Our Top 20 Teams Going Into March Madness 2022

Our Top 20 Teams Going Into March Madness 2022

With Selection Sunday behind us and the First Four underway, March Madness is officially upon us and we couldn’t be more excited for the action that’s about to come our way. It’s going to be an interesting tournament and if it’s anything like in year’s past, we can expect a lot of upsets. 

The First Four began on March 15th and will continue on March 16th, marking the first actual game action of the tournament. There won’t be any delay in getting Round One started, with games taking place on March 17th and March 18th. The Final Four begins on April 2nd. 

With 64 teams in the field and fans filling out their brackets all around the world, we look forward to seeing which team fights their way to an NCAA Championship. It’s something every campus, student athlete, coach, athletic director, student, parent, and fan dreams of every single year. 

RELATED: 20 of the Greatest College Basketball Teams of All-Time

Who Won Last Year’s March Madness?

Our Top 20 Teams Going Into March Madness 2022
Al Sermeno Photography / Shutterstock

Last year’s March Madness was one to remember. It was a special one, especially considering the 2020 March Madness tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Baylor Bears were crowned NCAA Champions after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs 86-70.

Before the 2020 tourney was canceled, the five previous winners included Virginia (2019), Villanova (2018), North Carolina (2017), Villanova again (2016), and Duke (2015). UCLA has the most titles all-time with 11, while Kentucky has eight, North Carolina has six, and Duke has five.

With that said, the 2022 March Madness tournament is bound to be different and we could end up seeing a champion that hasn’t won it all in a while. If you’re looking to make some last-minute changes to your bracket, we’re going to look at the 20 teams with the best chance at winning it. 

20. UCONN Huskies

The UCONN Huskies are a No. 5 seed heading into this year’s March Madness. They’ve won four titles in campus history (1999, 2004, 2011, and 2014) and have a good chance at  their fifth title this year. They finished the regular season 23-9 with a 13-6 Big East conference record. 

The Huskies faced a disappointing loss to Villanova in the Big East Tournament Semifinals. They’ll face No. 12 New Mexico State on March 17, 2022 and are led by R.J. Cole, Adama Sanogo, and Tyrese Martin – all of whom averaged more than 13 points per game this year. 

19. Providence Friars

The Providence Friars are a No. 4 seed heading into this year’s March Madness. They’ve made it to the Final Four twice (1973 and 1987), but have yet to win a national championship. Could this be the year? They finished the season 25-5 with a 14-3 Big East conference record. 

Although Providence finished the regular season with the best record in the Big East, they lost to Creighton in the Big East Semifinals. They’re led by Nate Watson, Al Durham, Jared Bynum, and A.J. Reeves, all of whom are averaging at least 10.0 points per game this season. 

18. Saint Mary’s Gaels

The Saint Mary’s Gaels are a No. 5 seed heading into this year’s March Madness, which is their highest seeding in campus history. It’s their 11th tourney appearance since 1959 and while they have never been to a Final Four, they have made it to one Elite Eight and two Sweet Sixteens. 

The team finished the regular season 25-7 with a 12-3 record in the West Coast Conference. They made it to the 2022 WCC Championship game, but lost to Gonzaga 69-82. The two teams also met twice during the regular season, with both teams managing to snatch a victory. 

17. Houston Cougars

The Houston Cougars are a No. 5 seed in the South Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have yet to win a national championship, but have been runner-up twice and have made it to the Final Four six times – they’re last Final Four visit coming last season. 

Houston finished the regular season 29-5 with a 15-3 record in the American Athletic Conference. They defeated Cincinnati, Tulane, and Memphis en route to winning the AAC Championship and will be faced off against UAB on March 18th in the First Round. 

16. Wisconsin Badgers

The Wisconsin Badgers are a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They won the National Championship in 1941 and were runner-ups in 2015, but are still searching for their second title in campus history and it very well could come this season. 

The Badgers finished the regular season 24-7 with a 15-5 record in the Big Ten Conference. They faced a disappointing loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. It was their second-straight loss, but they can redeem themselves against Colgate on Friday. 

