The first slate of First Four games in the 2023 NCAA Tournament has already come and gone, but for many playing bracket games, there’s still time to change your picks before the ball is tipped in the First Round on Thursday. We’ve shared our expert brackets, ranked the games by watchability and broken down all four regions with in-depth analysis including players to watch and potential upsets.
Now we turn our attention to the entire field of 68, looking to identify the best team on all 16 seed lines.
The selection committee has already made its opinion on the matter clear, releasing its 1-68 seed list that lines up with the bracket. CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander has also offered his 1-68 ranking, which you could use to reach a similar conclusion. For this exercise, we aren’t going to lean quite as heavily on resume or NCAA Tournament profile like the committee does, but instead try to sort these teams based on the strength of the roster that’s taking the court this week. It’s not the most likely to win a game or go far in the tournament, but more of a power ranking of the four (or six) teams against each other on every seed line.
Running this exercise delivered some interesting region-by-region results, such as the West Region, perceived to be the toughest in the bracket, turning up with only three teams selected, tied with the East Region for the least top teams per seed line. Now that number does include the best No. 3 (Gonzaga), the best No. 4 (UConn) and the second-best No. 2 with a decent argument that if fully healthy UCLA would be the top 2-seed as the committee has them ranked.
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The Midwest Region stood out with six of the 16 teams picked coming from that upper right corner of the bracket with some strength in the middle of the bracket that includes the top No. 7, No. 10 and No. 13. Unfortunately for both Texas A&M and Penn State, those teams are paired against each other in what’s quite clearly one of the most intriguing games in the opening round.
Here’s a look at our picks for the best team on each seed line in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
No. 16 seeds
Northern Kentucky | Howard | Texas A&M-Corpus Christi/Southeast Missouri State| Texas Southern/Fairleigh Dickinson
Top team — Howard, West Region: Kenny…
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