INDIANAPOLIS — The Division I Men’s Basketball Committee unveiled its top 16 teams on the Bracket Preview Show, which aired on CBS earlier this afternoon. Alabama was voted the committee’s No. 1 seed, with Houston, Purdue, and Kansas all ranked as the No. 1 seeds. At each of the previous bracket preview shows, dating back to 2017, three of the four seeds no. 1s unveiled in February remained the top seeds in their region on Selection Sunday.
Kansas was one of those 1-seeded teams that stayed there in the effective bracket, and the Jayhawks won the national championship. They are one of five Big 12 Conference teams ranked in the top 16 on Saturday’s show, joining the No. 2 Texas and Baylor and to seeds no. 3 Iowa State and Kansas State.
“It’s been an incredible season for the league thus far, with high-quality wins for many of the teams in the conference, and that’s reflected in this presentation,” said Chris Reynolds, vice president for intercollegiate athletics at Bradley University and president of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. “While we rate these teams as independents, there’s no ignoring the fact that the Big 12 are having a great year.”
Alabama was ranked the top seed overall based largely on its 13 wins in the top two quadrants, elite predictive metrics, and a road win in Houston. While Houston went undefeated on the road and leads all schools in predictive rankings, the Crimson Tide’s head-to-head victory gave Alabama the lead.
Joining Texas (the 5th seed overall) and Baylor (7th) on the 2nd line are a pair of Pac-12 Conference schools. Arizona sits between Texas and Baylor, while UCLA is eighth. Tennessee has received strong consideration for a No. 1 seed. 2, but instead finished ninth on the seed list. Virginia is in tenth place, ahead of Iowa State and Kansas State on the third line.
Indiana leads the seeded quartet in fourth, followed by Marquette, Gonzaga and Xavier. Teams just outside the Top 16 include Creighton, Miami, Saint Mary’s and UConn.
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“This is a fun process that gets people talking about March Madness, which is just around the corner,” Reynolds said. “But a lot can change, with literally hundreds of games left in the regular season. The only thing guaranteed is that it will be a fun tournament because that’s how it is every year.”
Using its bracket principles, the committee placed the 16 teams in the four regions:
SOUTH REGION (LOUISVILLE)
1. Alabama7. Baylor10. Virginia13. Indiana
MIDWEST REGION (KANSAS CITY)
2. Houston5. Texas9. Tennessee16. Xavier
WEST REGION (LAS VEGAS)
4.Kansas6. Arizona12. Via Kansas 15. Gonzaga
EAST REGION (NEW YORK CITY)
3. Purdue8. UCLA11. Iowa St. 14. Marchetta
Selection Sunday is March 12th. The tournament begins with the Men’s First Four March 14-15 in Dayton. First and second round sites will take place March 16 and 18 in Birmingham, Des Moines, Orlando and Sacramento, and March 17 and 19 in Albany, Columbus, Denver and Greensboro. Regional action takes place in Las Vegas and New York (March 23 and 25), Kansas City and Louisville (March 24 and 26). The men’s Final Four will be played in Houston on April 1 and 3. For ticket information, visit www.ncaatickets.com.
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Joining Reynolds on the committee are Vice President Charles McClelland, the commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference; Greg Byrne, the director of athletics at Alabama; Barry Collier, director of athletics at Butler; Mark Coyle, Minnesota athletic director; Bubba Cunningham, North Carolina athletic director; Keith Gill, commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference; Dave Heeke, director of athletics at the University of Arizona; Bernadette McGlade, commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference; Martin Newton, the director of athletics at Samford; Jamie Pollard, director of athletics at Iowa State; and Tom Wistrcill, the commissioners of the Big Sky Conference.