Three teams, Virginia, Xavier and Villanova, have placed themselves quite far ahead of the pack this year. At the moment, Duke would be favored to win the last remaining top seed, but North Carolina could overtake Duke were UNC to win the ACC championship this weekend. Winning a major championship is worth about one full rank, which would move North Carolina into the fourth slot and relegate Duke to the second line. A victory for Clemson in the ACC tournament would move it up to a two seed along with Kansas and North Carolina.
Kansas seems locked into the second line regardless of what happens in the other major conference tourneys. Michigan’s #11 ranking already incorporates the bonus it received for winning the Big Ten championship last weekend, so it seems unlikely the Committee would move it further ahead of fellow Big Ten member Purdue, based on the latter’s overall season record.
The SEC Tournament could provide some additional drama as well. Only one of Auburn and Tennessee can win the SEC championship. That team will likely be placed on the second line, with the other seeded one rank behind.
Only three of these teams, Nevada, Gonzaga and Rhode Island, do not play in a major conference. Gonzaga’s score includes its “customary” two-seed bonus; it might or might not receive that again this year. The ACC, Big East, Big Ten, and SEC conferences have roughly equal numbers of teams on this list. The Big 12 and Pac 12 have just one each.