays host to first and second-round games in the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament.

After the first semester of games which have seen team after team reach the top of the rankings heap only to lose their perch, it’s still hard to figure out who the cream of the crop is on any given night.

That hasn’t stopped prognosticators from forecasting how the field of 68 will shake out on Selection Sunday, so we have some early predictions of who could wind up playing their tournament games here. The good news is, there’s some consensus on the subject by looking at the most recent round of projections.

  • Jerry Palm of CBS has Butler, Kentucky, BYU and Akron here as 4, 5,12 and 13 seeds in the Midwest, respectively, and Louisville, Creighton, Arizona, and UC-Irvine as 2,7,10 and 15 seeds in the East.
  • An NBC Sports breakdown has Louisville, Marquette, Northern Iowa and North Texas in St. Louis as 3, 6, 11 and 14 seeds in the South, with Butler, Auburn, BYU and Wright State as the 3, 6, 11 and 14 seeds out of the Midwest.
  • ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Butler, Arizona, BYU and Murray State here as 2, 7, 10 and 15 seeds in the Midwest, with Dayton, Iowa, Northern Iowa and Wright State in St. Louis as 3,6,11 and 14 seeds respectively.

Kentucky and Louisville fans will almost always travel. Butler is only four hours away. Creighton always represented well here for Arch Madness during its Missouri Valley days. Iowa and Northern Iowa would likely bring a good crowd to watch them settle their differences if that matchup materialized. FOX2 Sports Director and Marquette University alum Martin Kilcoyne would surely enjoy seeing the Golden Eagles tip-off locally.

From a box office perspective, it will be hard to beat the field St. Louis was given in 2014 when it drew Wichita State, Kentucky, Kansas and Kansas State. The Jayhawks were upset and Kentucky defeated Wichita State in an instant classic for a spot in the Sweet 16. We’ll find out what the selection committee has in mind when the official brackets are revealed on March 15.



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