The four No. 1 seeds are the same as they were on Friday, despite Kentucky’s loss at Tennessee. But once again, the real action is down by the cut line.
- Auto bid holders in this section are noted by the conference names in parentheses.
- Arrows indicate movement up or down the seed list (down to the spot on the seed list). This is relative to Friday’s bubble post.
- New entrants are marked with an asterisk.
- For at-large candidates only, the numbers in parentheses after the team’s name are as follows: record vs. D1 opposition/record in Group 1 and Group 2 games/record in Group 1 games only. Overall records and NET data reflect games played through Saturday, March 2. I pulled the quality win info from WarrenNolan.com’s selection sheets.
No. 1 Seeds
(↑1) Virginia Cavaliers (ACC) (26-2/14/9) – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Columbus 1
(2) Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCC) (29-2/12/4) – ANAHEIM – Salt Lake City 1
(3) Duke Blue Devils (25-4/14/8) – LOUISVILLE – Columbia 1
(4) Kentucky Wildcats (24-5/14/9) – KANSAS CITY – Columbus 2
While the top three teams on the seed list all won on Saturday, Kentucky got blown out in its rematch with Tennessee. Yet the Wildcats still remain on the top line. So what gives? Well, UK’s eight wins over teams in the NET top 25 give them an advantage over both the Vols (who have just three) and UNC (six).
No. 2 Seeds
(5) North Carolina Tar Heels (24-5/14/8) – KANSAS CITY – Columbia 2
(↑6) Tennessee Volunteers (25-3/12/7) – LOUISVILLE – Jacksonville 1
(↑7) Michigan Wolverines (25-4/16/7) – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Des Moines 1
(↓8) Michigan State Spartans (23-6/14/10) – ANAHEIM – Des Moines 2
Tennessee’s win didn’t even get them to the top spot on line No. 2, which still goes to North Carolina, thanks to their quality win total. But the Volunteers do get their favored spot in the South regional as a result of this ranking. Michigan State remains a two despite being swept by Indiana. Seven Quad 1 road wins will have that effect. However, I did put the Spartans behind Michigan, despite their head-to-head win over the Wolverines. John Beilein’s team doesn’t have as many questionable losses as Tom Izzo’s
No. 3 Seeds
(↑9) LSU Tigers (SEC) (24-5/16/9) – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tulsa 1
(↑10) Kansas Jayhawks (22-7/15/10) – KANSAS CITY – Tulsa 2
(↑11) Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten) (22-7/15/7) – LOUISVILLE – Jacksonville 2
(↓12) Houston Cougars (American) (27-2/13/4) – ANAHEIM – Salt Lake City 2
But there’s another Big Ten team in the race for a No. 2 seed, at a minimum, and that’s Purdue. The Boilermakers dominated Ohio State Saturday, 86-51, to shake off some recent poor performances. Meanwhile, LSU and Kansas picked up close road wins over Alabama and Oklahoma State, respectively, to move up slightly. Houston, on the other hand, fell to the edge of the three line, as the Cougars dropped their second game of the season—to visiting UCF.
No. 4 Seeds
(13) Texas Tech Red Raiders (24-5/14/5) – LOUISVILLE – San José 1
(14) Marquette Golden Eagles (Big East) (23-5/14/9) – KANSAS CITY – Hartford 1
(15) Virginia Tech Hokies (22-6/10/4) – ANAHEIM – Hartford 2
(↑16) Kansas State Wildcats (Big 12) (22-7/11/6) – WASHINGTON, D.C. – San José 2
The Big 12’s co-leaders find themselves on line No. 4 this morning, as Kansas State replaces Florida State as the final protected seed for the day. The Wildcats knocked Baylor out of the league title race, 66-60, and will next face the TCU team Texas Tech handled in Fort Worth. Marquette will be in action this afternoon against Creighton, while Virginia Tech is idle until a Tuesday trip to Tallahassee. Even with the ‘Noles drop, that one will have an effect on this chase.
No. 5 Seeds
Florida State and Wisconsin both survived home games on Saturday, with N.C. State taking the Seminoles down to the wire in Tallahassee and pesky Penn State nearly knocking the Badgers off in Madison. Nevada and Mississippi State drop following road losses to Utah State and Auburn, respectively. Those results significantly boosted the victors’ at-large hopes. Villanova, winners over Butler in Philadelphia, and Maryland, who visits Michigan this afternoon, replace them in the top 20.
No. 6 Seeds
Curiously, Nevada’s loss in Logan pushed Utah State to 30th in the NET, so the Wolf Pack finally have a Quad 1 win on their profile. Still, their protected seed prospects are now gone. I would keep an eye on Cincinnati in that race, as the Bearcats now share the American lead with Houston. The two meet in Cincy next Sunday.
Wofford, which completed a perfect 18-0 SoCon season, rises to the six line partially as a result of their excellence in an improved league and partially because of the many, many failings of others.
No. 7 Seeds
Iowa and Iowa State are two of the more perplexing teams in the country and both illustrated why on Saturday. The Hawkeyes got blown out by Rutgers at home, 86-72, in the first of two games head coach Fran McCaffery will miss due to the suspension he earned after his actions post-Ohio State. As for the Cyclones, they helped 13-loss Texas’ at-large case, as the Longhorns drubbed them, 86-69, in Austin.
Atlantic 10 co-champ (at a minimum) VCU rises to line No. 7 after a close win over archrival Richmond, as it wasn’t a great day for the teams around them.
