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How will 2012 NCAA tourney look? Here's an early look at the field


"We have a season-preview indicator, which takes into account recent history, and we elminate the seniors that are leaving and players who have declared for the draft, or are projected to be lottery picks" says Statsheet's Joe Procopio. "We use several sources to rank the top recruits for the upcoming season and look at coaching changes and conference changes, etc.

All that is mixed together in a mathematical formula to determine if a team is projected to be up or down from the previous season. Based on the current numbers, Statsheet projects Kentucky as the overall No. 1 seed in next year's tournament.

That's even though standout freshman guard Brandon Knight is projected to declare for the draft. The Wildcats, however, have four McDonald's All-Americans, including blue-chip forward Michael Gilchrist, due to report next season.

UK is predicted to be the No. 1 seed in the Southeast Regional. The other top seeds are projected to be Kansas (Southwest), North Carolina (West), especially if freshman forward Harrison Barnes returns, and Ohio State (East). Procopio says Statsheet is relying for now on the word of Buckeyes All-American forward Jared Sullinger that he will return to college.

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