RECURRING 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), UConn (3/Big East), UCLA (4/PAC-12)
2-seeds (5-8) Kansas (5/Big 12), Purdue (6/Big Ten), Alabama (7/SEC), Texas (8/Big 12)
3-seeds (9-12) Saint Mary’s (9/WCC), Arkansas (10/SEC), Arizona (11/PAC-12), Ohio State (12/Big Ten), Gonzaga (12/WCC)
4-seeds (13-16) Gonzaga (13/WCC), Virginia (14/ACC), Marquette (15/Big East), Rutgers (16/Big Ten)
5-seeds (17-20) Creighton (17/Big East), Xavier (18/Big East), Auburn (19/SEC), San Diego State (20/MWC)
6-seeds (21-24) North Carolina (21/ACC), Indiana (22/Big Ten), West Virginia (23/Big 12), Duke (24/ACC) 
7-seeds (25-28) Kentucky (25/SEC), Baylor (26/Big 12), Kansas St. (27/Big 12), Iowa State (28/Big 12)
8-seeds (29-32) Oklahoma St. (29/Big 12), Providence (30/Big East, Oklahoma (31/Big 12), TCU (32/Big 12)
9-seeds (33-36) Maryland (33/Big Ten), Illinois (34/Big Ten), N.C. State (35/ACC), UCF (36/AAC), 
10-seeds (37-40) Memphis (37/AAC), Florida Atlantic (38/CUSA), Missouri (39/SEC), Iowa (40/Big Ten)
11-seeds (41-45) – lowest two are in First Four game Texas Tech (41/Big 12), Virginia Tech (42/ACC), Dayton (55/A10), Michigan St. (43/Big Ten), Miami FL (44/ACC)
12-seeds (46-50)- lowest two are in First Four games Iona (67/MAAC), Liberty (70/ASUN), Kent State (72/MAC), Utah State (45/MWC), Mississippi State (46/SEC)
13-seeds (51-54) Bradley (78/MVC), Oral Roberts (80/Summit), Sam Houston State (81/WAC), Marshall (82/SB)
14-seeds (55-58) Charleston (85/CAA), Yale (92/Ivy), UC Irvine (94/BW), Furman (99/Southern)
15-seeds (59-62) Colgate (113/Patriot), Longwood (124/Big South), Youngstown State (128/Horizon), Montana St. (129/Big Sky)
16-seeds (63-68) – lowest four are in First Four games  Vermont (156/AE), SIU-Edwardsville (170/Ohio Valley), Texas A&M Corpus Christi (190/Southland), Norfolk State (194/MEAC), Grambling State (227/SWAC), Wagner (308/NEC)

The No. 1 seeds would be Houston, UConn, UCLA, and Tennessee. The Houston Cougars retain the number one overall seed, with the other three number ones also remaining the same this week. Conference play has begun, and some teams have taken advantage early. Rutgers won at Purdue and has vaulted to No.16 in the ratings and a firm four-seed. After a multi-week swoon, Creighton has righted the ship and now sits at No. 17, rising nearly 20 spots over the past few weeks. A couple of other teams to watch: Xavier has steadily risen, and after a big win over UConn, they sit at No. 18. Saint Mary’s is now the best team in the West Coast Conference and have climbed into the top ten after surpassing Gonzaga. The ACC’s weakness has been a storyline, while Virginia is the highest-ranked team, sitting at No. 14. The lack of quality victories in that conference could place some teams on the bubble despite good records. 

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