My fourth edition of bracketology takes a look at the top 16 seeds for the 2022-23 NCAA Tournament and each team’s potential first round opponent. This is my first look at the projected No. 4 seeds. A lot of movement in the seedings and pairings occurred over this past week, including a new No. 1 overall seed.

No. 1 Seeds

The top line is all jumbled up thanks to the Purdue Boilermakers (23-3), the top-ranked team in the AP and Coaches poll, falling for the second time in three games. Purdue fell at Northwestern 64-58 on SuperBowl Sunday. As a result, the Boilermakers slide down to No. 3 in the list of No. 1 overall seeds.

Houston (23-2) jumps back into the top spot as the Cougars have won five straight. The Cougars’ two losses – to Alabama and Temple – are by a combined six points.

On a four-game winning streak, Alabama (22-3) will likely end up as the No. 1 seed if they win out. The Crimson Tide goes to Tennessee on Wednesday and still has Auburn, Texas A&M, and Arkansas on the schedule. All four of those teams are likely NCAA Tournament bound.

UCLA (21-4) enters the top line for the first time. The Bruins take over the fourth spot as Arizona drops out following their loss at Stanford on Saturday.

Projected opening-round matchups:

No. 1 Houston vs. NEC/SWAC play-in game winner. Stonehill (13-15) and Merrimack (11-16) held a-half game lead in the NEC. Alcorn State (14-11) has a one-and-one-half game lead in the SWAC.

No. 2 Alabama vs. MEAC/ OVC play-in game winner. Howard (16-10) leads the MEAC by one game. Morehead State (17-10) tops the OVC by two games.

No. 3 Purdue vs. Vermont (15-10). Vermont has won seven straight and leads the America East by two games.

No. 4 UCLA vs. Southland Conference automatic berth. Northwestern State/ (18-8) and Texas A&M -Corpus Christi (17-7) top the conference at 10-3.

No. 2 Seeds

Kansas (20-5) is my No. 1 team on the second line, thanks to their huge Big Monday win over Texas. Tennessee, my No. 5 overall team last week, falls to the third line as the Volunteers have lost two straight and three of four. i
Arizona (22-4) is No. 6 on my list followed by Virginia (19-4) and Texas (20-6)

Projected opening-round matchups:

No. 5 Kansas vs. Horizon League champion. Youngstown State (20-7) and Milwaukee (18-8) are tied atop the conference.

No. 6 Arizona vs. Colgate (19-8). Colgate has clinched at least a share of the Patriot League regular season crown.

No. 7 Virginia vs. Eastern Washington (19-7). EWU has a 2.5-game lead in the Big Sky.

No. 8 Texas vs. UNC Asheville (20-7). UNCA holds a game lead in the Big South.

No. 3 Seeds

All four of the No. 3 seeds are outstanding teams. However, Baylor (19-6) and Tennessee (19-6) are the most dangerous in terms of winning the NCAA Tournament. Big East co-leaders Marquette (20-6) and Xavier (19-6) are the last two No. 3 seeds.

Projected opening-round matchups:

No. 9 Baylor vs. Southern Conference champion. Furman (21-6), UNC Greensboro (18-9), and Samford (18-9) are tied for the league lead at 12-2.

No. 10 Tennessee vs. UC Santa Barbara (20-4). UCSB leads the Big West by a game.

No. 11 Marquette vs. Utah Valley (20-6). UVA leads the WAC by two games.

No. 12 Xavier Musketeers vs. Atlantic Sun automatic bid. Liberty (21-6) and Kennesaw State (20-7) lead the ASun at 12-2.

No. 4 Seeds

No. 4 Seeds have essentially “worked themselves out.” Figuring out the four No. 4 slots has been much more difficult. It was like splitting hairs.

Anyone of seven teams can wind up as a four-seed and be ranked from No. 13-16. Gonzaga (20-5), San Diego State (19-5), Miami (21-5) and Indiana (18-7) are my four seeds. Kansas State, Saint Mary’s, and UConn also were given consideration.

No. 13 Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga gets the top spot because the Bulldogs have the best resume of the seven teams. The Zags are 9-4 away from Spokane and have key victories over Alabama, Kentucky, Xavier, and Michigan State. Three of the five losses were close as well.

Gonzaga is one game in back of WCC leading Saint Mary’s. The Bulldogs, who have a good mix of veterans and youth, are led by senior All-American forward Drew Timme and junior guard Julian Strawther.

The Zags play uptempo and lead the nation in scoring at 86.3 points a game. They are also one of the best shooting teams. Free throw shooting, fouling, and defense are issues.

Gonzaga projects to open the NCAA Tournament with the winner of the Ivy League automatic berth. Yale (17-6) and Princeton (16-7) are top the Ivy League standings at 7-3.

14. San Diego State Aztecs
San Diego State’s resume is similar to Gonzaga’s. The Aztecs are 7-4 in away/neutral games and 8-5 in Quad I and 2 contests. While they have a few good victories – they don’t have a signature win –and all losses are to quality teams, four by single digits.

The key for the Aztecs is to control the pace. SDSU, which likes to play at a moderate pace, is a good shooting team, particularly from deep, shooting nearly 36% from beyond the arc. However, rebounding will be key for them in the NCAA Tournament.

San Diego State projects to play MAAC automatic berth winner in the first round. Iona (18-7) and Rider (14-9) top the conference with an 11-3 record.

15. Miami Hurricanes
Miami has won five straight and six of seven following its victories at UNC on Monday night. Junior guard Isaiah Wong leads a guard heavy squad that can shoot the lights out. Rebounding and defense is an issue for the Canes.

The Hurricanes project to the winner of the Missouri Valley Conference automatic berth in the tournament’s opening round. Drake (21-6) and Bradley (19-8) are tied atop the MVC.

16. Indiana Hoosiers
Indiana has been inconsistent, but the Hoosiers have played a solid schedule and have strong wins, with the most significant victories coming against Xavier, Illinois, Purdue, and Rutgers.

Indiana is a top-80 team in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The Hoosiers shoot the ball exceptionally well, ranking No.7 in field goal percentage and 19th in 3-point percentage.

They also share the ball well. Additionally, the Hoosiers are solid defensively as they are one of the best at protecting the rim. Senior Trayce Davis-Jackson leads the way for a team that is not very deep.

Indiana projects to play either Charleston or Hofstra in the first round.. Charleston (25-3) and Hofstra (20-8) sit atop of the CAA standings.