It’s championship week! A handful of mid-major bids have already been punched and before long, we’ll know the entire NCAA Tournament field.

So let’s take a look at how the bracket is shaping up entering Tuesday’s slate. The bracket holds 32 automatic bids for conference champions (noted below with italics), and the remaining 36 are at-large selections.

Teams are evaluated by how they have performed to this point in the season without projecting how they will perform the rest of championship week.

For conference tournaments that have not yet ended, I am using the highest remaining seed as the automatic qualifier. Congratulations to Jacksonville State (OVC), Winthrop (Big South), Florida Gulf Coast (A-Sun), East Tennessee State (SoCon), UNC Wilmington (CAA) and Iona (MAAC) on earning auto berths.

Here’s the full field of 68 through results of March 7 with some notes on the bracket below.

EAST
MIDWEST
Buffalo
1
Villanova
1 Kansas
Tulsa
16
UC Irvine/Mount St. Mary’s
16
Jacksonville State
8 Virginia Tech 8 South Carolina
9 Northwestern 9 Michigan
Buffalo
5 Notre Dame 5 Saint Mary’s
Greenville
12 Vermont 12 UNC Wilmington
4 West  Virginia 4 Duke
13
Princeton
13
Winthrop
Indianapolis
6 Maryland 6 SMU
Orlando
11 USC 11 Syracuse/Providence
3 Louisville 3 Florida
14
East Tennessee State
14
Florida Gulf Coast
Indianapolis
7 Miami 7 Iowa State
Sacramento
10 Michigan State 10 Wichita State
2 Kentucky 2 UCLA
15
Iona
15
Nebraska Omaha
WEST
SOUTH
Salt Lake City
1 Gonzaga 1 North Carolina
Greenville
16
NC Central
16
Texas Southern/New Orleans
8 Oklahoma State 8 VCU
9 Marquette 9 Seton Hall
Orlando
5 Cincinnati 5 Virginia
Milwaukee
12 Nevada 12 Vanderbilt/Illinois State
4 Florida State 4 Purdue
13 UT Arlington 13
Bucknell
Milwaukee
6 Minnesota 6 Creighton
Salt Lake City
11 Wake Forest 11 Middle Tennessee
3 Butler 3 Arizona
14
Akron
14
Bakersfield
Sacramento
7 Dayton 7 Wisconsin
Tulsa
10 Xavier 10 Arkansas
2 Oregon 2 Baylor
15
North Dakota
15
Northern Kentucky

Last four in: Syracuse, Providence, Vanderbilt, Illinois State

In whispering distance: Kansas State, Rhode Island, Iowa

In talking distance: Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana

In shouting distance: Houston, Cal, Georgia

Bracket notes:

** Welcome to The Dance, Jacksonville State. The Gamecocks locked up their first bid by winning the OVC. Other first-timers in today’s field are Northwestern (9 seed, East), Nebraska Omaha (15 seed, Midwest), North Dakota (15 seed, West) and Northern Kentucky (15 seed, South). Northern Kentucky and Nebraska Omaha can secure their spots in championship games Tuesday night.

** The race for the overall No. 1 seed is getting mighty close between Villanova and Kansas. I’m still giving ‘Nova a slight edge as the Wildcats have one more RPI Top 50 win and no loss as bad as Kansas’ loss to Indiana. But there’s no question Kansas has better wins. The Jayhawks swept Baylor and also have road/neutral wins against Kentucky and Duke. All four of those wins are better than Villanova’s best, by the RPI.

** I think Gonzaga will fall off the top seed line if North Carolina wins the ACC Tournament and one of Oregon, Arizona and UCLA wins the Pac-12. Kenpom.com gives that about a 22 percent chance of happening. The topic becomes a moot point if the Zags fall to Saint Mary’s in Tuesday night’s WCC championship game.

** Illinois State (12 seed, South) is my last team in the field for now, but I doubt we’ll see the Redbirds there on Selection Sunday. In all likelihood, at least one of Kansas State, Rhode Island or Iowa will do enough during championship week to take Illinois State’s spot.

** The Big 12, generally considered the nation’s best conference top to bottom, is down to five bids as Vanderbilt’s big win over Florida knocked Kansas State to the first team out. TCU and Texas Tech have also fallen off the bubble after struggling a ton during the second half of the conference season. If Kansas State can beat Baylor in the Big 12 quarterfinals, it will stay in the running for a bid. If the Wildcats lose, they’re almost certainly heading to the NIT.

** This is the first time since mid-December that I’ve had a Big Ten team as a top-four seed. Back then, it was Indiana, who is currently my sixth team out. Now, it’s Purdue (4 seed, South). The Boilermakers got a solid road win at Northwestern to push past Virginia and Cincinnati, and they’ll likely need at least one Big Ten Tournament win to remain a No. 4 seed or better. Being a top-four seed gives you geographic advantage in the first and second rounds.

Bids by conference:

ACC — 10
Big East — 7
Big Ten — 7
Big 12 — 5
SEC — 5
Pac-12 — 4
A10 — 2
AAC — 2
MVC — 2
WCC — 2

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a senior at Northwestern University studying journalism. He has previously worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. If he's not watching sports, he's probably listening to and/or making music. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.