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Bracketology 2022: Who’s in, who’s out, and how Top 16 Reveal affects bubble teams

You can learn a lot about how the selection committee feels about teams by seeing who they pick as their Top 16.

Providence Friars center Nate Watson reacts after a made shot and potential three point play during a college basketball game between Villanova Wildcats and Providence Friars on February 15 2022, at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI. Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament is fast approaching in three weeks and the selection committee gave us a taste of what the top of the bracket could look like with the Top 16 bracket reveal on Saturday.

The committee revealed who would be slotted as the top four seeds in each region if the season ended today, giving an indicator of where the top contenders stand in the pecking order.

Top 16 seeds

  1. Gonzaga (West)
  2. Auburn (Midwest)
  3. Arizona (South)
  4. Kansas (East)
  5. Baylor (South)
  6. Kentucky (East)
  7. Purdue (Midwest)
  8. Duke (West)
  9. Villanova (East)
  10. Texas Tech (Midwest)
  11. Tennessee (South)
  12. Illinois (West)
  13. Wisconsin (East)
  14. UCLA (Midwest)
  15. Providence (South)
  16. Texas (West)

The top four overall seeds aren’t really a surprise as those four teams have somewhat established themselves a cut above everyone else. It’ll be interesting to see who grabs the No. 1 overall seed with Gonzaga and Auburn effectively trading spots for the past month.

Baylor has been bitten by the injury bug as of late and they’ve looked a bit vulnerable over the past month. However, they own nine Quadrant 1 victories and that has vaulted them into two-seed status. The rest of the Top 16 field mostly parallels the current Top 16 in NET rankings with the exception of Wisconsin and Providence, who sneak in as No. 4 seeds.

Who Got Left Out

The most noticeable snub from this list is Houston, who enters the weekend with a 21-4 record and is ranked No. 4 in NET rankings. The Cougars do not own a single Quad 1 victory this season and failed to pick up a sixth Quad 2 victory last Saturday in a 69-59 loss to Memphis. We’ll see if a strong close to the regular season and an AAC Tournament run can vault them into the Top 16 come Selection Sunday.

Conference Breakdown of Top 16

Big Ten - 3
Big 12 - 4
SEC - 3
Big East - 2
ACC - 1
Pac-12 - 2
WCC - 1

How this changes things for bubble teams

As expected, the Big Ten, Big 12, and SEC are well represented with 10 of the Top 16 teams in the projected tournament. That bodes well for bubble teams like Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Kansas State, who will get a strength of schedule boost if they can finish the season strong and have good showings in their respective league tournaments.