Virginia’s surge gives it a No. 1 seed in our latest bracket watch

Virginia's seven-game winning streak has it in a great position halfway through February.

Chuck Burton/AP

North Carolina (20-4) holds a half-game lead atop the ACC standings, but two teams right behind the Tar Heels – Virginia (20-4) and Miami (20-4) are streaking closer to the top of the bracket.

The Cavaliers replaced Iowa as my fourth No. 1 seed in this edition. Currently on a seven-game winning streak, Virginia sits at No. 2 on KenPom.com, No. 6 in the RPI and boasts a staggering nine wins over RPI top-50 teams. Those conquests include one of my other No. 1 seeds (Villanova).

Miami (19-4) moved up from a No. 3 seed to a No. 2. The Hurricanes’ recent wins over Notre Dame and Pittsburgh give them a 7-1 record against the RPI top 50, albeit with two of their four losses coming to teams below 100th.

UNC, a No. 3 seed, does not have the same caliber ACC resume as those two with only three top-50 wins and Maryland as its only top-25 conquest. But the Tar Heels could look considerably stronger soon enough; their next three games – all at home – come against quality foes Pittsburgh, Duke and Miami.

NOTES: The current first-place team in each conference is designated as the automatic berth (*). In the event of ties, I use the highest-ranked RPI team.

The Midwest winner will play the East winner in the Final Four and the West will face the South.

Midwest Region (Chicago)
Seed
Team
Location
1
Kansas
at Des Moines
16
Bucknell*/Texas So.*
8
Syracuse
9
Florida
4
USC
at Spokane
13
Temple*
5
Dayton*
12
Stony Brook*
6
Utah
at Providence
11
St. Mary’s ↓
3
North Carolina*
14
Stephen F. Austin*
7
South Carolina*
at Des Moines
10
Monmouth* ↑
2
Iowa ↓
15
Belmont*