Predicting the committee’s top 16


photoshop by Andrew Schenkel

Villanova, Kansas, Gonzaga, and North Carolina are all deserving of a one seed.

For the first time in the history of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the selection committee has decided that they will reveal the current top 16 overall seeds a month before Selection Sunday. This special reveal will take place on February 11th at 12:30 p.m. on CBS and the buzz has already started around the college basketball world. With this taking place, it gives college basketball teams, and fans, a chance to see what the committee thinks of their resume thus far and where they stand nationally.

In this article, I’ll give you my opinion on who should be included in the top 16 overall seeds will be when the committee reveals them and a brief summary of each team. These ranking will be based mostly on what I have seen while following them so far this season while also taking into account the team’s RPI (a major tool used by the committee), good wins (win against solid tournament teams), and bad losses (losses against teams who they are much better than).


No. 1 Seeds:

1. Villanova Wildcats (22-2 overall, 9-2 in Big East)

RPI: 2

Good Wins: @ Purdue, vs. Notre Dame, @ Creighton, vs. Xavier, vs. Virginia

After the fantastic championship run last season, the Villanova Wildcats look like they have a pretty good shot to go into the postseason as the favorite the win it all again. Despite a last-minute shot to take down the Wildcats against Marquette, they have been the most solid team across the country and have several more shots to prove that they’re deserving of the top overall seed with games at Xavier, vs. Butler, and vs. Creighton.

Jamie Squire
Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson are ready to lead the Jayhawks to a title.

2. Kansas Jayhawks (21-3 overall, 9-2 in Big 12)

RPI: 3

Good Wins: vs. Duke, @ Kentucky, vs. Baylor

In my opinion, the Kansas Jayhawks, with Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson, are one of the most talented teams in all of college basketball. Although the Jayhawks’ long home winning streak was broken this past weekend against a talented Iowa State team, when it comes down to winning or going home during March Madness, we can all be sure that Bill Self will have his team ready.

3. Gonzaga Bulldogs (24-0 overall, 12-0 in West Coast)

RPI: 8

Good Wins: vs. Florida, vs. Arizona, vs. St. Mary’s

Yes, Gonzaga is the only undefeated team in college basketball. No, Gonzaga is not deserving of the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. I understand that the Gonzaga Bulldogs are one of the best teams in the country and I really do respect them. However, it’s tough to give them the advantage over teams such as Kansas or Villanova when they play teams that hover around an RPI rank of 200 throughout conference play. Look out for this weekend’s match-up against St. Mary’s, the only respectable team in the West Coast Conference.

North Carolina is ready to get back to the title game.

4. North Carolina Tar Heels (20-4 overall, 9-2 in ACC)

RPI: 4

Good Wins: vs. Wisconsin, vs. Florida State

After a NCAA Championship appearance last year, the North Carolina Tar Heels are quietly creeping into the title conversation once again. While being lead by two junior superstars Joel Berry II and Justin Jackson, the Tar Heels have vaulted themselves in first place in the best conference in the country and, in my opinion, a number one seed in the tournament. North Carolina has a tough schedule ahead in conference play including two match-up against their in-state rivals, the Duke Blue Devils.

No. 2 Seeds:

1. Baylor Bears (19-3 overall, 7-3 in Big 12)

RPI: 1

Good Wins: vs. Oregon, vs. Louisville, vs. Xavier,

Throughout the country, many “experts” believe that the Baylor Bears are easily one of the four teams to receive a one seed in the NCAA Tournament. However, with several close calls against teams they should be killing, I believe that the Bears will fall to a two seed come tournament time. Don’t get me wrong, Scott Drew and the Bears are a fantastic team and can easily make a run during March Madness, but I don’t think they’re deserving of a top seed this year.

2. Oregon Ducks (21-3 overall, 10-1 in PAC-12)

RPI: 11

Good Wins: vs. UCLA, vs. USC, vs. Arizona

In the next week, the college basketball world will learned a lot about the Oregon Ducks with match-ups at UCLA and at USC. The Ducks have already beat both of these teams in Eugene as well as taking down the Arizona Wildcats pretty easily this past weekend. If the Ducks can finish the week without another blemish on their record, they should be a solid two seed and could very easily move up to the one line.

3. Arizona Wildcats (21-3 overall, 10-1 in PAC-12)

RPI: 12

Good Wins: @ USC, @ UCLA

After beginning the conference schedule by rattling off ten straight wins, the Arizona Wildcats were obliterated while visiting the Oregon Ducks this past weekend. The Wildcats have a few somewhat easy games within the conference before hosting UCLA and USC back-to-back towards the end of February. Arizona has yet to suffer a bad loss this season which could help their case on Selection Sunday.

