Battle for top seeds gets heated in March’s first mock bracket

The Kansas Jayhawks are the only sure thing at this point.

USA TODAY Sports

Can you believe it’s March?

With Selection Sunday fast approaching, the No. 1 seed line remains as volatile as it’s been all season. Torrid Kansas (26-4) is the only surefire bet. There are at least eight teams in contention for the other three spots.

Right now, I’ve got Virginia (22-6) and Villanova (25-4) as the No. 2 and 3 overall seeds. Mind you, the Cavs only moved up after last weekend’s win over North Carolina (24-6). And the Wildcats are less than a week removed from a blowout loss to fellow No. 1 contender Xavier (25-4). That’s how fluid it’s been.

Meanwhile, Michigan State (24-5) has risen to the No. 1 overall ranking on KenPom.com, and the Spartans edged Xavier and Oklahoma (22-6) for my final No. 1 seed in this edition. Miami (23-5) and Oregon (23-6) could make their own cases with a strong finish.

With this much uncertainty at such a late stage, the conference tournaments will likely carry more weight than usual. Winning the ACC tournament or losing in the semifinals could well mean the difference between a No. 1 or 2 seed for Virginia, Miami or North Carolina.

NOTE: The current first-place team in each conference (or highest remaining seed in this week’s conference tournaments) is designated as the automatic berth (*). In the event of ties, I use the highest-ranked RPI team.

Midwest Region (Chicago)
Seed
Team
Location
1
Kansas*
at Des Moines
16
Texas So.*/Hampton*
8
USC
9
Providence
4
Purdue
at Spokane
13
Hofstra*
5
Texas A&M
12
Temple*
6
Arizona
at Providence
11
Cincinnati/Michigan
3
North Carolina
14
Akron*
7
Texas Tech
at St. Louis
10
Pittsburgh
2
Xavier
15
Weber State*