Countdown To 2024 NCAA Tournament: South and Midwest Region Top Seeds and Stats

FairwayJay provides insight, stats and profiles of NCAA Tournament No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the South and Midwest Regions.

NCAA Tournament No. 1 and 2 Seeds South and Midwest Region Profiles

The March Madness brackets are being filled out following Selection Sunday March 17, and the picks and pools finalized for the 2024 NCAA Tournament. March Madness tournament betting at leading online sportsbooks is most popular for the opening weekend games with wall-to-wall basketball as teams shoot for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. 

NCAA Tournament March Madness top seeds Midwest SouthThere are some fundamental keys to NCAA Tournament success as you evaluate the match-ups and stats prior to and during the tournament. As you break down the brackets and match-ups, futures odds and BetOnline each round of the NCAA Tournament, here are some team profiles, stats and odds outlook to track as the top teams advance through the NCAA Tournament. 

The biggest sporting event of the year offers so many action-packed games throughout the tournament, and especially opening weekend. The top teams and seeds will be most popular picks in NCAA Tournament brackets and pools, and I've chipped in some profiles of those teams from the South and Midwest Regions.

Also, check out the top teams No. 1 and No. 2 seeds and profiles from the East and West Regions as posted here at OSGA.

NET ranking: takes into account game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses. 

Be sure to get in and enter the Offshore Gaming Association's 2024 March Madness Bracket Challenge. Now in it's 22nd year at OSGA, it's free to enter and pays out cash prizes. Many leading online sportsbooks are offering bracket contests with huge cash prizes and additional prizes. 

Free NCAA Bracket tournament

Key stats to picking an NCAA Tournament champion

When evaluating the KenPom stats, know that 20 of the last 21 National Champions have finished in the Top 20 in both offensive and defensive adjusted efficiency. This year's teams include: 

- Connecticu (1,11 off/def)
- Houston (17,2)
- Auburn (10,5)
- Arizona (8,12)


- Purdue (3,21)
- Marquette (21,19)
- Tennessee (28,3)
- North Carolina (24,6)
- Duke (7,26)
- Creighton (12,24) 

No. 1 and No. 2 Seeds South Region

No. 1 Houston

Record: 30-4
Key Wins: Kansas, at UCF, at Oklahoma, at Baylor, Iowa State, Texas, at Cincinnati, at Texas, at BYU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, at Xavier, Dayton
Key Losses: At Kansas, at TCU, at Iowa State (2x)
National Title Odds: +550
Final Four Odds: +130
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 14
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 17, Defense No. 2
Twitter: @UHCougarMBK
Head Coach: Kelvin Sampson

Houston won the Big 12 regular season title and lost in the Big 12 tournament championship game to Iowa State - the Cougars second loss this season to the Cyclones. Houston Cougars NCAA Tournament 1 Seed previewHouston's NET ranking is No. 1 and the Cougars 16 Quad 1 wins led the country while ranked No. 1 or near the top of the AP rankings throughout the season. Houston's +16.1 scoring margin is No. 2 in the country behind defending national champion and No. 1 seed in the East, UCONN. A defensive dominator, Houston ranks top 5 in the country in effective FG% defense, TO%, 2-point %, blocked shots and steal percentage. Houston's FG shooting (43.4%) and scoring offense (73.0) was 12th and 10th in the Big 12, and their 69.4% FT shooting was 13th in the conference. The Cougars rebounding margin (+3.8) ranked 5th in the Big 12 and Houston was No. 1 in turnover margin and the Cougars play at a very slow pace (321) and force opponents into very long possessions with their stifling defense. 

No. 2 seeds will be updated and adjusted to regions after the brackets are released on Sunday, March 17. Teams projected as No. 2 seeds according to ESPN's bracketology late evening March 16 include Tennesee, Iowa State, Marquette and Arizona

No. 2 Marquette 

Record: 25-9
Key Wins: At Xavier, at Butler, at Villanova, at St. John's. Creighton, Texas, Kansas, at Illinois
Key Losses: UConn (3x), at Creighton, at Seton Hall, at Providence, at Wisconsin, Purdue
National Title Odds: +2200
Final Four Odds: +500
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 7
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 21, Defense No. 19
Twitter: @MarquetteMBB
Head Coach: Shaka Smart

Marquette NCAA Tournament 2 Seed previewMarquette tied for 2nd in the Big East, and lost to Connecticut in the Big East Tournament championship game - the Golden Eagles third loss this season to UCONN. Marquette's NET ranking is No. 12 and the Golden Eagles went 9-8 vs. Quad 1 teams and 6-1 vs. Quad 2. Marquette plays at a very fast pace (top-10) and the Eagles rank top 20 in 2-point shooting percentage and were No. 2 in the Big East in FG shooting (49.6%). Marquette led the Big East in turnover margin and steals, but had a negative rebounding margin ranking second to last in the conference.

No. 1 and No. 2 Seeds Midwest Region

No. 1 Purdue

Record: 29-4
Key Wins: Wisconsin, at Illinois, Michigan State, at Wisconsin, at Iowa, Illinois, Arizona, Alabama, Marquette, Tennessee, Gonzaga
Key Losses: at Ohio State, at Nebraska, at Northwestern, vs Wisconsin 
National Title Odds: +750
Final Four Odds: +160
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 4
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 3, Defense No. 21
Twitter: @BoilerBall
Head Coach: Matt Painter

Purdue NCAA tournamnet 1 Seed PreviewPurdue won the Big Ten regular season title and lost in the conference tournament semfinals to Wisconsin in overtime. The Boilermakers ranked No. 1 or among the very top teams in the country throughout the season and had a scoring margin of +13.2. Purdue's NET ranking is No. 3 and the Boilers went 12-4 vs. Quad 1 teams and 8-0 vs. Quad 2. Purdue's top 15 effective FG% included No. 2 in the country in 3-point shooting (40.8%). The Boilers led the Big Ten in FG shooting (48.8%) and were No. 2 in 3-point defense. Purdue also ranked No. 2 in the country in rebounding margin (+10.7) and led the Big Ten in assists. 

No. 2 Tennessee

Record: 24-8
Key Wins: at South Carolina, at Alabama, Auburn, at Kentucky, Alabama, Illinois, at Wisconsin 
Key Losses: Kentucky, at Texas A&M, at Mississippi State (2x), at North Carolina, Kansas, Purdue
National Title Odds: +1600
Final Four Odds: +340
KenPom Strength of Schedule: 8
KenPom Stats: Adjusted Offense No. 28, Defense No. 3
Twitter: @Vol_Hoops
Head Coach: Rick Barnes

Tennessee NCAA Tournament Preview Tennessee won the SEC regular season title winning 7-straight games down the stretch before losing to Kentucky to close the regular season. But the Vols enter the NCAA Tournament with 2-straight losses having lost to Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament to cost them a potential No. 1 NCAAT seed. The Volunteers NET rankings is No. 7 and the Vols went 8-7 vs. Quad 1 and 5-1 vs. Quad 2 teams. The Volunteers play at a top 25 pace on offense, but a top-tier defenses forces longer possessions and ranked top 10 in effective FG% defense and 2-point defense. Tennessee was top 3 in the SEC in assists, steals, turnovers and assist/TO ratio.  

Check back for additional stats, updates and information you can bet on.

Follow FairwayJay here at and on X (Twitter) @FairwayJay for more sports betting news and insights. 

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