March Madness bracket predictions: NCAA Top 16 reveal offers first preview of 2021 tournament field

The NCAA selection committee released its in-season Top 16 on Saturday.

The four 1-seeds are Gonzaga, Baylor, Ohio State and Michigan. While these aren’t the official standings for the NCAA Tournament, it is a look at what the Top 16 would look like if the season ended today. We still have a few more weeks of action in college basketball, so a lot can change from now until the start of the tournament.

Other notable inclusions are Alabama, Illinois, Villanova and Houston as the 2-seeds. Following them up are Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia as the three seeds.

The full bracket can be viewed below.

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March Madness bracket predictions

Here is a look at the NCAA’s Top 16 bracket, which is a first glimpse at the NCAA men’s basketball selection committee’s thought process for ranking the Field of 68 in 2021 if the tournament started Feb. 13.



1 Gonzaga   1 Baylor
2 Alabama   2 Illinois
3 Oklahoma   3 Tennessee
4 Iowa   4 Texas




1 Michigan   1 Ohio State
2 Houston   2 Villanova
3 West Virginia   3 Virginia
4 Missouri   4 Texas Tech

When does March Madness start in 2021?

  • Selection Sunday: Sunday, March 14
  • First Four: Thursday, March 18
  • Rounds 1-2: March 19-22

March Madness will open with First Four games on March 14 to cut the bracket down to 64 teams. Following those four matchups, there will be 16 games apiece on Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 for the tournament’s first round. The new dates for 2021 are part of the NCAA’s altered tournament schedule.

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MORE: Changes to March Madness schedule could create greatest day (or days) in NCAA Tournament history

NCAA basketball rankings & standings

Here is a look at the most recent AP top-25 rankings release as of Monday, Feb. 8.

Rank Team Conference W-L
1 Gonzaga West Coast 18-0
2 Baylor Big 12 17-0
3 Michigan Big Ten 13-1
4 Ohio State Big Ten 13-1
5 Villanova Big East 12-2
6 Illinois Big Ten 13-5
7 Texas Tech Big 12 14-5
8 Houston AAC 16-2
9 Virginia ACC 13-3
10 Missouri SEC 13-3
11 Alabama SEC 15-5
12 Oklahoma Big 12 12-5
13 Texas Big 12 11-5
14 West Virginia Pac-12 13-5
15 Iowa Big Ten 13-6
16 Tennessee SEC 13-4
17 Florida State ACC 10-3
18 Virginia Tech ACC 14-4
19 Creighton Big East 14-5
20 Southern California Pac-12 15-3
21 Wisconsin Big Ten 14-6
22 Loyola (Ill.) MVC 17-3
23 Oklahoma State Big 12 12-5
24 Purdue Big Ten 13-7
25 Rutgers Big Ten 11-6
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