4. Louisville Cardinals (19-5 overall, 7-4 in ACC)

RPI: 5

Good Wins: vs. Purdue, vs. Kentucky, vs. Duke

First off, let it be known that the Louisville Cardinals have yet to really have the whole team available to play throughout the season. Whether it be due to injuries or suspensions, the Cardinals seem to always be missing a key guy in each game. However, they have still played pretty well throughout conference play and have a good shot to make a deep run in the postseason.

No. 3 Seeds:

1. Virginia Cavaliers (18-5 overall, 8-3 in ACC)

RPI: 14

Good Wins: @Louisville, @ Notre Dame, vs. Louisville

Although the Cavaliers just took down the team above on Monday, I still believe that Louisville would be a better team if all their parts were there. With losses to Pittsburgh (really?) and Syracuse (eh), the Virginia Cavaliers have shown that they could be a very up and down team when the post season ends which has a lot of college basketball fans wondering how good this team actually is.

Freshman Malik Monk has been a star for the Wildcats this year.

2. Kentucky Wildcats (18-5 overall, 8-2 in SEC)

RPI: 7

Good Wins: vs. North Carolina, vs. South Carolina

Well, in the past few weeks, the young Kentucky Wildcats have started to fall apart after losing three of their last four games against Tennessee, Kansas, and Florida. This team is still a team that others look to avoid, however, with young gaurds like Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox able to take over the game at any point in the season. With a limited amount of quality wins in the SEC, the Wildcats need to start blowing teams out to move up a seed line or two.

3. Florida State Seminoles (20-4 overall, 8-3 in ACC)

RPI: 6

Good Wins: vs. Florida, @ Virginia, vs. Duke, vs. Notre Dame, vs. Louisville

The Florida State Seminoles are one of the pleasant surprises in college basketball this season. With several solid wins so far this season in conference play and non-conference play, the Seminoles have shown that they can hang with the big dogs. However, a few ugly losses to Temple and Georgia Tech have also shown that this team can also underachieve at times.

4. West Virginia Mountaineers (18-5 overall, 6-4 in Big 12)

RPI: 34

Good Wins: @ Virginia, vs. Baylor, vs. Kansas

West Virginia is probably the most inconsistent team in the country this year. The Mountaineers have fantastic wins against teams such as Virginia, Baylor, and Kansas but they have also fallen to teams such as Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Temple. If this team can find some consistency in March, they can very easily beat some tough teams and make a Final Four run.

No. 4 Seeds:

1. Duke Blue Devils (18-5 overall, 6-4 in ACC)

Grayson Allen has continued to produce despite controversy

RPI: 19

Good Wins: vs. Florida, @ Notre Dame

If you have followed college basketball throughout the whole season, you know that the Duke Blue Devils may have the highest potential of any team in the country this year. Duke has yet to really find that signature win this season but in the ACC, Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen could lead the Blue Devils to some huge wins down the stretch that could improve their resume.

2. Cincinnati Bearcats (21-2 overall, 10-0 in AAC)

RPI: 15

Good Wins: vs. SMU, vs. Xavier

This whole paragraph may be a little biased (I’m a huge UC fan), but the Cincinnati Bearcats may be the least talked about team in all of college basketball. The Bearcats have soared to fourteen straight wins behind their two stellar big men in Kyle Washington and Gary Clark. For the first time under Mick Cronin, the Bearcats can actually score and if you put that together with their fantastic defense, they could be hard to beat in March.

Transfer Kyle Washington has been impressive for the Bearcats.

3. Wisconsin Badgers (20-3 overall, 9-1 in Big 10)

RPI: 17

Good Wins: @ Minnesota

No, I didn’t forget to put any Big 10 teams in the top fourteen teams. The Big 10 is having a terrible year without any star teams such as Michigan State leading them to a one or two seed. Although the Badgers are a very talented team, they just lack any quality wins with the league being so soft this season.

4. Florida Gators (18-5 overall, 8-2 in SEC)

RPI: 10

Good Wins: vs. Kentucky

Like the Badgers, the Florida Gators just don’t have much to work with in the league that they’re in, the SEC. However, the Gators stepped up big with the win at home against Kentucky but they just need to ensure that they don’t have any bad losses like the one they picked up against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Make sure you tune into CBS this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. to see where the committee thinks your team and every team stands as the race for the top seeds heat up.