Jerry Palm of CBS Sports released his updated NCAA Tournament projections on Tuesday. Currently, the Kansas Jayhawks are the overall No.1 seed, matching their ranking in the AP Top 25 Poll.
So far, the Jayhawks have faced two other No.1 seeds in the projected NCAA Tournament field. Earlier in the season, the Jayhawks lost to the Michigan State Spartans. However, they out lasted the Oklahoma Sooners in three overtimes during Big 12 play. The Xavier Musketeers are the final No.1 seed in the current NCAA Tournament projections.
With conference play fully underway, certain teams have started to separate themselves. One of the biggest surprises comes from the SEC. The No.3 South Carolina Gamecocks remain undefeated, and moved up two seed lines this week. Could they become the team to beat in the SEC this season?
Here are the Top 4 seeds in each region.
1. Oklahoma Sooners
2. Maryland Terrapins
3. Texas A&M Aggies
4. Duke Blue Devils
Oklahoma bounced back from their only loss. Although they are no longer the overall No.1 seed, the defeat at Kansas was not too harmful. In fact, the Sooners may have received more credit in the loss. Barring any major setbacks, these Sooners will remain a national title contender.
Sleeper Team- William & Mary Tribe: The Tribe are trying to earn their first NCAA Tournament bid. They’ve won three in a row, including an 18 point victory over Northeastern.
1. Michigan State Spartans
2. Villanova Wildcats
3. South Carolina Gamecocks
4. West Virginia Mountaineers
Michigan State is finally whole again. Denzel Valentine is back from his knee injury, and the Spartans are ready to avenge their loss to Iowa. The No.2 Villanova Wildcats are starting to look like the best team in the Big East.
Sleeper Team- Houston Cougars: With the Cougars leading the American Athletic Conference, they seem to be a strong candidate for an At-large bid. They are also capable of winning games when March Madness comes around.
1. Xavier Musketeers
2. North Carolina Tar Heels
3. Iowa State Cyclones
4. Iowa Hawkeyes
While the Xavier Musketeers are the No.1 seed in the West, there’s no question about the North Carolina Tar Heels ability to be the best team in college basketball.
Sleeper Team- Boise State Broncos: Boise State has started fast in conference play. This could be a Sweet 16 year for the Broncos.
1. Kansas Jayhawks
2. Miami Hurricanes
3. Providence Friars
4. Kentucky Wildcats
Of course the Jayhawks are the No.1 seed, but the rest of the region is pretty solid. A potential match up with the Kentucky Wildcats would be interesting. The Wildcats have been a staple in the Final Four, so their early struggles in conference play could be gone by the final month of the season arrives.
Sleeper Team- Valparaiso Crusaders: The Crusaders already have 13 wins, and they are a well-rounded team capable of making a run. High seeds will not want to face them in the early rounds.