March Madness 2024: Here are the top seeds for the men's and women's NCAA basketball tournament

ByJacob Lev and Issy Ronald, CNN, CNNWire
Monday, March 18, 2024
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The fields are set for March Madness and it's time to fill out your brackets.

The men's field is topped by defending champion Connecticut while the women's overall No. 1 seed is undefeated South Carolina.

The other top seeds for the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament are the Purdue Boilermakers, North Carolina Tar Heels and Houston Cougars.

The women's top seeds include the Iowa Hawkeyes, Southern California Trojans and Texas Longhorns.

The events begin with play-in games, the First Four, which for the men will be held Tuesday and Wednesday with women's contests on Wednesday and Thursday.

The men's No. 2 seeds are Iowa State Cyclones, Marquette Golden Eagles, Tennessee Volunteers and Arizona Wildcats.

The Wildcats will face No. 15 seed Long Beach State, who despite firing their head coach earlier this week, won the Big West Conference Tournament to clinch the program's first NCAA tournament appearance since 2012.

Traditional bluebloods Kentucky earned a No. 3 seed while Duke and Kansas are both No. 4 seeds.

Women's No. 1 overall seed South Carolina comes off a second consecutive SEC Tournament title. The Gamecocks are seeking to become the tenth team in women's Division I history to finish the season as undefeated champions. They will play against the winner between First Four participants Sacred Heart and Presbyterian.

Last year, South Carolina went undefeated in the SEC regular season and SEC tournament before being upset by Iowa in the Final Four.

Led by the NCAA's all-time Division I leading scorer Caitlin Clark, the Hawkeyes secured a No. 1 seed for the third time in program history and first time since 1992. The Hawkeyes will play against either Holy Cross or Tennessee-Martin in the first round.

Iowa reached the national championship game last year but ultimately fell to Louisiana State, which is a No. 3 seed this year.

How were teams picked?

Thirty-two teams automatically qualified in both the men's and women's tournament by virtue of winning their respective conference tournaments.

A selection committee then determined which other teams receive one of 36 at-large bids for a total of 68 teams. Those ranked between the No. 64 and No. 68 then play in the First Four play-in tournament, in a bid to be part of the final 64 teams.

Selection Sunday is the end of weeks of speculation as college basketball fans have sought to predict the precise configuration of teams that will make the final bracket.

It means that fans, as well as just casual observers, will then be able to fill in their customary brackets predicting the results of the tournament, in a nationwide tradition that has seen everyone from US Presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush to Jimmy Fallon participate in.

What happens afterwards?

Now that Selection Sunday is all but over, there are only two days for fans to fill out their brackets before the men's tournament begins on March 19 and the women's tournament begins the day after. From then on, the games come thick and fast with the full schedule available below.

Men's tournament

First Four: March 19-20

First round: March 21-22

Second round: March 23-24

Sweet 16: March 28-29

Elite Eight: March 30-31

Final Four: Saturday, April 6

NCAA championship game: Monday, April 8

Women's tournament

First Four: March 20-21

First round: March 22-23

Second round: March 24-25

RELATED: March Madness: How to watch the women's NCAA Tournament and what to watch for

Sweet 16: March 29-30

Elite Eight: March 31-April 1

Final Four: Friday, April 5

NCAA championship game: Sunday, April 7

Men's matchups, by region


Connecticut vs. Stetson; Florida Atlantic vs. Northwestern; San Diego State vs. Alabama at Birmingham; Auburn vs. Yale

Brigham Young vs. Duquesne; Illinois vs. Morehead State; Washington State vs. Drake; Iowa State vs. South Dakota State


Houston vs. Longwood; Nebraska vs. Texas A&M; Wisconsin vs. James Madison; Duke vs. Vermont

Texas Tech vs. NC State; Kentucky vs. Oakland; Florida vs. winner of Boise State-Colorado; Marquette vs. Western Kentucky


Purdue vs. winner of Montana State-Grambling State; Utah State vs. Texas Christian; Gonzaga vs. McNeese; Kansas vs. Samford

South Carolina vs. Oregon; Creighton vs. Akron; Texas vs. winner of Virginia-Colorado State; Tennessee vs. Saint Peter's


North Carolina vs. winner of Howard-Wagner; Mississippi State vs. Michigan State; Saint Mary's (California) vs. Grand Canyon; Alabama vs. Charleston

Clemson vs. New Mexico; Baylor vs. Colgate; Dayton vs. Nevada; Arizona vs. Long Beach State

Women's matchups, by regions

Region 1 Albany

South Carolina vs. the winner of Sacred Heart-Presbyterian; North Carolina vs. Michigan State; Indiana vs. Fairfield; Oklahoma vs. Florida Gulf Coast.

Nebraska vs. Texas A&M; Oregon State vs. Eastern Washington; Mississippi vs. Marquette; Notre Dame vs. Kent State

Region 2 Albany

Iowa vs. winner of Holy Cross-Tennessee Martin; West Virginia vs. Princeton; Colorado vs. Drake; Kansas State vs. Portland

Louisville vs. Middle Tennessee State; Louisiana State vs. Rice; Creighton vs. Nevada-Las Vegas; UCLA vs. California Baptist

Region 3 Portland

Southern California vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi; Kansas vs. Michigan; Baylor vs. winner of Vanderbilt-Columbia; Virginia Tech vs. Marshall

Syracuse vs. winner of Auburn-Arizona; Connecticut vs Jackson State; Duke vs. Richmond; Ohio State vs. Maine

Region 4 Portland

Texas vs. Drexel; Alabama vs. Florida State; Utah vs. South Dakota State; Gonzaga vs. Cal Irvine

Tennessee vs. Green Bay; North Carolina State vs. Chattanooga; Iowa State vs. Maryland; Stanford vs. Norfolk State

Names to watch

Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark has transcended college basketball with her record-breaking achievements this year, becoming a star capable of commanding high ticket prices and lucrative sponsorship deals. The term "Clark-onomics" has been coined to describe her huge impact off the court, such has been her ubiquity in pop culture.

The 22-year-old has become the NCAA Division-I leading scorer across both men's and women's college basketball this year, and eclipsed NBA star Steph Curry's record of the most three-pointers hit in a single NCAA Division-1 season.

She is seeking to lead the Iowa Hawkeyes to an NCAA championship title, before heading to the WNBA where she is projected to be the No. 1 pick in this year's draft.

Angel Reese

Angel Reese is another of the tournament's biggest stars, following her crucial role in propelling LSU to its first ever women's college basketball title last year.

Although LSU earned a No. 3 seed on Selection Sunday after succumbing to defeat against South Carolina in the SEC Tournament championship game, it is still expect to be one of the top contenders to defend its title.

Reed Sheppard

While there has been a perceived drop in star power in men's college basketball this season in comparison with previous seasons, there is still a host of NBA-ready talent to keep an eye on, such as Kentucky's Reed Sheppard.

The sharpshooting combo guard is projected to be selected third overall - the highest of any college player - in Bleacher Report's latest 2024 NBA mock draft, after a late-season surge in scoring appears to have turned the heads of NBA scouts. His ability to fill it up as well as stifle opponents on the defensive end make him one to watch in the tournament.

Zach Edey

Another name to look out for is Zach Edey. The seven-foot-four, 300lb center is the tallest player in Big Ten conference history and the reigning consensus national player of the year.

While his seemingly unstoppable post presence and footwork might not translate to the NBA, he is a dominant college player who is seeking to lead Purdue, one of the tournament favorites, to a national championship.

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