Red Raiders No. 3 seed in NCAA bracket preview

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl celebrates with guards Davion Mitchell left and Jared Harper in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday Feb. 10 2018 in Athens Ga. Auburn won 78-61

Clemson University men's basketball was projected as a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament as the Division I men's basketball committee revealed on CBS a sneak peek at its top 16 teams as of mid-February.

The Tigers, now 20-4 overall and 9-3 in second-place in the ACC, were projected as a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region of the bracket. Last season, 15 of the preliminary top 16 remained in that group for the bracket a month later. "They have a great strength of schedule and they're 10-1 from home".

But in the eyes of the NCAA Tournament selection committee, the Spartans still have work to do become a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed in next month's tournament.

Ultimately, the committee did a fairly good selecting their top 16 teams with a few odd missteps. The top four teams are a combined 40-8 away from home this season. A potential second-round matchup would feature the victor of Cincinnati (2) and Northern Kentucky (15). The No. 3 seeds would be Clemson, Texas Tech, Michigan State and UNC.

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The Tigers, now 20-4 overall and 9-3 in second-place in the ACC, play at Florida State Wednesday night for a 7:05 tipoff. Auburn was placed in the Midwest region (Omaha, Neb.) with Xavier.

The committee originally had Kansas in the South, but swapped with Cincinnati in the West to even out the regions. The Wildcats earned the No. 4 seed in the West, but delving deeper into the resumes, Rhode Island looks better almost across the board. "If we did not switch Kansas and Cincinnati, those regions would be unbalanced". They will likely fall out of the top 10 in the next AP poll for the first time of the season Monday, but are still in the mix in the only rankings that will matter in the middle of March.

Tennessee, Ohio State, Arizona and Oklahoma were the No. 4 seeds. The Boilermakers (23-3, 12-1 Big Ten) had won 19 straight heading into this week. However, this year the Team Sheets changed, and though teams are, obviously, still rewarded for wins like Virginia Tech's on Saturday, the weight of wins and losses is different. The committee has Duke No. 7, which would give it a 2 seed, and North Carolina No. 12, which would be a three seed. Duke, 3. Texas Tech, 4.

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