March Madness 2013 Bracket: Projecting Top 4 Seeds in Each Region
The 2013 NCAA tournament is right around the corner, and teams are spending the next couple of weeks jockeying for position in the bracket.
While a majority of focus right now is on the bubble teams that will try to sneak into the field, it is the top seeds that will make the most impact in March Madness.
These projections are based on current records and what would happen if Selection Sunday were today. Every one of these teams have put together great seasons, and will be rewarded by the committee with a protected seed in the tournament.
Note: All RPI numbers are courtesy of ESPN.
Midwest Region (Indianapolis)
Even after the loss to Minnesota, Indiana still has the best profile of any team in the country right now.
With seven wins over Top 25 RPI teams both at home and on the road, plus the inside track for a regular season Big Ten title, there is little argument that the Hoosiers should be the top overall seed in the tournament.
However, the squad will still need to close strong against Ohio State and Michigan in order to stay on this line.
Florida has a couple of good wins this season (Marquette and Wisconsin), but nothing all that impressive. In addition, the SEC is simply not good enough this year to be impressed by a conference title.
The Gators will be a factor in March, but a No. 1 seed seems out of reach at the moment.
Few teams have been more impressive over the past few weeks than Georgetown.
The Hoyas have won nine straight games in the always tough Big East, including wins over each of the top competitors in the conference.
With one of the best defenses in the country and potential All-American Otto Porter, they are still on the way up and could possibly get a No. 1 seed when all is said and done.
4. Kansas State
The selection committee wants to see teams closing well down the stretch. Few teams are playing better at this time of year than Kansas State.
Not only has this team won eight of nine games, but it has moved up to a tie for the top spot in the Big 12 conference.
Iowa State gave the Wildcats their only loss from a team outside of the Top 10 in the RPI, and that is far from an easy road game.
Staying on this path will prevent Kansas State from dropping any further from a four-seed in March.
East Region (Washington D.C)
Duke would like to avenge its loss to Miami from earlier in the year, but the Blue Devils should be a top seed even without that win.
Non-conference wins over Louisville and Ohio State still hold weight, and they have generally performed well in conference as well.
With the No. 1 RPI in the country, it will be hard to deny a top seed for the Blue Devils.
2. Michigan State
The Big Ten simply does not have too many off days. Michigan State learned that after losing two in a row to Indiana and Ohio State.
Still, wins over Michigan and Kansas plus a very good record in the Big Ten will keep the Spartans with a very good seed.
There are simply too many top teams for Arizona to be on one of the top two lines at this point, but it is still a possibility if teams falter.
The Wildcats amazingly have two wins over Top Five teams in the RPI (Miami and Florida). However, it will be very important to win the regular season Pac-12 crown.
Additionally, the "eye test" might hold this squad back after watching it struggle against weaker opponents.
This spot would have gone to Memphis if the team was able to extend its 18-game winning streak against Xavier.
Unfortunately, the team dropped its first game since Dec. 15 and will in the bracket without any quality wins.
Syracuse has not played well at all lately, but they have done enough to keep a protected seed for the moment.
West Region (Los Angeles)
Say what you want about the West Coast Conference and the overall schedule, but Gonzaga has earned a No. 1 seed this season.
The No. 2 team in both major polls does not have a bad loss this season and racked up a 5-0 record against the Big 12, including wins over Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Baylor.
With a perfect record in a conference that includes solid teams like BYU and St. Mary's, the profile is as good as anyone else in contention for this spot.
While Kansas certainly has a way of making games look anything but pretty, wins are all that matter at this time of year.
Aside from a three-game slide in the middle of the year, the Jayhawks have played well enough to be a two-seed. Of course, a loss to TCU, the 226th team in the RPI, could hold them back.
Louisville has been doing its job by winning the games it should. This team was expected to be a Final Four team entering the season, and while that is still a possibility, expectations should be tempered by this point.
With all of the Big East teams jumbled at the top, the Cardinals will probably have to make noise in the conference tournament once again in order to secure a high seed.
4. Ohio State
In any other conference, Ohio State would likely be a top contender for a regular season championship. As it turns out, the Big Ten has just been too much for the Buckeyes.
Wins over Michigan and Michigan State will make sure that this team keeps a protected seed, but the 10-5 conference record will prevent them from going any higher.
South Region (North Texas)
Although Michigan has not yet shown it can win a big game away from home, the overall profile is quite impressive.
The Wolverines have solid non-conference wins over Kansas State, North Carolina State and Pittsburgh, and they have done damage in the best conference in the country.
Considering the worst loss of the season is at Wisconsin after a half-court shot tied the game, a top seed is well-earned.
The biggest issue with Miami is the bad losses. The team lost to Florida Gulf Coast earlier in the year and recently dropped a bad game to Wake Forest
While the Hurricanes have as many good wins as anyone else in the nation, a No. 1 seed cannot have these losses.
Still, the best team in the ACC should be proud of getting the top No. 2 seed.
3. New Mexico
Although New Mexico is not likely to be on the list of most people's top teams in the country, it is time to start adjusting your mindset.
This squad is easily the best team in the Mountain West, which could realistically be one of the best five conferences in the nation. It is likely that at least four teams end up with a bid to March Madness.
It is also hard to argue with the No. 3 RPI in the nation and a 23-4 record.
Marquette was not expected to do much this season, but its ability to stay competitive in the Big East will lead to a good seed in the NCAA tournament.
As of now, this is the best four-seed in the bracket with wins over Syracuse, Georgetown and a season sweep over Pittsburgh.
The early loss at Green Bay shouldn't hurt the Golden Eagles that much at this point of the year.
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