We are now in the month of March, nearing now two weeks left until the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee will release the final bracket. Right now is a good time to look at how the bracket seeding might look like if the season ended today.
As usual, it will be formatted seed by seed, looking at the at-large first, then discussing why each team is seeded where they are right now. I then will give my current first five teams out and discuss why they’re not included in the NCAA Tournament field.
After that, I will look at each projected conference champion and what seed they would get in the NCAA Tournament. Finally, I will give you what my current Bracketology would look like, if today was Selection Sunday.
Without any further introduction, let’s get into the seeding breakdown.
One Seeds: Virginia, Gonzaga, Duke, Kentucky
The one seeds remain the same, but they are in a different order after Duke lost at Virginia Tech. Right now, Virginia, is the number one overall seed, their 25-2 record and nine Quadrant one wins makes them the easy choice in this instance.
Gonzaga is my number two overall seed, as they rank number one in the NET and have a neutral court win over a healthy Duke team, which is huge reason for their placement.
The Blue Devils come in at number three overall. While their losses still will count, being without Zion Williamson for two of their four losses will be looked at — plus, putting Kentucky over them would be ignoring the fact that Duke beat them 118-84 on opening night. Speaking of Kentucky, they remain a one seed in my seed projections, but a loss at Tennessee could drop them down a line.
Two Seeds: Michigan State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan
The two seeds also remain the same as last week, although this time with a little more clarity. Michigan State with 10 Quadrant one wins is my top two seed, they will have a chance to move to the one line if Kentucky loses at Tennessee today.
North Carolina, Tennessee, and Michigan round out the two line in that order. These three teams all are pretty comfortably on the two line, minus a conference championship or a losing streak by one of those teams, they all will likely enter into the NCAA Tournament on the two line.
Three Seeds: Houston, Kansas, LSU, Purdue
The three seeds are in order Houston, Kansas, LSU, and Purdue. All four teams stand out to me as being obvious choices on the three line.
Houston is the top three seed. Their record is great and their NET ranking of four is pretty good as well; though, they only have three Quadrant one wins, comparatively all the teams above them except Gonzaga have at least seven Quadrant one wins.
Kansas may not win the Big 12 this year but 10 Quadrant one wins will help them get onto at least the three line. LSU and Purdue both have good NET rankings and at least seven Quadrant one wins, which is why both teams are there.
Four Seeds: Marquette, Mississippi State, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech
The four seeds are where things start to get a little tougher, as the majority of teams don’t stand out. Ultimately I went with Marquette and Mississippi State because both teams have nine Quadrant one wins. Texas Tech and Virginia Tech are also four seeds, both teams rank well in the NET, have good records and neither team has taken a loss, not in Quadrant one.
Five Seeds: Wisconsin, Iowa State, Florida State, Maryland
The five seeds are also tough to pick. A couple of these teams could be seeded off but I think this is pretty accurate. The top five seed is Wisconsin, who I heavily considered for the four line, as they have eight Quadrant one wins but the thing that held them back is their 19-9 record, which is considerably worse than other teams I looked at on the four line.
Iowa State is on the five line in large part due to the fact their NET ranking is high and they have Quadrant one wins. Maryland and Florida State edged out Kansas State for the last spot on the five line, due to their NET ranking and in Maryland’s case, their strength of schedule is better.
Six Seeds: Kansas State, Villanova, Iowa, Buffalo
Three of the four six seeds are pretty clear in this instance, but Buffalo is going to raise some eyebrows as they are seeded ahead of Nevada. Kansas State narrowly missed out of the five line, so they are the top six seed. Villanova and Iowa are two teams that rate well in the NET, have good records, and have four Quadrant one wins, which puts them on the six line.
Buffalo is seeded over Nevada. It was close, but the thing that gets them on the six line is that they have two Quadrant one wins, which is two more than Nevada has, although Nevada can pick up one Saturday and move ahead of Buffalo.
Seven Seeds: Nevada, Cincinnati, Wofford, Louisville
The seven seeds are where things are getting difficult, as this is where the quality resumes take a big hit. The top seven seed is Nevada, who has a ranking of 19 in the NET and a 26-2 record, but they have no Quadrant one wins, landing them on the seven line.
Wofford and Cincinnati have pretty similar resumes in all aspects. Both rating well in the NET with similar wins and records, landing on the seven line. Louisville rounds out the seven line, as their four Quadrant one wins, carry them to a seven seed.
Eight Seeds: Florida, Ole Miss, Baylor, Ohio State
The eight-line may not have any teams that can make a second-weekend run but there is a pretty clear cutoff between these teams and the nine seeds. All four of these teams rank in the Top-40 of the NET rankings, have decent records, and have at least four Quadrant one wins. These were the only teams fitting those categories, which is why these are on the eight line.
Nine Seeds: Auburn, St. John’s, Syracuse, Oklahoma
The nine seeds are among the toughest teams to seed, as a lot of the teams in this position don’t have great resumes. Auburn is the top team on this list. Their NET ranking of 23 is pretty much the only reason they are here, as they only have two Quadrant one wins at his point in the season.
