The NCAA tournament selection committee revealed their top 16 seeds for the first time ever on Saturday. Villanova, Kansas, Baylor and Gonzaga were all No. 1 seeds. A month from Selection Sunday, did the committee get it right?
To find out we simulated each of the selection committee’s top 16 teams against each other on a neutral court 10,000 times and ranked them based on winning percentage in those games.
Based on our Power Rankings, Gonzaga should be the top overall seed in the tournament. The Bulldogs are the last remaining undefeated team in the country and passed their toughest test on Saturday beating No. 20 Saint Mary’s on the road. The Zags continue to be our pick to win the tournament. Mark Few’s team is the only squad projected to beat every other team straight-up on a neutral court.
Villanova, the committee’s top seed, ranks 5th by our simulations. The Wildcats are projected to lose to only Gonzaga and Virginia but remain behind West Virginia and Louisville. Why? The games against the Mountaineers and Cardinals are 50/50 propositions according to the simulations. While Nova wouldn’t necessarily lose to either team, WVU and Louisville are more likely to beat the other teams than the Wildcats and thus are ranked higher.
The committee and the simulations agreed on only one team. Butler ranked last among the selection committee’s top 16 teams . The Bulldogs from the Big East have six losses and are just No. 24 in the AP poll.
Selection Sunday is a month away
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Do you think the selection committee got it right, which team would be your top overall seed?