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USATSI

With Selection Sunday four weeks and a day away, The NCAA Tournament selection committee revealed its current top 16 seeds Saturday on CBS and it's apparent that they think very highly of the top of the Big Ten.

The top teams, to absolutely nobody's surprise, were Gonzaga and Baylor. There has been some debate about which team should be the overall No. 1, but Baylor's current pause, which will extend until at least Feb. 20, has kept the Bears from piling up the quality wins the Big 12 affords.

The Big Ten has the next three spots on the S-Curve. Michigan was given the third overall seed, while Ohio State was No. 4. Illinois is the top No. 2 seed and fifth overall. The Illini needed overtime to escape Nebraska on Friday and nearly caused some last minute changes to the top 16.

Iowa was ranked 13th overall by the committee and is a No. 4 seed.

Big 12 puts five in

with The Big 12 put more teams into the top 16 with five, but the other four after Baylor are all No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. Oklahoma and West Virginia are on the No. 3-line, while Texas Tech and Texas are No. 4s. 

These teams have very similar resumes, so it is not hard to believe they are tightly packed in the bracket. Head to head isn't much use to sort out those four teams as a group. Texas Tech swept Oklahoma and the West Virginia swept the Red Raiders. Texas has played each team only once, winning at West Virginia and losing at home to OU and Tech. The Sooners win over Alabama is the best non-conference win for this group by far.

Seed Region 1Region 2Region 3Region 4
No. 1(1) Gonzaga(2) Baylor(3) Michigan(4) Ohio State
No. 2(7) Alabama(5) Illinois(8) Houston(6) Villanova
No. 3(12) Oklahoma(11) Tennessee(10) West Virginia(9) Virginia
No. 4(13) Iowa(15) Texas(16) Missouri(14) Texas Tech

SEC gets three in 

The SEC put three teams in, with Alabama a No. 2 seed, Tennessee on the No. 3  line and Missouri the last team in this group at No. 16 overall.

Missouri has an interesting resume. They are 13-4 with home wins over Illinois and Alabama and a road-and-road split with Tennessee. They also have three losses to teams not in the bracket and got blown out in three of their four losses. That last bit likely explains why they do relatively poorly in the metrics. Mizzou is 35th in the NET as of this morning.

Because of those losses, Mizzou is not doing well in the eye test either. There is clearly more of that going on than usual, which is to be expected this season since the data may not be as reliable as usual. Another example is Villanova, which has a resume that could arguably put them as a No. 1 seed, but they have not been sharp since coming off their pandemic pause, even though they have still been mostly winning. 

Virginia is another example. The Cavaliers have a resume is metric-friendly, but lacking in quality wins. Their best win is a 35-point spanking of Clemson, which was playing its first game after a pause, and clearly has not been the same since that time. That is also their only win over a team in the bracket. It does not help Virginia that its home games with Virginia Tech and Louisville were postponed. The Cavs will still get Florida State and the Cardinals on the road.