Another wild week in college hoops, means that I’ve must switch up my NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Seeds. As always, the ranking next to each team is from the AP Poll. Check it out!
March Madness Top Seeds February Week 4 Recap Per Region
NCAA Men’s Tournament Top 1 Seeds
#1 Kansas – Midwest Region
The Jayhawks have won 6 games in a row since their last loss, 89 to 92 in overtime to Iowa State on Feb. 4. Last week, the Jayhawks were fantastic when taking down TCU 87 to 68 as a -12 favorite on Feb. 22, and beating Texas 77 to 67 as a -8.5 favorite on the road on Feb. 25.
Rock Chalk has the Midwest Region number 1 seed locked up. If they win their last 2 games, it won’t matter what happens in the Big 12 Tournament. The Jayhawks should be dancing as a 1 come March Madness.
#2 Villanova-East Region
I think Villanova is another team that has a 1-seed locked up. The Wildcats lost 66 to 74 to Baylor on Feb. 22. But, they bounced back from the loss this past Saturday with a terrific 79 to 63 win over Creighton. Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, Eric Paschall, and Mikal Bridges all scored in double-figures versus Creighton. Only Jalen Brunson from the starting five missed scoring in double-figures. Brunson only had 9 points.
Villanova’s game versus Georgetown on March 4 is the key. If Nova puts a beat down on their biggest rival, it won’t matter what happens in the Big East Tournament. The Wildcats will be the 1-seed in the East.
#3 UCLA-West Region
UCLA doesn’t have a lock on the West’s 1-seed just yet. The Bruins played well to upset Arizona 77 to 72 in Tucson this past Saturday. But, three teams, including Arizona and Oregon, are ranked in the Top 10. Whomever comes out on top in the Pac-12 Tournament figures to garner the 1-seed in the West. But, even then, the 1-seed isn’t assured.
Gonzaga is ranked fourth in the nation. If the Zags win out, and take home their conference tournament by beating BYU, the only team to have beaten them this season, it’s going to be hard for the Selection Committee to not give the Zags the 1 seed in the West.
UCLA must continue to play hard and win, especially in the Pac-12 Tourney, to ensure their status as a 1-seed going into March Madness.
#5 North Carolina-South Region
It could be do or die time for the Tar Heels this Saturday. A win over Duke, and the Heels probably sew up the number 1 in the South Region. A loss to Duke, and things could get hairy for the Tar Heels. Louisville is ranked eighth in the nation per the AP.
North Carolina just beat Louisville. But, if the Heels were to lose to Duke, and then make a quick exit from the ACC Tourney while the Cardinals won the ACC Tournament, it would be tough to keep Louisville from the 1-seed in the South.
NCAA Men’s Tournament Top 2 Seeds
#8 Louisville– Midwest Region
Louisville played North Carolina tough for a half this past week. But, in the second half, North Carolina broke the game open. The Cardinals lost 63 to 74. Louisville still has a chance at the 1-seed in the South. I wrote all about how under North Carolina.
The Cardinals are a decent team. But, I don’t think they’re as good as Oregon, Gonzaga, or Arizona. That’s why Louisville gets the pleasure of being in the same bracket as #1 overall ranked Kansas if I were to set the tournament brackets today.
#6 Oregon-East Region
I think Villanova versus Oregon in the Elite Eight would be a terrific match up. Oregon is all about their pro-style offense. Villanova can play any style of basketball, but the Wildcats preferred style is about pressure-zone or man-to-man defense to go along with a patient offense. Which style wins out? I’m not sure. But, I’d love to see it in the NCAA Tournament!
#4 Gonzaga -West Region
The Zags only loss this season was to BYU. Was that enough to drop the Zags from 1 to 4 and to pull the 1-seed in the West away from the Bulldogs? I think so. Gonzaga is talented, but they’ve had the softest schedule this season of any of the teams ranked in the Top 10. It’s as if UCLA or Arizona lost to ASU.
With that being written, I think the Zags deserve to play close to home. That’s why I made them the 2-seed in the West Region.
#7 Arizona-South Region
Arizona, like Oregon, deserves a 2-seed. Should the Wildcats win the Pac-12 Tournament, they’d get some love from the Selection Committee for the 1-seed in the West Region. North Carolina versus Arizona would be a classic.
NCAA Men’s Tournament Top 3 Seeds
#12 Florida–Midwest Region
Kentucky put a beat down on Florida 76 to 66 on Feb. 25. Florida has played well enough this season, I think, to garner a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament. From my perspective, Kansas, who had to go through murders’ row before even facing Villanova in the Elite Eight in last year’s NCAA Tournament, deserves an easier path to the Final Four in 2017. Florida isn’t as good as Kentucky.
#10 West Virginia-East Region
Bob Huggins’ squad always plays tough in the tournament. A possible Villanova versus West Virginia match up in the Elite Eight would be awesome to watch. Two of the best coaches in college hoops strategizing against each other? That would make for a great game.
#14 SMU-West Region
SMU could fall all the way to a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament should the Mustangs lose another game this season. This includes losing in the AAC Tournament. No matter. Even as a 6-seed, SMU would be my top pick from outside the Big 5 Conferences to win the NCAA Tournament. They’d just be my Cinderella team instead of a 2-seed pick. SMU hasn’t lost since Jan. 12. That’s a streak of 11 straight wins.
#9 Kentucky-South Region
Kentucky rides a 6-game win streak into this week. Their two games this week are versus Vanderbilt and Texas A&M. If the Wildcats were to beat Florida again for the SEC Tournament, they’d possibly jump to a 2-seed. It’s tough seeing Kentucky grabbing a 1 unless Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, and Gonzaga implode before the NCAA Tournament Field is set. That’s probably not going to happen.
NCAA Men’s Tournament Top 4 Seeds
#15 Florida State – Midwest Region
The Seminoles beat both Boston College and Clemson this past week. If the Seminoles beat Duke on Feb. 28, they should be no higher than a 4-seed in the Tournament. FSU would need to beat Duke and then upset North Carolina, Duke, and Louisville to win the ACC Tournament before obtaining anything higher than a 4-seed. It could happen, but it’s not likely.
#17 Duke-East Region
Should Duke beat Florida State, the Blue Devils could grab a 4-seed, or even a 3-seed or 2-seed if they were to win the ACC Tournament. Could the Blue Devils get a 1-seed? There’s an outside possibility. More likely, they stay relatively close to home with a 2, 3, or, in this case, a 4-seed. Duke should be a tough out for anybody.
#13 Butler-West Region
The Butler Bulldogs have hit their stride. Since losing to Providence 65 to 71 on Feb. 11, Butler has won 4 games in a row. They beat Villanova 74 to 66 on Feb. 22. If the Bulldogs were to win the Big East Tournament Championship, they’d get some love as a 3 or even 2-seed.
#16 Purdue-South Region
Purdue is the only Big Ten team I’ve got grabbing a Top 4 seed in any of the regions. I decided to put Purdue, for now, in the South where I’ve got North Carolina, Arizona, and Kentucky. It’s been a down year for the Big Ten this season. I haven’t watched a Big Ten team that can win the NCAA Tournament. I’m not even sure if there’s a Big Ten team that can get to the Elite Eight, much less the Final Four.
After saddling North Carolina with Arizona and Kentucky, I’m giving the Tar Heels a pass by possibly having to play Purdue in the Sweet 16. See? I’m not that unfair!