Any college basketball fan’s day gets better when he sees something in bracket form. So even though preseason bracketology matters exactly not at all, it’s fun!

We released our preseason Top 25 last week, so you have a pretty good idea of who you’ll see on the top lines. But now it’s time to take a look at the whole postseason picture entering the start of the year. I used KenPom’s preseason rankings to decide conference autobids (in italics). That’s far from a foolproof method, but it’ll do for our purposes here.

So without further ado, here’s the full field of 68 with some notes and analysis on the bracketing madness below.

San Diego
1 Arizona 1 Duke
16 UC Irvine 16 NC Central/Texas Southern
8 SMU 8 Rhode Island
9 Texas 9 Utah
5 Saint Mary’s 5 Seton Hall
12 Middle Tennessee 12 Charleston
4 Notre Dame 4 Minnesota
13 Yale 13 Vermont
6 UCLA 6 Alabama
11 Missouri/Marquette 11 Wisconsin/Creighton
3 North Carolina 3 West Virginia
14 Illinois State 14 Belmont
7 Texas A&M 7 Baylor
10 Oklahoma 10 Maryland
2 Cincinnati 2 Kentucky
15 Florida Gulf Coast 15 Ohio
1 Kansas 1 Wichita State
16 Montana/St. Francis PA 16 Stephen F. Austin
8 Virginia Tech 8 Virginia
9 Oregon 9 Texas Tech
5 Miami 5 Xavier
12 Oakland 12 Bucknell
4 Purdue 4 Louisville
13 UNC Asheville 13 Georgia Southern
6 Providence 6 Gonzaga
San Diego
11 San Diego State 11 Butler
3 Florida 3 USC
14 Mercer 14 New Mexico State
7 Northwestern 7 TCU
10 Vanderbilt 10 Michigan
2 Villanova 2 Michigan State
15 Iona 15 South Dakota State

Last four in: Marquette, Wisconsin, Creighton, Missouri

Whispering distance: Georgia Tech, Iowa, St. Bonaventure, VCU

Talking distance: Arkansas, Temple, Houston, Arizona State

Shouting distance: Penn State, Nevada, Oregon State, Oklahoma State

Bracket notes:

—The FBI investigation is of course hanging over the coming season like a giant stormcloud. We’re already seeing teams being extremely cautious by suspending potentially problematic players. The biggest teams to keep an eye on regarding this are Louisville (Brian Bowen), Alabama (Collin Sexton) and Georgia Tech (Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie).

—Even when Michael Porter Jr. committed to Mizzou in March, I figured the Tigers for a NIT team. But since then, Cuonzo Martin has also gotten commitments from Jeremiah Tilmon and Jontay Porter, Michael’s 6’10” younger brother. Mizzou is young but talented enough to sneak into this year’s field.

—Funky bracketing rules didn’t cause any major changes this time around when turning the 1-68 seed list into an actual bracket, but if you’re interested, the NCAA makes its principles and procedures available here.

Bids by conference:

ACC — 7

Big 12 — 7

Big East — 7

Big Ten — 7

SEC — 6

Pac-12 — 5

AAC — 3

WCC — 2

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.