Bracket Reveal: NCAA releases top 16 seeds

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On Saturday afternoon, the NCAA revealed the current top 16 seeds in what has become an annual early look at the NCAA tournament bracket.

Duke, who is the No. 2 team in the AP Poll, was the No. 1 overall seed, beating out a number of other teams that only have one loss on the season. Keep in mind — this seeding was released¬†before Duke’s game against Virginia on Saturday afternoon.

This decision to put Duke as the No. 1 overall seed had the biggest effect on Kentucky, the top No. 2 seed. They could not be put in the East because the top No. 1 and No. 2 seeds cannot be in the same region, and they could not be slotted in the South because Tennessee, an SEC rival, is the No. 1 seed in that region.

One of the most interesting seedings here was the decision to put Kansas, the No. 10 overall seed, out west while Houston, the No. 11 overall seed, was placed in Kansas City. This had to do with competitive balance. Gonzaga and Michigan State are the lowest No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively.

It was also interesting that Kansas earned a No. 3 seed. The Jayhawks do have some really impressive wins this year (Michigan State, Marquette, Tennessee, Villanova, Iowa State, Texas Tech) but some of those wins came with Udoka Azubuike healthy, and there is no clarity on the status of Lagerald Vick as well as Marcus Garrett. I don’t think this was the wrong decision, but it is one that could end up having the biggest swing as the season continues to play out.

One other takeaway from the reveal: The No. 4 seed line is better in each bracket than the No. 3 seed line.

EAST (Washington D.C.)

1. Duke Blue Devils
2. Michigan Wolverines
3. Marquette Golden Eagles
4. Iowa State Cyclones

SOUTH (Louisville)

1. Tennessee Volunteers
2. North Carolina Tar Heels
3. Purdue Boilermakers
4. Nevada Wolf Pack

MIDWEST (Kansas City)

1. Virginia Cavaliers
2. Kentucky Wildcats
3. Houston Cougars
4. Wisconsin Badgers

WEST (Anaheim)

1. Gonzaga Bulldogs
2. Michigan State Spartans
3. Kansas Jayhawks
4. Louisville Cardinals

There were only two differences in seeding between the NCAA’s release and our most recent bracket: We had Louisville as a No. 3 seed and Houston as a No. 4 seed, and we also had Villanova on the No. 4 seed line instead of Iowa State.

Here is the full seed list:

  1. Duke
  2. Tennessee
  3. Virginia
  4. Gonzaga
  5. Kentucky
  6. Michigan
  7. North Carolina
  8. Michigan State
  9. Purdue
  10. Kansas
  11. Houston
  12. Marquette
  13. Iowa State
  14. Nevada
  15. Louisville
  16. Wisconsin

Villanova, Virginia Tech, Texas Tech and LSU were the four teams that were the toughest to cut, according to committee char Bernard Muir.