Though plenty can change until the actual 2021 bracket reveal on Sunday, March 14, this Saturday provides a chance to see where things stand through Feb. 12 games. Here’s what you need to know about Saturday’s top-16 reveal.
2021 NCAA tournament: Top 16 reveal date, time, TV channel
The in-season Top 16 will be revealed at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 13, on CBS. During the show, the DI Men’s Basketball Committee will unveil what it considers to be the top 16 teams so far this season. A second half hour will air on CBSSN at 1 p.m.
Last year, Baylor, Kansas, Gonzaga and San Diego State ranked in the top four spots in the in-season announcement. The NCAA tournament was later canceled due to COVID-19.
In-season top 16: Where do they end up?
In the first two years of the in-season reveal, there weren’t many big shakeups by the time of Selection Sunday. Most teams either remained the same seed or moved up or down a seed or two.
For the most part.
The 2017-18 Oklahoma team had been a No. 4 seed in the in-season top 16 announcement, but OU went on a 4-10 slide going into the NCAA tournament — and got a No. 10 seed. The Sooners lost to Rhode Island in the first round.
The 2018-19 season saw the final five teams in the in-season top 16 all drop on the seed lines, including Nevada and Louisville falling from No. 4 to No. 7 seeds. All five of these teams lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
But what about teams that started outside the in-season top 16 and yet ended up getting a top-four seed in the NCAA tournament?
Through the first few years of the in-season reveal, there have been one (2017), three (2018) and five (2019) teams to move into a top-four seed after missing the in-season top 16 list.
Of these nine teams, six ended up getting a No. 4 seed. The other three teams earned a No. 3 seed. In terms of the overall rank, Texas Tech moved up the most — the 2018 Red Raiders were No. 10 on the overall seed. Texas Tech, of course, would go on to the NCAA tournament championship game.
These late risers have done well in the NCAA tournament. Of the nine, two reached the national championship game and seven advanced to at least the Sweet 16. Only two lost in the first round.