Gonzaga is the overall 1-seed in the NCAA tournament men's basketball selection committee's bracket preview, revealed early Saturday afternoon, for the second straight season.
"The margin between Gonzaga and Auburn is razor-thin, as is the gap between Auburn and Arizona," committee chair Tom Burnett said.
"You could make a case for all three teams, as Baylor has more Quadrant 1 wins than anyone and Kentucky doesn't have any losses outside of the first quadrant," he said. "Some head-to-head games involving those three teams certainly was a topic of conversation but as things stand today, we have Kansas with a slight edge."
Burnett said Alabama, Houston and Ohio State were the next three teams under consideration. The Cougars entered Saturday ranked No. 4 in the NET, No. 2 in the BPI and No. 7 at KenPom -- but Burnett said their lack of a single Quadrant 1 win kept them off the 4-line.
The biggest talking point coming out of the bracketing preview was the committee placing Villanova as the 3-seed in the East Region, which will be played at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Wildcats play several home games at Wells Fargo every season.
This is the lone mock bracket reveal of the season. Selection Sunday is March 13.
"This could all change with this weekend's results, let alone with what transpires over the next three weeks," Burnett said. "There's a lot of basketball still to be played."