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March Madness Top Seeds Up for Grabs

With March Madness right around the corner, it’s time to start filling out your brackets. Teams across the country are in the final stage of their conference championships. They’re seeking entrance to the most famous stage in college basketball and a chance at becoming national champions.

The teams that win their conference tournaments earn themselves an automatic spot in tournament as number one seeds. Top seeded teams get an advantage in that they play closer to home, giving them the crucial x-factor of having more fans in the audience, and in their opposition. Top seeded teams play against the bottom teams in the opening rounds, which helps them out on their way to the later stages of the tournament.

As of now, experts are predicting Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina and Gonzaga to claim the number one seeds. However, the unpredictability of college basketball could see a few other teams dethrone the favorites and creep into the number one spots. Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller outlined a few teams that could shake things up a bit. “Any one of Oregon, Arizona or UCLA could get up there by winning the Pac-12 tournament. Baylor would look great with a deep run in the Big 12 tourney. Either Florida or Kentucky would have great resumes by winning the SEC tournament. And in the ACC, Louisville, Florida State, Duke, Virginia and perhaps even Notre Dame could still play its way into a No. 1 seed,” Miller said.

The selection committee will have quite a task on their hand in determining which teams will have a shot. The difficulty isn’t only in picking the teams, but also the matchup. Teams’ performance in the regular season carries them into the tournament, but it is no guarantee of their progress in the tournament. There have been top seeded teams in the past who have lost out in the opening rounds, and there have also been underdog teams who have made it into the later rounds into the tournament. This can be seen with Florida Gulf Coast’s historic run in 2013, where their 15th seeded team went all the way to the Sweet 16, defeating Georgetown and San Diego State along the way. Their tournament run was unprecedented and showcases the magic of March Madness basketball.

Going into this year’s tournament, the projected top seeded teams are sure to make a significant impact. The AP Top 25 Poll currently has Kansas at the top spot, with Villanova, UCLA and Gonzaga following behind. The ACC is projected to have the most teams in the tournament, and Miller’s mention of Louisville, Florida State, Duke, Virginia and Notre Dame as viable options reflects this. The Big East is another conference expected to have a number of teams in the tournament—with teams like Villanova, Butler, Marquette and more.

March Madness is set to begin on Tuesday, March 14. The selection committee will have teams picked following the conference championship week, and fans can finally get an idea of how to shape their brackets. Could this tournament see another bottom-seeded team advance? Will there be another 3-pt buzzer beater to win the whole tournament? Fans and analysts alike are excited for the tournament to start, where these projections will be put to the test. For those looking for a little more engagement with the tournament, you can place college basketball bets legally on your favorite teams to win throughout or even bet on a team to win the whole thing outright.