Oklahoma is still the No. 1 overall seed in our latest projection of the 2016 NCAA tournament field, and as we'll discuss later, it isn't even close. The Sooners are head and shoulders ahead of the pack, though it does currently appear that North Carolina, Iowa and Villanova are the teams most likely to join them on the top line.
February is just around the corner, and even though it's a leap year, March isn't far behind. Before you know it, Selection Sunday will be here.
But we can't wait that long.
It has been nearly a full month since our last bracket projection on New Year's Eve, but the plan is to post a new one every Tuesday night until the beginning of March. Adjust your reading plans accordingly.
One important thing to note that's going to be different from most of the projections you'll find on other sites: The projected automatic bid for each conference does not automatically go to the team with the best conference record.
For instance, Tulsa and Temple are tied for first place in the AAC with a 5-2 record, but neither one is projected to make the tournament. Instead, we have Connecticut as the AAC's automatic bid, because the Huskies are the best (tournament-eligible) team in that conference. There are several conferences where this came into play, but that's the biggest one.
Other than that, it's business as usual.
The three primary computer metrics considered in this projection are the NCAA's Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), KenPom.com's pythagorean rankings (KP) and CBS Sports' strength of schedule (SOS). And, of course, the oft-mentioned, never-quantifiable eye test was a large part of the seeding process.
As always, we'll take a look at the last five teams to make the field, the first five out and a few on the horizon.
After that, we'll present each seeded region, including the subregional locations in which each pod would be played, and some commentary on which teams have moved the most in each region. Then we'll defend the rankings of the No. 1 seeds, followed by a summary of the entire field broken up by conference.