Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga, SDSU Top Seeds in 2020 NCAA Tournament Bracket Preview

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2020

Baylor guard Jared Butler brings the ball up court against TCU in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Rod Aydelotte)
Rod Aydelotte/Associated Press

The NCAA men's basketball tournament selection committee tabbed Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga and San Diego State as the four No. 1 seeds in its initial preview of the 2020 March Madness field Saturday.

This marked the fourth year in a row the committee has provided an early look at which teams would own the top 16 seeds in the NCAA tournament.

Here is a full rundown of the top 16 seeds, courtesy of the NCAA March Madness Bracket Preview special on CBS:


South Region

1. Baylor (No. 1 overall seed)

2. Louisville (7)

3. Seton Hall (11)

4. Auburn (13)


Midwest Region

1. Kansas (2)

2. Dayton (6)

3. Florida State (10)

4. Michigan State (16)


West Region

1. Gonzaga (3)

2. West Virginia (8)

3. Villanova (12)

4. Oregon (14)


East Region

1. San Diego State (4)

2. Duke (5)

3. Maryland (9)

4. Butler (15)


It was no surprise the Baylor Bears would be the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament given the fact they received 49 of the 65 first-place votes in the most recent Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Baylor is the team to beat in the Big 12 with a 20-1 record and 9-0 mark in conference play. In fact, the Bears have won 19 games in a row since losing to Washington in their second game of the season.

Head coach Scott Drew has helped lead the Bears to a number of quality wins, including over Villanova, Arizona, Butler, Texas Tech and Kansas.

Baylor doesn't have a superstar, but with Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Freddie Gillespie all averaging double figures in scoring, it is a well-balanced and deep team that will be a tough out come tournament time.

Though it was somewhat surprising they were given the No. 2 overall seed over Gonzaga, the 19-3 Kansas Jayhawks were a sensible pick because of their resume and impressive collection of talent.

Kansas is 8-1 in Big 12 play, with its only loss coming to Baylor. The Jayhawks' other two losses were against highly touted teams in Duke and Villanova.

While Bill Self's team doesn't have a ton of wins that jump off the page, victories over Dayton, Colorado, West Virginia and Texas Tech were meaningful.

Thanks to the inside-outside combination of center Udoka Azubuike and guard Devon Dotson, the Jayhawks may be the team to beat come tournament time, regardless of their ranking.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs were a no-brainer choice for a No. 1 seed as well after garnering 15 first-place votes in the latest AP poll.

The Zags have lived at or near the top of the rankings in recent years, and this season has been no different. At 24-1 overall and 10-0 in West Coast Conference play, this year's team may be one of the best ever under head coach Mark Few.

Gonzaga's only loss came against Michigan, and while it can be argued that the Zags play in a weak conference, they still have impressive non-conference wins over Oregon, Washington, Arizona and North Carolina.

The team experienced some turnover from last season to this season, but it hasn't mattered. Few has a remarkable seven players averaging at least 9.9 points per game, including Filip Petrusev, who leads the Bulldogs with 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest.

The San Diego State Aztecs are the only undefeated team in Division I at 23-0, and that helped them earn the final No. 1 seed.

While San Diego State plays in the Mountain West Conference, it owns victories over big-conference teams in Creighton, Iowa and Utah. The Aztecs have yet to beat a ranked squad, however.

Head coach Brian Dutcher has SDSU firing on all cylinders, and it would be tough to penalize the Aztecs for a weak conference when Gonzaga tends to get the benefit of the doubt.

Regardless of their affiliation, the Aztecs are a talented team, and led by guard Malachi Flynn, they have a chance to do damage in March.

The committee divulged there was a significant gap from the No. 4 overall seed to No. 5, but there were strong teams among the No. 2 seeds, including Atlantic Coast Conference powers Duke and Louisville plus the 20-2 Dayton Flyers, who are dominating the Atlantic 10 Conference.

As noted by the committee on CBS, nine of the 12 teams chosen as No. 1 seeds in the tournament preview over the past three years have been No. 1 seeds in the actual tournament, and those that haven't have been No. 2 seeds.

There is still more than a month of basketball to be played between now and the end of conference tournaments, so the top 16 seeds could change significantly during that time.

The final seeds will be determined and revealed in just over a month on the Selection Sunday show, which will air on CBS on March 15.


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