2024 NCAA Tournament Bracket Watch: North Carolina will be the fourth No. 1 seed



(Editor’s note: This is part of the Bracket Central Series, an inside look at the run-up to the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments, along with analysis and picks during the tournaments.)

It only took until the day before Selection Sunday, but finally we can say for sure who the top eight seeds will be in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

With Tennessee and Arizona losing on Saturday and North Carolina advancing to the ACC tournament, the Tar Heels will join Purdue, Houston and UConn on the top line. The only minor intrigue left there is whether Houston passes Purdue for the No. 1 overall seed.

Tennessee and Arizona will be on the No. 2 line, along with Marquette and Iowa State. The Cyclones beat Baylor to reach the Big 12 title game and have more than made up for a lackluster nonconference slate, while Marquette got to the Big East final without All-America point guard Tyler Kolek. Given the Golden Eagles’ impressive resume and insistence that Kolek will be back next week, a No. 2 seed is in order.

Clarity comes at the top, and the bubble continues to come into focus as well. Mississippi State and Texas A&M locked up spots by beating Tennessee and Kentucky, respectively. New Mexico beat Colorado State in the Mountain West semis and should be safely in. Colorado finally gets over the hump on our bracket by beating Washington State in the Pac-12 semifinals — the Buffaloes’ first win over a team in the field away from home — and are now their league’s projected auto bid winner. They can end all doubt by beating Oregon in the Pac-12 title game on Saturday. If the Ducks win, though, they’ll steal a bid. Maybe … Colorado’s bid. Madness!

Somebody had to exit the field to make room for the Buffs, and we think it’s Seton Hall. With others moving up after big wins, that puts the Pirates’ shaky resume in stark relief. We don’t think Virginia should feel 100 percent confident either, and even St. John’s, at 3-10 in Quad 1, has some reason to be nervous — and to cheer against Oregon and NC State in Saturday’s title games.

First Four Out Next Four Out Last Four In Last Four Byes

Indiana State

Kansas State

New Mexico

Michigan State

Seton Hall

Villanova

Colorado

Oklahoma

Providence

Ohio State

St. John’s

Mississippi State

Pitt

Wake Forest

Virginia

Texas A&M

Multi-bid conferences

League Bids

Big 12

9

SEC

8

Big Ten

6

Mountain West

6

ACC

4

Big East

4

Pac-12

3

A10

2

AAC

2

WCC

2

Seed list

1

Purdue

AQ

2

Houston

AQ

3

UConn

AQ

4

North Carolina

AQ

5

Tennessee

6

Arizona

7

Iowa State

8

Marquette

9

Baylor

10

Creighton

11

Duke

12

Kansas

13

Illinois

14

Kentucky

15

BYU

16

Auburn

AQ

17

South Carolina

18

Alabama

19

Washington State

20

San Diego State

AQ

21

Clemson

22

Saint Mary’s

AQ

23

Texas Tech

24

Florida

25

Utah State

26

Gonzaga

27

Boise State

28

Nevada

29

Texas

30

Wisconsin

31

Northwestern

32

Dayton

33

Nebraska

34

Colorado State

35

Florida Atlantic

36

TCU

37

Michigan State

38

Oklahoma

39

Mississippi State

40

Drake

AQ

41

Colorado

42

Texas A&M

43

New Mexico

AQ

44

St. John’s

45

Virginia

46

James Madison

AQ

47

South Florida

AQ

48

Grand Canyon

AQ

49

McNeese Sate

AQ

50

VCU

AQ

51

Samford

AQ

52

Princeton

AQ

53

Akron

AQ

54

Charleston

AQ

55

Vermont

AQ

56

Oakland

AQ

57

Morehead State

AQ

58

Colgate

AQ

59

South Dakota State

AQ

60

Western Kentucky

AQ

61

UC Davis

AQ

62

Longwood

AQ

63

Fairfield

AQ

64

Montana State

AQ

65

Stetson

AQ

66

Howard

AQ

67

Grambling

AQ

68

Wagner

AQ

The Bracket Central series is part of a partnership with E*TRADE.

The Athletic maintains full editorial independence. Partners have no control over or input into the reporting or editing process and do not review stories before publication.

(Photo of Marquette’s Kam Jones: Sarah Stier / Getty Images)





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