15. Arkansas Razorbacks

The Arkansas Razorbacks are a No. 4 seed in the West Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They won their first and only title in 1994 and were runner-ups the following season in 1995. They made it to the Elite Eight last year, but haven’t been to the Final Four since 1995.

The Razorbacks finished the regular season 25-8 with a 13-5 record in the Southeastern Conference. After beating LSU in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, Arkansas lost to Texas A&M in the semifinals. They now face No. 13 Vermont on Thursday in the First Round. 

14. Iowa Hawkeyes

The Iowa Hawkeyes are a No. 5 seed in the Midwest Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They’ve never been crowned NCAA champions, but were runner-ups in 1956 and have made it three Final Four appearances – they’re last one coming in 1980 under Lute Olson.

The Hawkeyes finished the regular season 26-9 with a 12-8 record in the Big Ten Conference. They surprised everyone by defeating Northwestern, Rutgers, Indiana, and Purdue to win the Big Ten Conference. They’ll need that momentum against No. 12 Richmond on Thursday. 

13. Illinois Fighting Illini

The Illinois Fighting Illini are a No. 4 seed in the South Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have never won a title, but were runner-ups in 2005 and have made five Final Four appearances since 1949. This is just their third tourney appearance in the past 10 years. 

The Fighting Illini finished the regular season 22-9 with a 15-5 record in the Big Ten Conference. They were on a three-game winning streak heading into the Big Ten Tournament, but lost to Indiana in the quarterfinals. They now face No. 13 Chattanooga in the First Round on Friday. 

12. Texas Tech Red Raiders

The Texas Tech Red Raiders are a No. 3 seed in the West Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They made their first Elite Eight appearance in 2018 and first Final Four appearance in 2019. They eventually made it to the championship game, but lost to Virginia.

The Red Raiders finished the regular season 25-9 with a 12-6 record in the Big 12 Conference. They beat Iowa State and Oklahoma in the Big 12 Tournament, but lost to Kansas in the championship game. They now face No. 14 Montana State in the First Round on Friday. 

11. Auburn Tigers

The Auburn Tigers are a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They made their first Final Four appearance in 2019 and have only made two Elite Eight appearances in campus history – in 1986 and 2019. They have yet to win a championship.

The Tigers finished the regular season 27-5 with a 15-3 record in the Southeastern Conference under Bruce Pearl. They went on a 19-game winning streak at one point this season, but lost to Texas A&M in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. They face No. 15 Jacksonville State.

10. Villanova Wildcats

The Villanova Wildcats are a No. 2 seed in the South Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have won the NCAA Championship three times, most recently in 2018. Last season, they made it to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to Baylor, the eventual champions. 

The Wildcats finished the regular season 26-7 with a 16-4 record in the Big East Conference under Jay Wright – his 21st season with the team. They defeated St. John’s, UCONN, and Creighton en route to a Big East Championship and now face No. 15 Delaware on Friday. 

9. Kentucky Wildcats

The Kentucky Wildcats are a No. 2 seed in the East Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have won the NCAA Championship eight times in campus history, but haven’t done so since 2012. They were runner-ups in 2014 and their last Final Four was in 2015. 

The Wildcats finished the regular season 26-7 with a 14-4 record in the Southeastern Conference. They defeated Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, but lost to Tennessee in the semifinals. They’ll now square off against No. 15 Saint Peter’s on Thursday. 

8. Duke Blue Devils

The Duke Blue Devils are a No. 2 seed in the West Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They won the NCAA Championship five times with their last title coming in 2015. They’re glad to be bak, especially considering they missed the tourney all together last year. 

The Blue Devils finished the regular season 28-6 with a 16-4 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They defeated Syracuse and Miami in the ACC Tournament, but lost to Virginia Tech in the championship game. They now face No. 15 Cal State Fullerton on Friday. 

7. UCLA Bruins

The UCLA Bruins are a No. 4 seed in the East Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have been crowned champions a record 11 times, most of which came under legendary head coach John Wooden. Unfortunately, they haven’t won a title since 1995. 

The Bruins finished the regular season 25-7 with a 15-5 record in the Pac-12 Conference. They defeated Washington State and USC in the Pac-12 Tournament to earn their fifth-straight victory, but lost to Arizona in the championship game. They now face No. 13 Akron on Thursday. 

