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NCAA Tournament's Top 16 Teams Released: Committee Drops Official Rankings

The NCAA Tournament selection committee has released its rankings for the top 16 teams in the country.

Saturday afternoon, for the first time, the NCAA Tournament selection committee, headed by Michigan State AD Mark Hollis, released an official set of rankings one month before the event. The top four seeds in each region - if the season ended today - were released on CBS during its NCAA March Madness Bracket Preview show.

In theory, these are the top 16 teams in the country. While a great deal can change in the last month of the season, it's safe to say that all of these teams will likely be part of the field when it's officially unveiled in March.

Here are the official rankings:

East:

  1. Villanova (1)
  2. Louisville (7)
  3. Kentucky (12)
  4. UCLA (15)

Midwest:

  1. Kansas (2)
  2. Florida State (6)
  3. Arizona (9)
  4. Duke (16)

South:

  1. Baylor (3)
  2. North Carolina (5)
  3. Florida (11)
  4. Butler (13)

West:

  1. Gonzaga (4)
  2. Oregon (8)
  3. Virginia (10)
  4. West Virginia (14)

Villanova, the reigning national champion, is the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament. The Wildcats are 23-2 on the season.

Kansas is the overall No. 2 seed. Baylor is the No. 3 overall seed, which makes Gonzaga the No. 4 overall seed. Some will protest that the Bulldogs, who are undefeated, aren't a bit higher.

The committee gave full 1-16 rankings in its list.

The teams that just missed the list? According to Hollis, they're Creighton, Purdue, Wisconsin and Cincinnati.

Why is this happening? The NCAA decided it wants to be more "transparent" with its selection process.

Does the committee have it right at the moment? Or would you have had it differently?