With March Madness right around the corner, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament selection committee released its initial rankings for the top 16 teams in America on Sunday–meaning it gave a blueprint for what the top four seeds in each region would look like if the season had just ended.
UNC received a No. 3 seed in the West region in the first look at the seedings, as the Tar Heels were paired with No. 1 seed Purdue, No. 2 seed Kansas and No. 4 seed Arizona.
The top overall seed was Virginia, with Villanova and Xavier taking the other No. 1 seeds alongside Purdue.
Other No. 2 seeds besides Kansas included: Cincinnati, Duke and Auburn.
Tennessee, Oklahoma and Ohio State rounded out remaining No. 4 seeds.
It’s just the second year that the NCAA has revealed its top 16 teams prior to Selection Sunday, a process that now allows teams to know where they stand during the season’s stretch run.
“When the bracket came out last year, 15 of the teams were among the 16 we revealed in February,” committee chair Bruce Rasmussen said. “It wouldn’t be surprising to see different results this time. There are several teams on the verge of cracking the top 16, and they have plenty of chances to enhance their resume over the next few weeks.”
The actual bracket will be revealed live on TBS at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 11.
Current NCAA Tournament Top 16 Seeds
South (Atlanta): (1) Virginia, (2) Cincinnati, (3) Michigan St., (4) Tennessee
East (Boston): (1) Villanova, (2) Duke, (3) Texas Tech, (4) Ohio State
Midwest (Omaha): (1) Xavier, (2) Auburn, (3) Clemson, (4) Oklahoma
West (Los Angeles): (1) Purdue, (2) Kansas, (3) North Carolina, (4) Arizona
Photo via Todd Melet