Zags edge Baylor for top seed in bracket reveal

Gonzaga was the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA men’s basketball selection committee’s mock bracket reveal on Saturday afternoon, edging out fellow unbeaten Baylor.

The Bulldogs and Bears have been atop the rankings since the first week of the season, and they’re the final two undefeated teams remaining in college basketball. They’re also the top two teams in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), as well as nearly every metric. Gonzaga has one more Quadrant 1 win than Baylor, giving the Zags the edge right now.

“To no one’s surprise, these two teams are considered the best of the best,” said Mitch Barnhart, director of athletics at the University of Kentucky and chair of the committee. “Gonzaga and Baylor have been dominant teams to this point, and while there’s no reason to think that won’t continue, the beauty of college basketball is that anything can happen on a given night.”

Barnhart also said the margin at the top was “razor-thin.”

Joining Gonzaga and Baylor on the 1-seed line were Big Ten powers Michigan and Ohio State. Another Big Ten team, Illinois, was the top team on the 2-seed line, followed by Villanova, Alabama and Houston.

The 3-seed line was led by Virginia, with West Virginia, Tennessee and Oklahoma right behind the Cavaliers.

Rounding out the top-16 reveal were the 4-seeds: Iowa, Texas Tech, Texas and Missouri.

There were few surprises, with Wisconsin the only team missing from the top 16 teams that were in ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s latest seed list. In the Badgers’ place in the official bracket reveal was Oklahoma.

NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said on CBS that Florida State and USC were also strongly considered to be included in the top 16.

Gavitt added a few notes on the NCAA tournament protocols, saying the NCAA is hopeful it can have “limited capacity” for fans.

He was asked about the ramifications of a positive test, but said one positive test “should not eliminate teams from the entirety of the tournament, as long as they maintain physical distancing and are wearing masks. The team should be able to move on safely.”

NCAA director of media coordination David Worlock said in a Twitter post that several tournament details have yet to be decided.

“Among the things still to be determined/announced are the names of the four regions, specifics about possible attendance and contingency plans in the event a team has COVID-related issues both prior to the tournament starting and after March Madness begins,” Worlock wrote.

Selection Sunday is scheduled for March 14, with the NCAA tournament’s First Four taking place on March 18.

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