The college basketball season has arrived at the month of March. A ranking of the top 10 teams is based on what these teams have achieved this season and how good their overall portfolios truly are. This is not a ranking of how well each team is projected to perform in March Madness, the 2023 NCAA Tournament – or even the college basketball odds. This is much more an attempt to properly seed these teams 1 through 10 for the NCAA Tournament bracket, which will be revealed on Sunday, March 12.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
The reason Alabama is in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 overall seed for the 2023 NCAA Tournament is that the Crimson Tide won on the road at Houston, another No. 1 seed. Had Houston won that game, the Cougars would be in position for the top overall seed. Alabama won that game after trailing by 15 points. Teams are not supposed to trail a team as good as Houston by 15 points on the road and come back.
The fact that Alabama did says a lot about this team’s toughness and its overall potential. Alabama is rolling to the SEC championship. If Alabama wins the SEC Tournament next week, there will be no doubt that the Crimson Tide will be the top overall seed for the NCAA Tournament.
2. Houston Cougars
The aforementioned loss to Alabama is the main reason Houston is likely to be seeded behind Alabama and miss out on the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament field, but recent losses from Purdue make Houston a more comfortable No. 2 overall seed and an easy choice for a No. 1 regional seed. Houston will definitely be one of the four No. 1 seeds in the different regions on Selection Sunday. If Houston is going to remain ahead of other teams on the seed list, it will need to win the remainder of its games and capture the AAC Tournament championship. If Houston does lose at least one more game, another team could pass the Cougars on the overall seed list.
3. Kansas Jayhawks
The Kansas Jayhawks clinched a share of the Big 12 title on Tuesday with a win over Texas Tech. Kansas coach Bill Self continues to add to his collection of Big 12 titles. He has now won 17 Big 12 regular-season titles in 20 seasons at Kansas, which is ridiculous. Self won multiple conference championships at his previous coaching stops at Tulsa and Illinois. He is one of the most remarkable regular-season coaches in the history of college basketball. He has this uncanny ability to get the most out of his lineups year after year.
Kansas will be a No. 1 seed. The Jayhawks could pass Houston on the seed list if they win the Big 12 Tournament and Houston loses one more game over the next 12 days. Kansas probably needs just one more win to lock up a No. 1 seed. If it loses two straight games, there’s a slight chance it could still fall to a 2 seed, but that is unlikely.
4. UCLA Bruins
The Bruins have won the Pac-12 championship outright and can move a lot closer to a No. 1 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament with two more wins this week against Arizona State and then Arizona. UCLA lost to Arizona earlier this season, so the Bruins very likely need to beat the Wildcats on Saturday night if they do want a No. 1 seed. If UCLA loses to Arizona on Saturday, its hopes for a top seed will take a hit, but the Bruins could get a third crack at the Wildcats at the Pac-12 Tournament. If they win the Pac-12 Tournament and beat Arizona along the way, they could still end up with a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday. Purdue’s recent losses have made it possible for UCLA to ascend to the number one seed line on the seed list.
5. Texas Longhorns
The Texas Longhorns, if they win the Big 12 Tournament, could join Kansas on the one line and give the Big 12 Conference a pair of No. 1 seeds in March Madness. Texas has risen to the top tier of the conference while Baylor and TCU have struggled in recent weeks. Texas must at least make the Big 12 Tournament final and get some help from other sources if it wants any chance of getting a No. 1 seed. Winning the Big 12 Tournament seems like the result Texas will need to attain. The Longhorns do not have a large margin for error in this situation.
6. Baylor Bears
The Baylor Bears are behind Texas in the conversation surrounding a No. 1 seed, but if they do win the Big 12 Tournament, they will have a chance of moving up to the one line. Keep in mind that Baylor did beat UCLA earlier in the season. If UCLA cannot beat Arizona this week or at the Pac-12 Tournament, Baylor could leapfrog the Bruins. If Texas loses early at the Big 12 Tournament, Baylor can jump over the Longhorns. A lot of dominoes have to fall just the right way for Baylor, but there is still a path to a No. 1 seed.
7. Purdue Boilermakers
The Boilermakers now have a very limited path to a No. 1 seed due to the simple fact that they have lost a bunch of games in recent weeks – at Indiana, at Northwestern, and then at home against Indiana. Purdue has to win the rest of its games and get help from other sources, such as Arizona beating UCLA and Texas and Baylor stumbling in the Big 12 Tournament. If five or six different things happen, Purdue might still be able to get a top seed, but a No. 2 seed is now extremely likely for the Boilermakers.
8. Tennessee Volunteers
The Vols beat Arkansas by a large margin. That will keep them on the two line ahead of Arizona, which beat the Vols earlier this season but suffered a bad home-court loss to Arizona State. However, losing point guard Zakai Zeigler to a torn ACL for the season is going to be a huge long-term headwind for their March Madness odds.
9. Arizona Wildcats
The Wildcats probably fell to a No. 3 seed with the loss to Arizona State, but if they beat UCLA on Saturday and/or win the Pac-12 Tournament, they would likely move back up to a No. 2 seed for March Madness.
10. Kansas State Wildcats
The strength of the Big 12 Conference is what would enable KSU to be a top-three seed and fill out the last spot in the top 10.