When the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee released a bracket preview of the 2023 NCAA Tournament’s top 16 teams on Feb. 18 it was Alabama, Houston, Purdue and Kansas penciled in as No. 1 seeds. While all four teams still have compelling cases for inclusion in the top seed line entering Selection Sunday, some others have joined the debate as well.
Marquette sits 28-6 after sweeping the Big East Tournament and regular-season titles, and UCLA at 29-5 has been one of the hottest teams in the country over the past three months. Also, Texas (26-8) upended Kansas (17-7) in the Big 12 Tournament title game on Saturday to make its own case for a No. 1 seed after finishing behind the Jayhawks in the Big 12 regular-season standings. Still, KU has 17 Quadrant 1 victorious, a total unmatched nationally.
So, who will end up on the No. 1 line when the 2023 March Madness bracket is revealed? We will find out when the full field of 68 will be revealed Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on the 2022 NCAA Tournament Selection Show live on CBS.
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Keep on reading for CBS Sports Bracketology expert Jerry Palm’s top seed projections along with a breakdown of how our college basketball experts would vote if they were members of the committee.
NCAA Tournament Bracketology projection
Here’s how Palm has projected the top four seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Check out his complete Bracketology here.
NCAA Tournament expert picks
Here’s how our college basketball staff would vote if they were on the selection committee.
Gary Parrish: Kansas is just 2-2 in its past four games but is still likely to be the No. 1 overall seed thanks to a nation-best 17 Quadrant 1 wins. After that, the next three No. 1 seeds are easy to identify. Sure, Texas and Marquette have reasonable cases, but the other three No. 1 seeds will be the AAC champion (Houston), the SEC champion (Alabama) and the Big Ten champion (Purdue). The only school that had a chance to crack that group heading into the weekend was UCLA, but its chances dissipated when the Bruins lost to Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game late Saturday.
Matt Norlander: I am a passionate advocate for the-losses-have-to-matter philosophy. Kansas has the most losses of any team in consideration for a No. 1 seed. And here I am putting the Jayhawks on top. The reason is obvious: KU’s 17 Q1 victories, an NCAA record. Bill Self’s team has 21 total Q1+Q2 wins, which is three ahead of Purdue heading into Sunday. The totality of Kansas’ resume is basically irrefutable at this point. Houston is going to get a No. 1 seed the old-fashioned way: by having the best winning percentage/record on the board. The Cougars are the only two-loss team in college basketball entering Sunday. Purdue gets the slight edge over Texas for the last No. 1 seed, this before the Big Ten Tournament title game, on account of the Boilermakers ranking ahead of the Longhorns in four of the six team sheet metrics. That’s basically it. If Purdue falls to Penn State, I would put UT as the last No. 1 and drop to Purdue fifth overall.
Kyle Boone: Kansas and Alabama will be No. 1 seeds and one of them will be the No. 1 overall seed. That I’m certain about. The forecast gets increasingly cloudy beyond them. Given Purdue’s resume — a Big Ten title, nine Quadrant 1 wins, seven weeks spent as No. 1 — it should get the nod as the third. The fourth No. 1 seed has to come down to the two Texas schools in current Big 12 member and soon-to-be SEC member Texas and current AAC member and soon-to-be Big 12 member Houston. I’ll give Texas the nod as the final No. 1 seed given its win over Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament title game moved it to 14 Q1 wins on the season — second-most in the sport and double Houston’s total. The Cougars have dominated all season and done almost as well as anyone could with their schedule and within their conference, but if the committee factors in Texas’ standing in the toughest league in college basketball this season, the resumes likely give the Longhorns a slight nod.
David Cobb: UCLA’s loss in the Pac-12 Tournament title game simplified this decision for the committee. Had these teams struggled in their conference tournaments, perhaps a case for the Bruins and Marquette could have been made as No. 1 seeds. But most metrics point toward these four standing apart from the pack. Though Kansas played poorly in the Big 12 Tournament title game, the Jayhawks amassed enough cushion during the Big 12 regular season title run to still land as the No. 1 overall seed.
Chip Patterson: The decision for the four teams being assigned to the one line seems fairly straightforward and noncontroversial, as I imagine the real debate heading into the weekend was for the fourth No. 1 seed and Purdue seems to be winning those tiebreakers with a potential Big Ten Tournament title run that includes a couple more Q1 victories. As for the No. 1 overall seed, I’m in the boat that believes the loss column must matter. Kansas has set a NET era record (since 2019) for the most Q1 wins with 17, but no team with more than five losses has ever gotten the No. 1 overall seed, and Kansas has seven. That’s why I’ll go with Houston, which is the No. 1 team in the predictive metrics, the No. 1 team in the NET and has just one blemish (a Sunday visit from Aaron McKie and Temple in late January) on an otherwise flawless set of results.
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Publish Date:2023-03-13 00:09:35