If Zion Williamson doesn’t return soon, Duke’s No. 1 seed is in peril. Plus, we have two new at-large teams and some serious shuffling near 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 Tuesday’s bracket and seed list.
- 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 Quad 1 and Quad 2 games/record in Quad 1 games only. Records reflect games played through Tuesday, March 5., while NET data reflects games played through Monday, March 4. I pulled the quality win info from WarrenNolan.com’s selection sheets.
No. 1 Seeds
(1) Virginia Cavaliers (ACC) (27-2/15/10) – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Columbus 1
(2) Gonzaga Bulldogs (WCC) (29-2/12/4) – ANAHEIM – Salt Lake City 1
(↑3) Kentucky Wildcats (25-5/15/10) – LOUISVILLE – Columbus 2
(↓4) Duke Blue Devils (26-4/14/8) – KANSAS CITY – Columbia 1
While Kentucky struggled with Ole Miss in Oxford, their performance was still more impressive than the one Zion Williamson-less Duke put on at Cameron against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, ranked 198th in the NET heading into Tuesday, a 71-70 escape that was inches from being a Quad 4 loss. Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game that Williamson should be ready for next week’s ACC Tournament, though he will likely miss Saturday’s rematch with North Carolina. And with a third meeting with the Tar Heels a distinct possibility in Charlotte, that could be a fortunate bit of timing.
For the moment, Kentucky jumps Duke in the seed list, taking the top spot in the Wildcats’ favored South regional. As for the Blue Devils, a loss to UNC on Saturday would knock them down to a 2 for sure.
No. 2 Seeds
(5) North Carolina Tar Heels (25-5/15/8) – LOUISVILLE – Columbia 2
(6) Tennessee Volunteers (26-3/13/8) – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jacksonville 1
(7) Michigan Wolverines (26-4/17/8) – KANSAS CITY – Des Moines 1
(8) Michigan State Spartans (23-6/15/10) – ANAHEIM – Des Moines 2
North Carolina, Tennessee, and Michigan State all won fairly easily on Tuesday night. Kentucky’s move to the South regional had bracketing implications for these squads, however.
No. 3 Seeds
(9) LSU Tigers (SEC) (24-5/16/9) – KANSAS CITY – Tulsa 1
(↑10) Houston Cougars (27-2/13/4) – ANAHEIM – Tulsa 2
(↓11) Kansas Jayhawks (22-8/15/10) – LOUISVILLE – Salt Lake City 2
(12) Purdue Boilermakers (Big Ten) (22-8/15/7) – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jacksonville 2
The two three seeds in action Tuesday, Kansas and Purdue, didn’t fare quite as well. The Jayhawks saw a Big 12 title streak that began all the way back in 2005 end, thanks to an 81-68 loss at Oklahoma, with that scoreline being flattering to KU. Bill Self’s team went just 3-6 in Big 12 road games this season. As for the Boilermakers, their 73-69 defeat at Minnesota might have cost them the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament and put the Golden Gophers in the NCAAs for sure.
Quad 1 win totals keep both teams here for now.
No. 4 Seeds
(13) Texas Tech Red Raiders (25-5/15/5) – KANSAS CITY – San José 1
(14) Virginia Tech Hokies (22-7/10/4) – ANAHEIM – Hartford 1
(15) Florida State Seminoles (24-6/12/6) – LOUISVILLE – Hartford 2
(16) Marquette Golden Eagles (23-6/14/9) – WASHINGTON, D.C. – San José 2
Florida State defeated Virginia Tech 73-64 after overtime in Tallahassee to earn a quarterfinal bye in the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles’ likely foe next Thursday in Charlotte? The Hokies! Leonard Hamilton’s club moves up to the four line with the win, displacing Kansas State. Based on this seed list, FSU and Tech would see each other yet again in Hartford, though they wouldn’t meet as they anchor separate pods in different regions.
No. 5 Seeds
No. 6 Seeds
Mississippi State fell a single spot after a 71-54 defeat at Tennessee, though that resulted in a seed drop, with Maryland replacing the Bulldogs on the five line. Nevada’s 90-79 victory at Air Force kept them both in the Mountain West title hunt and on line six.
No. 7 Seeds
Both Buffalo and VCU clinched outright regular-season conference titles last night, so they’ll be in the bracket as their respective league’s auto bid holders from here until they’re knocked out. Look for both to be in the field in any case.
No. 8 Seeds
No. 9 Seeds
Oklahoma’s win over Kansas combined with that Ole Miss home loss to Kentucky resulted in those two teams basically swapping spots.
No. 10 Seeds
Minnesota’s win over Purdue gave them real breathing room, considering the Golden Gophers held the final First Round bye heading into Tuesday’s action.
No. 11 Seeds
If quality wins matter as much as the Committee has indicated in the past, Texas might be underseeded here. And it’s a similar story for St. John’s.
No. 12 Seeds
(↓45) Arizona State Sun Devils (20-9/10/3)
(↓46) TCU Horned Frogs (18-12/7/2)
(↓47 – First Four) N.C. State Wolfpack (20-9/7/2)
(*48 – First Four) Seton Hall Pirates (16-12/10/4)
(*49 – First Four) Indiana Hoosiers (15-14/7/6)
(↓50 – First Four) Temple Owls (21-8/6/1)
(50 – First Four)
The “quality wins” factor led me to seriously re-evaluating the profiles of Arizona State, TCU, and N.C. State. The Wolfpack, with just one Quad 1 win over an actual at-large threat and three such wins overall, are in a bit of trouble when this is considered more closely.
And wins over Kentucky and Maryland boost Seton Hall’s placement a bit with their return as a replacement for Alabama. The Crimson Tide’s final minute in their loss to Auburn might just be something they regret on Selection Sunday. Indiana is also back, again due to six Quad 1 wins. Clemson drops out, while Temple remains, simply because the Owls have a better record in Quad 1 and 2 games (6-7 vs. 5-12) while having a better top NET win than the Tigers (Houston over Virginia Tech).
First Four Out (NIT No. 1 Seeds)
Next Four Out
Butler replaces the Xavier Musketeers (16-14/9/3) following the Bulldogs’ 71-66 home win on Tuesday night. The Musketeers really needed to win out to have a real shot, so now their Big East Tournament performance will dictate their fate.
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)
The final 18 teams are unchanged, but don’t expect that stability to last much longer with the Championship Fortnight just beginning.
Conference Ranking With Seeds
Note: Auto bid holders are denoted by asterisks.
Big Ten (9): 2. Michigan, 2. Michigan State*, 3. Purdue, 5. Wisconsin, 5. Maryland, 7. Iowa, 10. Ohio State, 10. Minnesota, 12. Indiana (First Four)
ACC (8): 1. Virginia*, 1. Duke, 2. North Carolina, 4. Virginia Tech, 4. Florida State, 9. Louisville, 9. Syracuse, 12. N.C. State (First Four)
Big 12 (8): 3. Kansas, 4. Texas Tech, 5. Kansas State*, 6. Iowa State, 8. Baylor, 8. Oklahoma, 11. Texas, 12. TCU
SEC (7): 1. Kentucky, 2. Tennessee, 3. LSU*, 6. Mississippi State, 8. Auburn, 9. Ole Miss, 10. Florida
American Athletic (4): 3. Houston*, 6. Cincinnati, 9. UCF, 12. Temple (First Four)
Big East (4): 4. Marquette, 5. Villanova*, 11. St. John’s, 12. Seton Hall (First Four)
MW (2): 6. Nevada, 10. Utah State*
Pac-12 (2): 8. Washington*, 11. Arizona State
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.