6. Baylor Bears

The Baylor Bears are a No. 1 seed in the East Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They’re the defending champions after winning their first title in campus history. They were runner-ups in 1948 and have made three Final Four appearances in school history.

The Bears finished the regular season 26-6 with a 14-4 record in the Big 12 Conference. Led by Scott Drew in his 19th season with the team, they started the season 15-0, but lost to Oklahoma in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. They now face No. 16 Norfolk State on Thursday.

5. Purdue Boilermakers

The Purdue Boilermakers are a No. 3 seed in the East Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. While they have yet to win an NCAA Championship, Purdue was the runner-up in 1969 and last made it to the Final Four in 1980. They’re led by 17-year head coach Matt Painter. 

The Boilermakers finished the regular season 27-7 with a 14-6 record in the Big Ten Conference. They defeated Penn State and Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament, but lost to Iowa in the championship game. They’re now set to play No. 14 Yale Bulldogs in the First Round on Friday. 

4. Tennessee Volunteers

The Tennessee Volunteers are a No. 3 seed in the South Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have only made it to the Elite Eight once, back in 2010, but have never gone further than that. They were last in the Sweet Sixteen in 2019, their eighth such appearance.

The Volunteers finished the regular season 26-7 with a 14-4 record in the Southeastern Conference. They defeated Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Texas A&M en route to being named SEC Tournament champions. They now square off vs. No. 14 Longwood on Thursday. 

3. Kansas Jayhawks

The Kansas Jayhawks are a No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have won the NCAA Championship three times in campus history, but have yet to do so since 2008. They were also runner-ups a total of six times, most recently in 2012. 

The Jayhawks finished the regular season 28-6 with a 14-4 record in the Big 12 Conference. They won their final two games before defeating West Virginia, TCU, and Texas Tech en route to a Big 12 Tournament championship. They will now face No. 16 Texas Southern on Thursday. 

2. Arizona Wildcats

The Arizona Wildcats are a No. 1 seed in the South Region for this year’s March Madness. They won the NCAA title for the first and only time in 1997 and were runner-ups in 2001. They also have four Final Four appearances and 11 Elite Eight appearances – most recently in 2015.

The Wildcats finished the regular season 31-3 with an 18-2 record in the Pac-12 Conference. They started the season 11-0 and defeated Stanford, Colorado, and UCLA en route to a Pac-12 championship. They will now square off against the winner of the Wright State vs. Bryant game.

1. Gonzaga Bulldogs

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are a No. 1 seed in the West Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They, surprisingly, have never won a title – though they were runner-ups in 2017 and 2021 (last season). They’ve been to the Final Four twice and the Elite Eight five times. 

The Bulldogs finished the regular season 26-3 with a 13-1 record in the West Coast Conference. They were on a 17-game winning streak at one point and defeated Saint Mary’s in the WCC Tournament championship game. They are set to match up against No. 16 Georgia State. 

Players to Watch During This Year’s March Madness

Although many fans are going to be focused on the teams and hoping for a perfect bracket, let’s not forget that this is one of the biggest stages for a young basketball player. There are a lot of prospects out there looking to up their draft stock, if not for this year’s draft, then in the future. 

Some of the players to watch during March Madness 2022 are Jabari Smith (Auburn), Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga), Jaden Ivey (Purdue), Keegan Murray (Iowa), Paolo Banchero (Duke), Johnny Davis (Wisconsin), Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky), and Ochai Agbaji (Kansas).

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 20 of the Longest Winning Streak in Sports History

AJ Griffin (Duke), TyTy Washington Jr. (Kentucky), Jalen Duren (Memphis), Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona), and Kendall Brown (Baylor) could also all find themselves in the lottery during this year’s NBA Draft. With no shortage of talent on the court, keep your eyes peeled.

About At The Buzzer

At The Buzzer, or ATB is the place for those who love sports, life, family, community, and so much more. We are far from the run-of-the-mill 24/7 sports news websites. We not only bring you what’s happening in the world of sports in terms of trades and breaking news, but we also bring you the news that goes on behind the scenes, like big life moments, and so much more. So take a minute and read one of our articles, we promise you won't regret it.