St. John’s ranks 59 in the NET rankings, however, with a sweep of Marquette and a total of six Quadrant one wins, they are pretty safe. Syracuse and Oklahoma are on the nine line, as their three Quadrant one wins, combined with good strength of schedules keep them on the nine line.
Ten Seeds: TCU, Washington, NC State, VCU
The ten line is pretty clear, as there is a pretty obvious divide between the ten seeds and the rest of the teams on that are likely on the bubble. TCU has a good record, and three Quadrant one wins, which likely puts them on the ten line and it could put them on the nine-line with a couple of wins coming in.
The Huskies are coming off a tough loss at California. However, with a good record and NET ranking of 32, they should be on the ten line. NC State and VCU doesn’t have a great resume as a whole, but with a good NET ranking and good records, they end on the ten line as well.
Eleven Seeds: Alabama, Texas, UCF, Utah State
Alabama is either a 10 or an 11 seed. I put them on the 11 line thanks to their two Quadrant one wins, which could help them avoid going on the bubble. Texas has one of the weirdest resumes, as they have four wins over Top-30 teams, however, their record of 15-13 is pretty bad. They need to improve that to feel safe in the NCAA Tournament picture. UCF and Utah State both have good records; although, they a combined one Quadrant one win.
Twelve Seeds: Seton Hall, Temple, Minnesota, Arizona State
All of these twelve seeds listed above are projected to go to Dayton, which is the site of the First Four.
Seton Hall has a low NET ranking of 64, but their four Quadrant one wins puts them into the field of 68. Temple gets in with a good record, a NET ranking of 56 and the only win over Houston this season. Minnesota gets in because of their two Quadrant one wins, seven Quadrant two wins and an 18-11 record. Arizona State gets in because of their four Quadrant one wins, which is pretty good, while they may be inconsistent, someone has to get in.
First Five Out: Clemson, Indiana, Xavier, Georgetown, Nebraska
The Tigers are sticking around the bubble this year, as their NET ranking is 41. The problem is that Clemson only has one Quadrant one win, which is why they aren’t in. I’m not a huge fan of them being this close to the bubble at this point but with this awful field , I guess they have to be here.
The Hoosiers are 14-4 this season, which is a big reason they aren’t currently in my projected field of 68. The Hoosiers rank 58 in the NET, while they have five Quadrant one wins. While they aren’t in right now, if they can finish strong, they will have a good shot at an at-large bid.
The Musketeers are sneaking up into the bubble picture as they continue to rack up wins in Big East play. Right now they rank 71st in the NET with three Quadrant one wins. They still have work to do but if they continue to play like they are right now, a backdoor bid could be on the way for the Musketeers.
Similarly to Xavier, the Hoyas are a little low in the NET rankings and don’t quite have enough Quadrant one wins to get them in, but a good finish to the regular season could get them into the field of 68.
The Cornhuskers are 14-14 this season and they look like they are heading off the bubble very quickly. That said, with a NET ranking of 49 and two Quadrant one wins, they have to at least be near the bubble right now.
Projected Conference Champions
Atlantic Sun: Lipscomb, 12 seed
Ohio Valley: Belmont, 12 seed
Colonial Athletic: Hofstra, 13 seed
WAC: New Mexico State, 13 seed
IVY League: Yale, 13 seed
Conference USA: Old Dominion, 13 seed
American East: Vermont, 14 seed
The Summit League: South Dakota State, 14 seed
Big West: UC Irvine, 14 seed
Sun Belt: Texas State, 14 seed
Big Sky: Montana, 15 seed
Horizon League: Northern Kentucky, 15 seed
Big South: Radford, 15 seed
Missouri Valley: Drake, 15 seed
Patriot League: Lehigh, 16 seed
Southland: Sam Houston State, 16 seed
SWAC: Prairie View A&M, 16 seed (play-in game)
MEAC: Norfolk State, 16 seed (play-in game)
Northeast: St. Francis (PA), 16 seed (play-in game)
MAAC: Iona, 16 seed (play-in game)
|East Region (Washington DC)||West Region (Anaheim)|
|1.Virginia (Columbus)||1.Gonzaga (San Jose)|
|16.Lehigh||16.Sam Houston State|
|4.Texas Tech (Salt Lake City)||4.Virginia Tech (Salt Lake City)|
|12.Seton Hall/ Temple||12.Belmont|
|3.Purdue (Des Moines)||3.LSU (Jacksonville)|
|2.Tennessee (Jacksonville)||2.Michigan (Hartford)|
|Midwest Region (Kansas City)||South Region (Louisville)|
|1.Kentucky (Columbus)||1.Duke (Columbia)|
|16.Norfolk State/ St. Francis (PA)||16.Prairie View A&M/ Iona|
|4.Marquette (Des Moines)||4.Mississippi State (San Jose)|
|13.Hofstra||13.New Mexico State|
|5.Florida State||5.Iowa State|
|12.Lipscomb||12.Minnesota/ Arizona State|
|3.Kansas (Tulsa)||3.Houston (Tulsa)|
|14.UC Irvine||14.South Dakota State|
|2.North Carolina (Columbia)||2.Michigan State (Hartford)|
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