The state of the race for No. 1 seeds is very much in flux, thanks to Kansas, last week’s No. 1 overall dropping three straight. Purdue has replaced the Jayhawks—who are now a 2 seed—with Alabama just behind as the No. 2 team overall. At this point, these two squads are Nos. 1A and 1B until proven otherwise, which given what’s happened to UConn, Houston, and Kansas when anointed as the team to beat, might very well be right around the corner for both the Boilermakers and Crimson Tide. Kansas State—the new Big 12 leader—is now third overall, with Houston fourth, even after Sunday’s home loss to Temple. Arizona is hot on the Cougars’ heels, however, with Kansas, Texas and UCLA joining the Wildcats as two seeds.
This particular Tuesday marked the debut of College Basketball Coast to Coast for 2023, and T.J. Rives and I discussed the status of the contenders at the top of the bracket, along with the mess down by the cut line. You can also hear the thoughts of friend of the blog Matt Zemek from Trojans Wire before my segment.
Be sure to subscribe to the show on your podcast service of choice, as we’ll be chatting about the bracket from here on to Selection Sunday.
UConn, Virginia, and Tennessee are the top three No. 3 seeds with Gonzaga sitting 12th overall, no longer leading the WCC and perhaps out of the race for a No. 1 seed entirely—something that cannot be said about the three teams immediately ahead of them.
Five of the Top 16 come from the Big 12, as both Baylor and TCU are on seed line 4, alongside Xavier and Marquette, who are helping to keep the Big East very much in the national conversation. Iowa State, a 4 seed last week, is now 17th overall, meaning six of the Big 12’s seven squads are in the top 20 of the bracket.
The seventh is Oklahoma, drawn into a First Four matchup with SEC newcomer Kentucky, who host Kansas on Saturday night—a contest that could have seismic effects both at the top of the bracket and down at the cut line. USC and Wake Forest—another pair of new at-larges—comprise the second Dayton matchup. However, Boise State is the highest ranked of the five new at-large entrants, as the Broncos are slotted into an 8 vs. 9 game.
Let’s take a look at today’s full bracket.
- Conference logos indicate auto bid holders.
- Numbers in red squares indicate team’s position in the bracket’s top 16 (top four seed lines).
- Colors next to seed numbers indicate bracket movement: yellow (new), green (seed up), red (seed down) relative to last Tuesday’s bracket
Bids By Conference
24 one-bid conferences
Ins and Outs (10)
New Entrants: Boise State, Kentucky, Marshall (Sun Belt), Nicholls State (Southland), St. Francis (Pa.) (NEC), UC Santa Barbara (Big West), UMass Lowell (AE), USC, UT Martin (OVC), Wake Forest
Out for Now: Fairleigh Dickinson (NEC), Nevada, Pittsburgh, SIUE (OVC), Southeastern Louisiana (Southland), Southern Miss. (Sun Belt), UC Irvine (Big West), UMBC (AE), West Virginia, Wisconsin
Midweek Games To Watch
There are several matchups here featuring teams currently projected in the field taking on teams that are either on the edge of the at-large picture or completely out, with some tricky road dates among them. Wednesday, in particular, features plenty of opportunities for teams just on the wrong side of the cut line to make statements. As conference play reaches the halfway point, there are also a few intriguing matchups on deck in the single-bid conferences, with Wednesday and Thursday being particularly loaded on this front.
I’ve bolded games featuring matchups of two teams in the field for your convenience. All times are p.m. Eastern, unless noted.
Tuesday, January 24
Penn State at Rutgers, 6:30 (B1G Net)
Ohio State at Illinois, 7 (ESPN)
LSU at Arkansas, 7 (ESPN2)
Miami at Florida State, 7 (ESPNU)
Missouri at Ole Miss, 7 (SECN)
Notre Dame at NC State, 7 (ACCN)
North Carolina at Syracuse, 9 (ESPN)
Kansas State at Iowa State, 9 (ESPNU)
Fresno State at Boise State, 9 (FS1)
Kentucky at Vanderbilt, 9 (SECN)
Georgia Tech at Clemson, 9 (ACCN)
Oklahoma State at Texas, 9 (LHN)
Wednesday, January 25
Xavier at UConn, 6:30 (FS1)
South Carolina at Florida, 7 (ESPN2)
Georgia at Tennessee, 7 (SECN)
Northwestern at Nebraska, 7 (FS2)
Wisconsin at Maryland, 7 (B1G Net)
West Virginia at Texas Tech, 7 (ESPNU)
Wake Forest at Pitt, 7 (ACCN)
Dayton at Rhode Island, 7 (CBSSN)
George Mason at VCU, 7 (MASN/ESPN+ ($))
AE: Vermont at Binghamton, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
SoCon: Samford at Furman, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
Butler at Providence, 8:30 (FS1)
Texas A&M at Auburn, 9 (ESPN2)
Mississippi State at Alabama, 9 (SECN)
Indiana at Minnesota, 9 (B1G Net)
St. John’s at Creighton, 9 (CBSSN)
Utah State at San Diego State, 11 (CBSSN)
Thursday, January 26
SMU at Memphis, 7 (ESPN2)
Iowa at Michigan State, 7 (FS1)
Big South: Longwood at Radford, 7 (ESPNU)
OVC: SIUE at Tennessee Tech, 7 (ESPN News)
C-USA: Middle Tennessee at Florida Atlantic, 7 (CBSSN)
NEC: St. Francis (Pa.) at Fairleigh Dickinson, 7 (NEC Front Row)
ASUN: Stetson at Liberty, 7 (ESPN+ ($))
UCLA at USC, 9 (ESPN2)
Purdue at Michigan, 9 (FS1)
UTSA at North Texas, 9 (ESPNU)
Louisiana Tech at UAB, 9 (CBSSN)
Colorado at Oregon, 9 (Pac-12 Net)
Big Sky: Idaho State at Eastern Washington, 9 (ESPN+ ($))
Portland at Loyola Marymount, 10 (WCCN/Stadium College Pacific)
Arizona at Washington State, 11 (FS1)
Arizona State at Washington, 11 (ESPNU)
Utah at Oregon State, 11 (Pac-12 Net)
Big West: UC Santa Barbara at Hawai’i, 12 a.m. (Spectrum Hawai’i/ESPN+ ($))
On Friday, I’ll be back to take a closer look at where the race for the four No. 1 seeds stands as January prepares to turn into February. Then, it will be time to start talking bubble.