The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee revealed its first top 16 bracket standings on Sunday and the Virginia basketball team is currently ranked as the No. 1 overall seed if March Madness began today.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 11, 2018
The Cavaliers opened the CBS broadcast as the No. 1 overall seed. They topped the South Region with No. 2 Cincinnati, No. 3 Michigan State, and No. 4 Tennessee among the top four seeds there. UVA has been eliminated by either Michigan State or Florida in four of Tony Bennett’s five NCAA Tournament appearances at Virginia. Of course, the last time the Spartans landed at the bottom of the same regional as the Hoos, they lost as a two seed in the first round.
This projection would send UVA to Charlotte for the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament and to Atlanta if the team advanced into the Sweet 16. San Antonio hosts the Final Four this year.
The ACC had top four seeds in the three other regions too. In the East Region, Villanova held the No. 1 spot with No. 2 Duke. No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 4 Ohio State rounded out the grouping that would meet in Boston for the Sweet 16. In the Midwest Region, Xavier topped the bracket with No. 2 Auburn, No. 3 Clemson, and No. 4 Oklahoma also there. That region feeds into Omaha. Finally, the West Region featured Purdue as the No. 1 seed with No. 2 Kansas, No. 3 North Carolina, and No. 4 Arizona all slated there as well. That region feeds to Los Angeles.
After a disappointing overtime loss on Saturday night, the first bracket standings of the year provided a nice boost to Virginia fans. UVA brought a strong resume to the table to land at the top of the committee standings according to NCAA Tournament Selection Committee Chairman Bruce Rasmussen.
“Virginia’s had an unbelievable year,” Rasmussen said on CBS. “They’re 13-2 in quadrant one and two wins and they’re an amazing 10-1 on the road.”
The quadrant formula reference is part of new NCAA team sheets used in the selection process. The quadrant formula breaks down wins against top competition and gives greater significance to road wins than in the past. The new team sheets still list the RPI rankings, but also include a team’s ranking in five other metrics: the ESPN strength of record and BPI rankings, as well as the KPI (KPI Sports), KenPom, and Sagarin rankings. The quadrant formula breakdown follows:
- Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
- Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
- Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
- Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus.
Rasmussen shared further thoughts on Virginia via an official news release.
“When the committee started our meeting on Tuesday, I think there was a general agreement on who the top three teams were, but by late Saturday night that group had grown to four,” said Rasmussen. “We initially felt Villanova was the overall top seed, but we flipped that Thursday morning after the Wildcats lost to St. John’s at home and Virginia won at Florida State. Despite UVA’s loss Saturday, we felt that based on their 13 wins in the first two quadrants, they deserved to remain on top. Villanova bounced back with a good win Saturday, so we kept them second. Purdue had two tough losses to quality teams, while Xavier picked up two good road wins to solidify the fourth No. 1 seed and ultimately leap Purdue on the seed list.”
The real NCAA Tournament selection show is one month away on Sunday, March 11. That show will air on TBS.