No. 8 Seeds
Auburn’s win over Mississippi State shored up the Tigers’ profile, even if it still features only two Quad 1 wins. As for Ole Miss, a one-point loss at Arkansas wasn’t too damaging. Syracuse jumps up from line nine after dominating Wake Forest in Winston-Salem—the Orange will be able to virtually lock up a bid with a win over Virginia at the Carrier Dome on Monday.
No. 9 Seeds
UCF’s win in Houston seriously boosted the Knights’ fortunes, and losses by Florida and Ohio State resulted in Johnny Dawkins’ team earning a nice seeding boost. Oklahoma, meanwhile, took care of West Virginia, 92-80, to earn a slight improvement in its seeding.
No. 10 Seeds
No. 11 Seeds
With its win over Nevada, Utah State moved a half-game up on the Wolf Pack in the Mountain West race as a result. So, the Aggies are not only in today’s field, they’re in as the league leader. Texas earned a little breathing room by defeating Iowa State, but both Florida and Ohio State tumbled after losses. The Gators’ home defeat to Georgia was particularly costly as it was their second that falls under Quad 3. At least the Buckeyes fell to a protected seed, even if it was in blowout fashion.
Saturday’s only winner on the 11 line was Belmont, who wrapped up the top seed in the OVC Tournament with an 84-66 win at Southeast Missouri State. The Bruins will have to win just to games in Evansville to win the conference’s automatic bid, but neither potential semifinal opponent Austin Peay or possible final foes Murray State and Jacksonville State (who beat Rick Byrd’s team twice) will make things easy.
No. 12 Seeds
(45) Lipscomb Bisons (ASUN) (21-6/3/2)
(↓46) Arizona State Sun Devils (19-9/9/3)
(47 – First Four) Minnesota Golden Gophers (18-11/9/2)
(↑48 – First Four) Clemson Tigers (17-12/5/1)
(*49 – First Four) Temple Owls (20-8/6/1)
(↓50 – First Four) Alabama Crimson Tide (17-12/8/2)
Clemson remains despite an 81-79 home loss to UNC that the Tigers might very well regret on Selection Sunday. Temple jumps in, but will drop out again (maybe for good) if they lose to Tulane at home today. Alabama, the last team in, also missed a golden opportunity when LSU escaped Tuscaloosa with a win.
First Four Out (NIT No. 1 Seeds)
Next Four Out
Seton Hall drops out following a double OT loss to Georgetown. While the Hoyas are knocking on the door, their NET ranking of 72nd could give the Committee. Arizona State is currently the lowest-ranked at-large by that metric, at 69th. However, the Sun Devils have two top 25 non-conference wins, while the Hoyas’ best non-league result came against 62nd-ranked Liberty. The Flames are among this octet, but they will likely need to make their conference final at a minimum to earn a bid, and it’s a similar story for Furman and Murray State.
Indiana is back from the dead, thanks to a completed sweep of Michigan State. The Hoosiers may have 14 losses, but they also have five wins over NET top 25 teams. And since quality wins seem to matter to the Committee more than anything else, here they are. Again, keep an eye on Oregon, which visits Washington next week to close out Pac-12 play. The Ducks will still likely need to win the Pac-12 Tournament, but they’re still very much in the at-large picture thanks to earlier wins over Syracuse and Arizona State.
No. 13 Seeds
No. 14 Seeds
No. 15 Seeds
No. 16 Seeds
(↑63) Sam Houston State Bearkats (Southland)
(*64) Campbell Fighting Camels (Big South)
(↑65 – First Four) Iona Gaels (MAAC)
(↓66 – First Four) Prairie View A&M Panthers (SWAC)
(↓67 – First Four) Norfolk State Spartans (MEAC)
(↓68 – First Four) St. Francis (Pa.) Red Flash (NEC)
Of the final 18 teams in the field, New Mexico State, Old Dominion, Vermont, Hofstra, UC Irvine, South Dakota State, Loyola Chicago, Wright State, Colgate, Sam Houston State, Campbell, and St. Francis (Pa.) have all secured the top seeds in their conference tournaments.
Conference Ranking With Seeds
Note: Auto bid holders are denoted by asterisks.
ACC (9): 1. Virginia*, 1. Duke, 2. North Carolina, 4. Virginia Tech, 5. Florida State, 8. Syracuse, 9. Louisville, 11. N.C. State, 12. Clemson (First Four)
Big 12 (8): 3. Kansas, 4. Texas Tech, 4. Kansas State*, 7. Iowa State, 8. Baylor, 9. Oklahoma, 10. Texas, 11. TCU
Big Ten (8): 2. Michigan, 2. Michigan State, 3. Purdue*, 5. Wisconsin, 5. Maryland, 7. Iowa, 10. Ohio State, 12. Minnesota
SEC (8): 1. Kentucky, 2. Tennessee, 3. LSU*, 6. Mississippi State, 8. Auburn, 8. Ole Miss, 11. Florida, 12. Alabama (First Four)
American Athletic (4): 3. Houston*, 6. Cincinnati, 9. UCF, 12. Temple (First Four)
Big East (3): 4. Marquette*, 5. Villanova, 10. St. John’s
MW (2): 6. Nevada, 10. Utah State*
Pac-12 (2): 9. Washington*, 12. Arizona State (First Four)
Auto Bid Selection Procedures
If a team has already clinched the top seed in its conference tournament, it will be the league rep here until eliminated in said event. For every other league, I’m still using each conference’s tiebreaker procedures to determine auto bid holders.