The Top Contenders in March Madness 2024: Who Will Make the Cut?

Top Contenders in March Madness 2024

There will be fierce competition for the top overall seed in the 2024 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. UConn, Purdue, and Houston all have a strong case for that top spot with matching 10-3 records in Quad 1 games. However, the fourth No. 1 seed is up for grabs. As we enter the final stretch before Selection Sunday, upcoming matchups could tilt the standings.

UConn Leads the Pack But Faces Key Road Test

Currently atop the bracket is UConn, powered by a balanced attack with five players averaging double figures. Guard Tristen Newton leads the charge at 15.2 points per game. However, a road finale at Marquette looms large.

The Golden Eagles have played spoiler before at home, so the Huskies must stay sharp. If UConn passes this test, they should feel good about keeping the No. 1 overall seed and going into March Madness with a great chance at winning back-to-back titles.

Purdue Surging Thanks to Dominant Big Man

Right on UConn’s heels is Purdue, winners of three straight games by a sizable 18.3-point margin. Fueling that run is center Zach Edey, averaging an eye-popping 30.3 points over that stretch.

With the Boilermakers firing on all cylinders entering the postseason, closing out Illinois at home looks manageable. By taking care of business, Purdue can make its case for the top line in the bracket.

Houston Riding Seven-Game Streak into Kansas Showdown

Rounding out the top contender trio is Houston, with seven consecutive wins to its name and the No. 1 ranking in both the NET and KenPom metrics. They also secured the No. 1 ranking in the last two AP Top 25 polls. Senior Jamal Shead pilots the offense with 6.1 assists per game.

Getting past visiting Kansas is no easy feat, but pulling out a win would fortify Houston’s position as a No. 1 seed candidate. With all three teams closely matched, these closing games carry extra weight.

Tennessee Firmly Planted as No. 4 Seed

While the top three teams jockey for the top overall seed, Tennessee is seeking to land the fourth No. 1 spot after statement-making wins over Auburn and Alabama. The Volunteers can pad their resume further in contests against South Carolina and Kentucky this week.

The Vols are currently No. 4 in the AP Poll and would like nothing more than to grab a top seed in one of the NCAA Tournament regions. Arizona, however, along with Iowa State and North Carolina, could still secure that last top seed with a strong finish.

Last Four In: Which Bubble Teams Will Get the Call?

As the final few at-large spots get decided, four teams sit precariously on the bubble. Colorado, Villanova, St. John’s, and Richmond currently occupy those last four in bids according to projections. All face an uphill battle to stay there.

The good news? Their conference tournaments offer a chance for signature wins to make an impression on the selection committee. For these bubble squads, it’s do-or-die time to earn a March Madness invite.

The Mid-Major Cinderellas: Dancing All The Way

Remember Saint Peter’s thrilling run in 2022? How about Florida Atlantic’s surprising Final Four appearance a year ago? It’s a reminder that those March Madness odds to win can be shattered by a team with the right blend of grit, talent, and a little bit of luck. Could Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, Dayton, or another mid-major surprise us all and crash the Final Four party?


With conference tournaments kicking off soon, the 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket remains very much in flux. Top teams like UConn, Purdue, and Houston will jockey for the overall No. 1 seed during Championship Week while teams like Tennessee and Arizona fight for that final top seed.

Meanwhile, those last four in—Colorado, Villanova, St. John’s, and Richmond—must play their way off the bubble to ensure a spot in the Big Dance.

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