March Madness 2018 Predictions: NCAA Tournament Bracket Projections Have Xavier & Villanova As No. 1 Seeds

Matt SlocumAP Images

The March Madness 2018 season is just about underway for college basketball fans and the latest NCAA Tournament bracket projections show a total of nine teams from the ACC could make it into the field. Among them will be a potential No. 1 seed, although the Big East Conference will have two of those top seeds right now. Here are the latest projections for this year’s top seeds and a look at which teams that have some work to do in order to earn a spot.

On Monday, the latest ESPN Bracketology was presented by Joe Lunardi and featured a few familiar teams as No. 1 seeds. One of them was the Kansas Jayhawks from the Big 12 conference, a team synonymous with basketball in March. Also projected as a top seed were the Villanova Wildcats, one of the most recent champions in college basketball. Fellow Big East team, the Xavier Musketeers are also expected to take a top seed as they have one of their highest rankings in the Top 25 to date. The final No. 1 seed is projected to be current No. 1 team in the nation, the Virginia Cavaliers who are 15-1 as of this report.

virginia cavaliers acc have nine teams in tournament this year
The Virginia Cavaliers should be a top seed and the ACC could have nine or more teams in the NCAA tournament this year.Featured image credit: Lee Luther Jr.AP Images

Based on the projections, the ACC could rule the latest tournament with more than a quarter of the teams in the field. In all, Lunardi is projecting their conference will have a total of nine schools making it into the “Big Dance.” Joining Virginia could be Duke, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Florida State, Clemson, Miami, and Louisville. Of those teams, Louisville is among the “last four in,” while Syracuse is one of the “first four out” and Notre Dame is one of the “next four out.”

Top Four Seeds Per Region

South: Virginia, Purdue, Auburn, West Virginia

West: Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona

East: Villanova, Duke, Wichita St., Ohio State

Midwest: Xavier, Michigan St., Cincinnati, Texas Tech

Behind the ACC, the SEC and Big 12 each have eight representatives apiece projected for the field, while the Big East has six and the Big Ten has four. That should mean the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 advance a good number of teams to the Sweet Sixteen round and beyond. It should be interesting to see which of this year’s powerhouse conferences gets the most teams the farthest. Meanwhile, the American and Pac-12 conferences are expected to send just three teams this year. There will be two teams apiece from the West Coast Conference and Atlantic 10.

Of course, this can all change just by a random team or two winning their conference tournament to gain an automatic ticket to the dance. It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened either. As of right now, the teams that could really boost their resumes in the next couple weeks to get in the March Madness field include Utah, Boise State, Washington, UCLA, Nebraska, and Mississippi State, who are all part of Lunardi’s “first” and “next” four out listings.