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The week of final exams on college campuses always seems like a good time to put together an updated Bracketology NCAA Tournament bracket because most of nonconference play is in the books. However, the downside is that the typical data I use to help create brackets is basically useless at this point in the season. 

The NET, other computer rankings and even the polls do not have enough data to be especially helpful. Some computer rankings, like, use prior season data to help fill the gap until there is enough data from the current season to stand on its own. Others, like the NET, just do the best they can with current season data. One of the five computer rankings the committee puts on its team sheets, Jeff Sagarin's, is not even available yet for this season.

So, I am giving very little credence to rankings of any sort and evaluating teams almost entirely subjectively. 

There is one exception though. As with all of my in-season brackets, I determine each league's automatic qualifier by taking the team with the fewest conference losses and using the NET as a tiebreaker. I do this because it is easy to determine. When the top seed of the conference tournament is determined, I use that, then the highest remaining seed as the tournament progresses.

When you have a highly subjective bracket like this one, there are going to be some counterintuitive selections and seedings.

For example, Creighton is in the top 10 of the major polls and the NET, but is a No. 10 seed in the updated bracket. Its best win is either at Nebraska or at home vs. Iowa – take your pick – and both of its losses (to Colorado State and UNLV) were by big margins. There is no substance to what the Bluejays have done so far. If Creighton is as good as everyone thinks, it will show eventually.

Bracketology top seeds

Check out Palm's latest bracket and full field of 68 at the Bracketology hub.

Duke takes a tumble

After starting the season as a No. 1 seed in the preseason bracket, Duke is also pretty far down as a No. 10 seed after a slow start to the season. The Blue Devils' best win and only victory away from home came at a neutral site against Michigan State. They have losses at Arkansas and at Georgia Tech. Duke has a great opportunity for a big win when it meets Baylor, a No. 2 seed, next week. The Blue Devils hope to have guard Tyrese Proctor back for that game at 

Memphis off to hot start

At the other end of the bracket, you may be surprised to see Memphis in the top 16 as a No. 4 seed. The Tigers, a  have played a lot of games away from home so far and done pretty well in them. That includes most recently a win at Texas A&M. It is one of the tougher schedules so far considering they have only played two home games. 

Michigan State falls out of bracket

One omission in the bracket is no surprise at all if you have followed the season, but it is in terms of expectations. Michigan State was fourth overall in my preseason bracket and in most polls, but has just four wins out of nine games. The Spartans have yet to recover from the season-opening loss at home to James Madison.

In fact, it has been a rough start for the Big Ten in general. Besides Purdue, a No. 1 seed, Illinois and Wisconsin have played well, but there are only five teams from the conference in the bracket, which would be well below the league's usual haul. Northwestern almost fell out entirely after a home loss to Chicago State this week. The win over Purdue is the only thing keeping the Wildcats afloat. They have yet to play a road game this season and that is hurting them also.

The start of regular bracket updates will begin in early January. By then, conference play will have started and we will find out just how good some of these teams really are.