After the most unusual NCAA tournament in history, a return to the version of March Madness fans have known and loved is back on the schedule for 2021-22. A standard selection process, a multiple-city event and the return of fans, bands and cheerleaders are among the elements college basketball fans will welcome back in March. ESPN will have you covered all the way through Selection Sunday with the most recent men’s NCAA tournament bracket projections, including the teams on the bubble and those best positioned to cut down the nets in New Orleans on April 4.
Memphis makes the biggest move since our August update, adding star freshman Emoni Bates to a loaded roster and climbing all the way to a No. 2 seed. It remains to be seen whether the Tigers can live up to the hype: Penny Hardaway has recruited like a Final Four coach but has yet to make the NCAA tournament. His team appears to be a lock for 2022, but the list of serious contenders headed for New Orleans is deep and unpredictable. As for teams on the bubble, Mississippi State slides out of the projected at-large field and Iowa returns to the “Last Four In” group.