Who’s ready for a new weekly column?

Between now and Selection Sunday, each Friday I’ll give a “BRACKET BREAKDOWN” with my 68 projected teams for the 2023 NCAA Tournament along with my Top 16 seeds as well as emerging trends.

The team who is currently in first place in their respective conference will be listed as that league’s “automatic qualifier”.

The Current Field

Atlantic Sun (1)
Liberty (AQ)

America East (1)
Vermont (AQ)

American Athletic Conference (2)
Houston (AQ), Memphis

Atlantic 10 (1)

ACC (7)
Clemson (AQ), Miami, Pitt, Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, NC State

Big 12 (8)
Texas (AQ), Kansas, Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State, TCU, West Virginia, Oklahoma State

Big East (5)
Xavier (AQ), Providence, Marquette, Creighton, UConn

Big Sky (1)
Eastern Washington (AQ)

Big South (1)
UNC Asheville (AQ)

Big Ten (8)
Purdue (AQ), Illinois, Michigan State, Indiana, Rutgers, Iowa, Maryland, Northwestern

Big West (1)
UC Santa Barbara (AQ)

CAA (1)
Hofstra (AQ)

Conference-USA (1)
Florida Atlantic (AQ)

Horizon League (1)
Youngstown State (AQ)

Ivy League (1)
Princeton (AQ)

MAAC (1)
Rider (AQ)

MAC (1)
Kent State (AQ)

MEAC (1)
Maryland-Eastern Shore (AQ)

Missouri Valley (1)
Drake (AQ)

Mountain West (4)
San Diego State (AQ), Boise State, New Mexico, Nevada

NEC (1)
Fairleigh Dickinson  (AQ)

OVC (1)
Morehead State (AQ)

Pac-12 (3)
UCLA (AQ), Arizona, USC

Patriot League (1)
Colgate (AQ)

SEC (6)
Alabama (AQ), Missouri, Tennessee, Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky

Southern (1)
Furman (AQ)

Southland (1)
Texas A&M Corpus Christi (AQ)

SWAC (1)
Alcorn State (AQ)

Summit (1)
Oral Roberts (AQ)

Sun Belt (1)
Southern Miss (AQ)

WCC (2)
Saint Mary’s (AQ), Gonzaga

WAC (1)
Utah Valley (AQ)

First Four Out

Wisconsin, Seton Hall, Texas A&M, Oregon

Top 16 Seeds

1: Purdue, Alabama, Houston, Arizona
2: Kansas, UCLA, Texas, Tennessee
3: Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas State, Xavier
4: Virginia, UConn, Marquette, Indiana

Five Things To Know

  • Purdue is in the driver’s seat to be the No. 1 seed in the South Region. That means if the Boilers advance to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament they will play Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville. That’s the same site of Purdue’s agonizing Elite Eight loss to Virginia in 2019. 
  • Tennessee’s loss at Vanderbilt on Wednesday night was its third Quad 3 defeat. That could inhibit the Vols from playing their way back to a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday.
  • Kentucky and North Carolina are a combined 2-15 in Quad 1 games. 
  • Gonzaga was not projected as a Top 16 seed in the bracket above. The Bulldogs haven’t been worse than a four seed since the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
  • At least five of Northwestern’s final seven regular season games will be Quad 1 opportunities. If the Wildcats win three of those games, they’re a lock to make the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history regardless of what happens in the Big Ten Tournament. 

Jon Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and a contributor to the CBS Broadcast Network since 2016. He joined FanDuel in 2022 as a Content Creator. Rothstein is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks.