Jerry Palm's latest RPI bracket projections have Syracuse coming to Buffalo for the first and second round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament as a No. 1 seed in the South Region. The Orange can't be placed in the East because the regional final will be played in the Carrier Dome, but the NCAA committee now has a "pod" system that attempts to place the better teams close to home even when they're seeded in other regions.
Palm's projections have a distinct Big East-Atlantic 10 flavor. In the other South Region game, he has Missouri playing Xavier of the A-10 in an 8-9 matchup. The other two games would be in a Midwest Region pod. West Virginia, seeded No. 2, would play Morgan State (15). The other matchup would feature Rhode Island of the A-10 as a No. 7 seed against Virginia Tech, a No. 10.
Of course, this is all speculative and a lot can change over the next month as teams jockey for position and conferences play their tournaments. But barring any unforeseen events, Buffalo fans can probably bank on getting a couple of teams from both the A-10 and Big East. The current RPIs project six teams from each conference making the field. It would be the first time the A-10 got six bids.
The Buffalo subregional will be played Friday, March 19 and Sunday, March 21.