NCAA tournament brackets are already getting predicted for 2016. The top-seeded teams for the 2016 NCAA Tournament have been projected by a new report at ESPN as well. According to Joe Lunardi and his Bracketology so far, the top-seeded teams in the NCAA Tournament will be Villanova, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Virginia. If he is correct, the Big 12 would have two schools on the top line with Kansas in the Midwest Region and Oklahoma in the West Region.
The Iowa Hawkeyes had been projected as a possible No. 1 seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament brackets, but the school just got upset by a 12-13 Penn State team. It’s the pitfall of playing in the tough Big Ten Conference, but can’t be used as an excuse when building up a regular season resume. Losing to a team that has no realistic shot of making the tournament at this point of the season is really bad news. Lunardi now has Iowa as a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region.
Another school that could have a really good shot at moving up the 2016 NCAA Tournament brackets is the North Carolina Tar Heels. No. 5 ranked North Carolina just beat No. 11 Miami on Saturday, February 21 by 25 points. The win moves the Tar Heels to 22-5 on the season and keeps the team a game ahead of Virginia in the ACC standings. A lot is on the line when the ACC Tournament tips off in March, because the winning team could be guaranteed a top seed (if it is North Carolina or Virginia). The Tar Heels are currently the No. 2 seed in the West Region according to Lunardi.
Maryland is another school that might still have a shot at a top seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament brackets. Maryland has two recent losses but still boasts a 23-5 overall record this season. Finishing the regular season strong and then putting together a number of wins in the Big Ten Tournament could really help the resume. Maryland still has games against Purdue (21-7) and Indiana (22-6) that will really help in the RPI and strength of schedule. Maryland is currently a No. 2 seed in the East Region in Lunardi’s Bracketology projections.
The other top seeds in the ESPN predictions for the 2016 NCAA Tournament brackets are Xavier (No. 2 in South), Michigan State (No. 3 in South), Oregon (No. 3 in West), West Virginia (No. 3 in East), and Miami (No. 3 in Midwest). Miami may drop after getting beat badly by North Carolina, giving a school like Duke, Kentucky, Dayton, or Iowa State a shot at moving up. With some tough conference games coming up, there could be several big shifts in Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology report for next week.
A report from CBS Sports gives even more predictions for what the 2016 NCAA Tournament brackets are going to look like. College basketball expert Jerry Palm weighed in with which teams he feels are going to be awarded the top seeds. He has Kansas, Villanova, Virginia, and Xavier on his top line as the four No. 1 seeds. As the No. 2 seeds, Palm has Iowa, Oklahoma, Michigan State, and Miami. His tournament predictions differ quite a bit from what Lunardi is projecting over at ESPN.
As for the rest of the 2016 NCAA Tournament bracket projections from CBS, the No. 3 seeds are North Carolina, West Virginia, Oregon, and Maryland, while the No. 4 seeds are Utah, Purdue, Iowa State, and Duke. While many of the top 16 teams are the same in both major Bracketology predictions, the top seeds are shuffled up quite a bit. This shows how exciting the college basketball season has been and that there are many schools that could have a real shot at winning the NCAA Tournament this year.
[Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]