CBS broadcast its fourth annual NCAA basketball March Madness preview on Saturday, revealing the nation’s top 16 seeds and their respective spots in the bracket.
A 10-person committee — comprised of Division I athletic directors and administrators — spent last week evaluating each school’s basketball resume thus far. In each of the previous three years, the committee has accurately predicted in February three of the eventual top four No. 1 seeds.
Here is Saturday’s top 16 breakdown:
1. Baylor (1st, 20-1, 9-0)
After a three-point loss to Washington in its second game of the season, Baylor has won 19 consecutive games, five coming against ranked opponents.
2. Louisville (7th, 20-3, 11-1)
The Cardinals struggled in the middle of the season and lost to Texas Tech, Kentucky and Florida State. They’ve won nine in a row since and are led by junior forward Jordan Nwora’s 19.3 points per game.
3. Seton Hall (11th, 17-5, 9-1)
Following a 6-4 start, the Pirates have become a dangerous bunch. A 74-62 loss to Xavier on Feb. 1 was the team’s first in over a month and a half, and senior guard Myles Powell is one of the nation’s top scorers at 22 points per game.
4. Auburn (13th, 21-2, 8-2)
The Tigers have been rolling recently and are showing a strong ability to win close games. They’re tough and have a good balance of scoring and rebounding.
1. Gonzaga (3rd, 24-1, 10-0)
The Bulldogs have the second-best scoring offense in college basketball at 88.5 points per game with six players averaging in double figures and have been a No.1 seed in two of the last three tournaments.
2. West Virginia (8th, 18-4, 6-3)
Somewhat unproven, a win over then-No. 2 Ohio State and a tough loss at Kansas showed the Mountaineers can compete with the best. They do still have two match-ups against Baylor before the tournament to prove themselves.
3. Villanova (12th, 17-5, 7-3)
Back-to-back losses in the days before this selection show hurt Jay Wright’s team severely. The Wildcats will have to bounce back in the final stretch of conference play, particularly in their two games against Seton Hall.
4. Oregon (14th, 18-5, 7-3)
A bad loss at Stanford in its last game ended the Ducks’ four-game winning streak, but the team’s strength is in its backcourt with its top four scorers all being guards.
1. Kansas (2nd, 20-3, 9-1)
The Jayhawks’ only three losses came at home against two top-five teams and at Villanova. With a scorer like guard Devon Dotson and the inside force of center Udoka Azubuike, Kansas is a tough match-up for almost every team.
2. Dayton (6th, 20-2, 9-0)
The Flyers have won 11 in a row, are top five in the nation in both scoring and assists and sophomore forward Obi Toppin is tearing up opponents for 19.7 points and eight rebounds per game.
3. Florida State (10th, 20-3, 10-2)
The Seminoles have only a five-point loss at Virginia in their last 13 games. It’s a balanced team that gets contributions from the entire roster.
4. Michigan State (16th, 16-8, 8-5)
The Spartans have had a rough go in a deep Big Ten Conference so far this season. Senior guard Cassius Winston is still one of the best guards in the country, averaging 18.5 points and 5.9 assists per game.
1. San Diego State (4th, 23-0, 12-0)
The Aztecs are the only undefeated team selected on Saturday but have yet to play a ranked opponent. They’ve notched the third-best mark in the country with only 57.7 points allowed per game.
2. Duke (5th, 19-3, 9-2)
Blue Devils have been pretty good since a bad loss at home earlier this season to SF Austin when Duke was ranked No.1. Back-to-back close losses to Clemson and Louisville didn’t help, but freshman center Vernon Carey Jr. is one of the best talents in the country and tallies 17.8 points and nine rebounds per game.
3. Maryland (9th, 19-4, 9-3)
The Terrapins secured sole possession of first place in the deep Big Ten Conference Friday night with a road win over Illinois. Led by guard Anthony Cowan Jr. and forward Jalen Smith, Maryland has one of the more talented rosters in the country but has failed to play like it on the road until recently.
4. Butler (15th, 18-5, 6-4)
The Bulldogs’ big win over Villanova likely thrust them back into the mix as a top-16 team, even with their recent skid of four losses in seven games.
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