February Madness

Last year, the NCAA decided to release an early, in-season look at the bracket for the big tournament. That time of year is here again.

For the second year in a row, teams and fans get a sneak peak at how the official tournament bracket is looking for men's college hoops. The top 16 teams to this point have been named and appropriately seeded.

Virginia was awarded the overall number one seed, beating out Villanova. Xavier and Purdue are the other top seeds in their respective quadrants.

The bracketing principles are admittedly difficult to follow, but considerations are given to geographic location and seeding of potential opponents. Number two seeds in a quadrant cannot always go to the closest site if a one seed is going to play there, and so forth.

An attempt is also made to balance brackets, ensuring that the top four teams in one bracket are not substantially better statistically than the top four of another.

Again, it is a little tough to follow, so most will be fine to let the committee handle it, unless of course your favorite team does not get fair shake.

The top 16... so far

Below are the top 16 seeds in their respective divisions to this point in the season (per NCAA.com):

South (Atlanta): (1) Virginia, (2) Cincinnati, (3) Michigan St., (4) Tennessee
East (Boston): (1) Villanova, (2) Duke, (3) Texas Tech, (4) Ohio State
Midwest (Omaha): (1) Xavier, (2) Auburn, (3) Clemson, (4) Oklahoma
West (Los Angeles): (1) Purdue, (2) Kansas, (3) North Carolina, (4) Arizona

The season is not over yet, so these determinations are not final. March 11 is the day that the final bracket will be announced.

This list does provide interesting insight into what the bracket committee is looking at. It could also serve as a wake-up call to teams that may have believed that they were among the country's elite.

With a few weeks to go, will there be big shake-ups to the teams in the top 16 or their seeding? Is there enough time for the perennial contender Kentucky Wildcats to make it in?

Stay tuned to The Basketball Movement for more NCAA news as well as NBA, prep, and local hoops stuff.