It's been a little while since we had an updated bracket and there have been several upsets since the projection last month. There are no more undefeated teams after UConn, Purdue and New Mexico lost on consecutive nights. Only one of those teams is on the top line of this week's bracket.
That team is Purdue, which would have fallen off the No. 1-seed line if not for a Fletcher Loyer 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to lift the Boilermakers to a win at Ohio State on Thursday. At 14-1 with wins over Ohio State, Duke and Gonzaga, all away from home, Purdue is the overall No. 2 seed this week.
The No. 1 seed is Kansas. The Jayhawks have only lost to Tennessee and have wins over five teams in the bracket. Kansas will be resume building almost every time it takes the floor because of the depth of the Big 12. Every team in that conference has a NET ranking in the top 45 except for Oklahoma, which is 61st.
There is a chance the Big 12 could break its record for the highest percentage of its teams in the NCAA Tournament. It has put seven of its ten in the field four times, most recently in 2018. There are eight Big 12 teams in this week's bracket, surpassed only by nine from the Big Ten. As is typically the case with brackets this early in the season, conference play may whittle that down, especially for the Big Ten.
Houston is the third overall seed. The Cougars will struggle to put together the kind of schedule to compete long term for the top spot in the bracket, which will make winning impressively very important. So far, so good. Houston's best win is at Virginia and that will likely still be true on Selection Sunday. This bracket has no other teams from the American Athletic Conference, which means that the Cougars' margin for error is small.
The fourth overall seed is Arizona. The Wildcats have wins over Tennessee at home and Indiana, San Diego State and Creighton on neutral sites. Their only loss came in a clunker at Utah.
Bracketology top seeds
Check out Palm's latest bracket, full field of 68 and all the teams on the bubble on the Bracketology hub.
It has been another rough year for the ACC in non-conference play. This is especially notable in the quality of their losses. The ACC has 16 losses to teams currently ranked between 101-200 in the NET. The other five power conferences have a total of 30, or an average of 6 per league. The ACC has also lost eight games to teams ranked 201 or below. The other power conferences have a total of 11 and the Big 12 has none.
That will drag everyone down some as the season progresses and could hurt the conference on selection Sunday. That is not because a team's own NET ranking matters, but because the NET ranking of its opponents matters and about 2/3 of a team's games are conference games.
The next bracket will be next Friday and that will begin the regular schedule of Monday and Friday weekly brackets until it gets closer to Selection Sunday. I'm skipping this Monday because of the College Football Playoff Championship Game.