The 2022-2023 college basketball season is underway. Conference races are important, and polls are fun, but everything about the college basketball season leads to the NCAA Tournament.
One of the best-advanced analytics tools to determine the quality of a team was created by statistician Ken Pomeroy. His “KenPom” rankings use several factors to come up with an overall adjusted efficiency metric, and teams are placed into order from 1-363.
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Here’s what the NCAA Tournament would look like as of Jan. 31, according to KenPom.
2023 NCAA Tournament Bracket Using KenPom Ratings
|Seeds||Teams, Ranks, and Conferences (conference champion is bolded)|
|1-seeds (1-4)||Tennessee (1/SEC), Houston (2/AAC), UCLA (3/PAC-12), Purdue (4/Big Ten)|
|2-seeds (5-8)||Alabama (5/SEC), UConn (6/Big East), Saint Mary’s (7/WCC), Marquette (8/Big East)|
|3-seeds (9-12)||Kansas (9/Big 12), Texas (10/Big 12), Creighton (11/Big East), Arizona (12/PAC-12)|
|4-seeds (13-16)||Virginia (13/ACC), Baylor (14/Big 12), TCU (15/Big 12), Gonzaga (16/WCC)|
|5-seeds (17-20)||Rutgers (17/Big Ten), Indiana (18/Big Ten), Iowa State (19/Big 12), West Virginia (20/Big 12)|
|6-seeds (21-24)||Arkansas (21/SEC), Xavier (22/Big East), San Diego St. (23/MWC), Illinois (24/Big Ten)|
|7-seeds (25-28)||Kansas St. (25/Big 12), Boise St. (26/MWC), Duke (27/ACC), Ohio St. (28/Big Ten)|
|8-seeds (29-32)||Auburn (29/SEC), Providence (30/Big East), North Carolina (31/ACC), Maryland (32/Big Ten)|
|9-seeds (33-36)||OK State (33/Big 12), Kentucky (34/SEC), Iowa (35/Big Ten), Memphis (36/AAC)|
|10-seeds (37-40)||Oklahoma (37/Big 12), Florida Atlantic (38/CUSA), Miami (39/ACC), Penn State (40/Big Ten)|
|11-seeds (41-45) – lowest two are in First Four game||Texas A&M (41/SEC), USC (42/PAC-12), Liberty (46/ASun), Northwestern (43/Big Ten), Michigan St. (44/Big Ten)|
|12-seeds (46-50)- lowest two are in First Four games||Oral Roberts (57/Summit), Dayton (59/A10), Sam Houston St. (64/WAC), New Mexico (45/MWC), Utah (47/PAC-12)|
|13-seeds (51-54)||Kent St. (69/MAC), Marshall (76/SB), Charleston (77/CAA), Iona (83/MAAC)|
|14-seeds (55-58)||Yale (84/Ivy), UCSB (88/BW), Furman (90/Southern), Bradley (91/MVC)|
|15-seeds (59-62)||Montana St. (109/Big Sky), Colgate (116/Patriot), Youngstown State (122/Horizon), Vermont (137/AE)|
|16-seeds (63-68) – lowest four are in First Four games||Radford (148/Big South), Norfolk State (188/MEAC), Northwestern St. (210/Southland), SIU-Edwardsville (224/Ohio Valley), Grambling State (225/SWAC), Wagner (294/NEC)|
There is a change at the top of the bracket as the Tennessee Volunteers slide into the No. 1 overall seed, and Houston moves down to No. 2. UCLA and Purdue join them on the top line.
At the same time, Alabama, UConn, Saint Mary’s, and Marquette make up a strange group of two seeds. Creighton continues to climb and is now 11th, giving the Big East four teams in the top 22 (with Xavier at No. 22).
On the negative side, Duke is down at No. 32, and with the ACC struggling, they’ll have a hard time getting quality wins. A prime example of this is the conference-leading Clemson Tigers. They are 18-4 but stuck at No. 60 in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings because of a lack of quality opponents. A team leading the ACC with a record of 18-4 that would not be in a hypothetical bracket is unheard of.
The Big 12 is an absolute wagon, with six teams in the top 20. The best “mid-majors” to watch are Florida Atlantic (No. 38) and Liberty (No. 46), with smaller conference powers like Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga, and San Diego State firmly in the top 25.
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