On Sunday night, the 2018 NCAA tournament selection show announced the field of 68 lucky teams that will be in the Big Dance for the next few weeks. Although the seeds go one through 16 in each region, the committee also releases a true seed list, which ranks every team in the tournament.
Here’s this year’s list:
Here’s the NCAA tournament’s seed list: pic.twitter.com/Kx4MYyVZof— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) March 11, 2018
Tournament seeding attempts to work on an S-curve where teams ranked Nos. 1-4 get No. 1 seeds, and 5-8 get No. 2 seeds and so on. It breaks down roughly like this:
The selection committee creates a ranking of teams from 1-6.
It attempts to create brackets by snaking down the S-curve and putting the best of one seed line with the worst of the next and so on.
The S-curve is really a table with four columns (each an "ideal bracket") and 16 rows (or the seed lines), and is read left to right, then right to left, then left to right, and so on.
The two conferences with the most teams in the tournament are the ACC with nine, and the SEC with a conference-record eight teams in the tourney this year. The ACC has three teams in the top 10: No. 1 overall seed Virginia, No. 6 Duke, and No. 5 UNC are ranked highest, with Clemson cracking the top-20, as well at No. 19. In the SEC, Tennessee is the highest ranked SEC team at No. 10, followed by Florida, Arkansas, and then Missouri at No. 32.
A No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 seed, but Texas Southern sits at 68th on the true seed list, and will have a play-in game to win before it can take a crack at college basketball history against No. 1 Xavier.