The only two remaining unbeaten teams in college basketball, Gonzaga and Baylor, have held steady from the preseason to this point in the regular season at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the rankings. So in Saturday's annual Bracket Preview show in which the NCAA Tournament selection committee revealed its top four seeds in each region as a snapshot in time from the start of the season through Feb. 12, it should come as no surprise that the two powerhouse programs comprised half of the now-revealed No. 1 seeds.
Fittingly, No. 1 Gonzaga -- the preseason No. 1 team who has stayed atop the rankings all season -- also earned the top overall seed from the selection committee. No. 2 Baylor earned the second No. 1 seed. Rival Big Ten foes Michigan and Ohio State were named the other top-seeded teams.
"No mystery here. There's two teams that have been amazing all year, and the No. 1 seed at this point in time is Gonzaga," said Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky athletic director and the chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee, introducing Baylor as the second overall team and the second No. 1 seed.
"Gonzaga and Baylor have been dominant teams to this point, and while there's no reason to think that won't continue, the beauty of college basketball is that anything can happen on a given night," he added.
As for the margin between the last two undefeated teams in the nation? "Razor thin," Barnhart said.
|Seed||Region 1||Region 2||Region 3||Region 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|
The top overall No. 2 seed named by the committee on Saturday was Illinois, which drew a Region 2 assignment in Baylor's bracket. Villanova, Alabama and Houston represent the remaining No. 2 seeds in descending order. It's a brutal draw for the Illini in the same pod with a Baylor team contending for the top overall seed, but important to mention here that this is subject to change and Selection Sunday is still one month away.
Reigning champion Virginia earned the committee's vote as the top overall No. 3 seed, with West Virginia, Tennessee and Oklahoma rounding out that seed line. The Cavaliers are in Region 4 for now with No. 1 seed Ohio State. Oklahoma drew the dreaded Region 1 led by Gonzaga, Tennessee is in Region 2 and West Virginia is in Region 3.
Giving the Big 12 a fourth and fifth representatives in the bracket reveal comes the No. 4 seeds, with Texas Tech and Texas both earning that distinction along with Iowa and Missouri. It also gives the Big Ten a third member in the top 16 with Iowa.