2023 NCAA Tournament Bracket Based Using KenPom Ratings

The 2022-2023 college basketball season is nearing the midway point, and conference play has begun. Conference races are important, and polls are fun, but everything about the college basketball season points to the NCAA Tournament. While the Selection Committee will not pick the bracket until the middle of March, teams are already beginning to position themselves for selection or, in some cases, playing themselves into a hole.

One of the best-advanced analytics tools to determine the quality of a team was created by statistician Ken Pomeroy. His “KenPom” rankings use several factors to develop an overall adjusted efficiency metric, and teams are placed into order from 1-363.

This recurring weekly article will show you what the NCAA Tournament field would look like if selected solely by the KenPom rankings. There are 32 conference champions (the highest-ranked team in KenPom in each league) and 36 at-large selections. This bracket reflects results through the night of January 3, 2023.

Seeds Teams, Ranks, and Conferences (conference champion is bolded)
1-seeds (1-4) Houston (1/AAC), Tennessee (2/SEC), UCLA (3/PAC-12), Alabama (4/SEC)
2-seeds (5-8) Purdue (5/Big Ten), UConn (6/Big East), Kansas (7/Big 12), Saint Mary’s (8/WCC) 
3-seeds (9-12) Gonzaga (9/WCC), Texas (10/Big 12), Iowa St. (11/Big 12), Virginia (12/ACC)
4-seeds (13-16) Marquette (13/Big East), Creighton (14/Big East), Rutgers (15/Big Ten), Baylor (16/Big 12)
5-seeds (17-20) Xavier (17/Big East), Ohio State (18/Big Ten), Auburn (19/SEC), Arizona (20/PAC-12)
6-seeds (21-24) Illinois (21/Big Ten), Arkansas (22/SEC), Boise State (23/MWC), West Virginia (24/Big 12) 
7-seeds (25-28) North Carolina (25/ACC), Kansas St. (26/Big 12), TCU (27/Big 12), Duke (28/ACC)
8-seeds (29-32) Indiana (29/Big Ten), San Diego St. (30/MWC), Providence (31/Big East), Iowa (32/Big Ten)
9-seeds (33-36) Kentucky (33/SEC), Oklahoma (34/Big 12), NC. State (35/ACC), Florida Atlantic (36/CUSA)
10-seeds (37-40) Memphis (37/AAC), Penn State (38/Big Ten), OK State (39/Big 12), Michigan State (40/Big Ten)
11-seeds (41-45) – lowest two are in First Four game UCF (41/AAC), Miami (FL) (42/ACC), Dayton (53/A10), Maryland (43/Big Ten), Florida (44/SEC)
12-seeds (46-50)- lowest two are in First Four games Kent State (65/MAC), Liberty (69/ASUN), Oral Roberts (74/Summit), VA Tech (45/ACC), Utah State (46/MWC)
13-seeds (51-54) Iona (75/MAAC), Sam Houston State (77/WAC), Charleston (78/CAA), Bradley (87/MVC)
14-seeds (55-58) James Madison (90/SB), UC Santa Barbara (95/BW), Princeton (96/Ivy), Furman (107/Southern)
15-seeds (59-62) Youngstown State (114/Horizon), Colgate (117/Patriot), Montana St. (126/Big Sky), Longwood (136/Big South)
16-seeds (63-68) – lowest four are in First Four games  SIU-Edwardsville (156/Ohio Valley), Vermont (168/AE), Texas A&M Corpus Christi (200/Southland), Norfolk State (209/MEAC), Southern (229/SWAC), Fairleigh Dickinson (297/NEC)

The No. 1 seeds would be Houston, Tennessee, UCLA, and Alabama. The Houston Cougars retain the number one overall seed, with Alabama joining the Volunteers and Bruins on the top line. Conference play is in full swing, and we are seeing some risers and fallers. Iowa State has vaulted all the way to number 11 after a great win over Texas, while Marquette and Creighton continue to rise and sit at 13 and 14.

On the negative side, Duke sits at number 28, and with the ACC struggling, they’ll have a hard time getting quality wins. The Big 12 is an absolute wagon with eight teams between 7 and 34. The ACC continues to struggle, and Virginia is the highest-ranked team at number 12, with only one other team even in the top 25 (UNC at 25). The best “mid-majors” to keep an eye on are Florida Atlantic (36), Boise State (23), and Dayton (53). 

This seed list will be updated weekly based on changes in the fluid KenPom rankings.