A wild Championship Week has shaken up Bracketology reports, so who’s in and who’s out at the start of Selection Sunday action?
Selection Sunday is upon us and the state of the NCAA Tournament field is still in flux. The top of the bracket appears to be settled with a race for the final No. 1 seed still in play but there has been a ton of shuffling on the bubble since our last update on Tuesday.
There are still a few potential bid thieves in play on Sunday, including Texas A&M in the SEC and Richmond in the A-10, but earlier results have thrown the bubble half of the mix into absolute chaos. We’ll get to the bubble in a second but first let’s start at the top of the bracket.
NCAA Tournament Bracketology – The 4 No. 1 Seeds
Note: Automatic qualifier status has been conferred to teams that have won their conference tournaments or were the highest remaining seed entering Sunday’s action.
Gonzaga, Arizona, Kansas, Baylor
The top two teams in this category, Gonzaga and Arizona, have been locked in for a while. Kansas secured its spot on the top line by knocking off Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament final on Saturday, adding another nifty notch to their belt to go along with the regular-season title.
The last spot currently is in the hands of Baylor, which put together a 10-5 record against Quadrant 1 foes and has a share of the Big 12 regular-season title to its name. The issue is that the Bears lost to Oklahoma in their first Big 12 tournament game on Thursday, opening the door for Baylor to get dropped to the next line by the selection committee.
NCAA Tournament Bracketology – The 4 No. 2 Seeds
Kentucky, Tennessee, Purdue, Auburn
The 2-line is filled with SEC flavor as Kentucky, Tennessee and Auburn all have claims to this group as of right now. The Volunteers knocked out Kentucky to advance to the SEC Tournament final against Texas A&M tomorrow and a win would give Tennessee a compelling case to surpass Baylor to be the top seed in the East Region.
The separation between the rest of this line and the 3-line will be intense as the separators between teams 7-10 on the S-curve is razor-thin. Auburn is now in this group after stumbling down the stretch while Purdue can lock up a No. 2 seed by knocking off Iowa in the Big Ten title game on Sunday afternoon.
NCAA Tournament Bracketology – The 4 No. 3 Seeds
Duke, Villanova, Texas Tech, UCLA
Losing to Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament final will cost the Blue Devils a seed line but they are still more than capable of winning it all. Villanova could end up on the No. 2 line if the committee favors their resume after a Big East Tournament crown but being a No. 3 could be more beneficial if they end up playing de facto home games at the Wells Fargo Center during the second weekend by landing in the East Region.
Texas Tech’s ferocious defense helped it get to the Big 12 Tournament final and positions them well for a deep March run. The last spot in this group goes to UCLA, which played well in the Pac-12 Tournament and is a forgotten national title contender after some mid-season struggles in conference play.
NCAA Tournament Bracketology – The 4 No. 4 Seeds
Illinois, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Providence
Illinois and Wisconsin each lost their first game at the Big Ten Tournament, which will put them on the 4-line on Selection Sunday. Considering the fact that each team has a National Player of the Year candidate, it won’t be a shock to see them make noise in March.
Arkansas has been trending up for a while and did good work to land on this line in a rugged SEC. The Big East regular-season title helps Providence hold onto the final No. 4 seed but the fact they got blown out by Creighton on Friday night raises alarm bells about their potential to get upset early.