11Alive Sports takes the second of three stabs during Championship Week, in terms of projecting the 68-team field for the NCAA Tournament.

Selection Sunday: March 17

First Four: March 19-20

First Round: March 21-22

Second Round: March 23-24

Sweet 16: March 28-29

Elite Eight: March 30-31

Final Four: April 6 and 8

TOP SEEDS: FIRST WEEKEND

SALT LAKE CITY – Gonzaga, Houston
COLUMBUS, OH – Michigan State, Tennessee
COLUMBIA, SC – North Carolina, Kentucky
SAN JOSE – Kansas State, Texas Tech
DES MOINES – Kansas, LSU
HARTFORD – Virginia, Purdue
TULSA – Michigan, Virginia Tech
JACKSONVILLE – Duke, Florida State

POD SYSTEM

The NCAA tournament committee implemented the 'pod' format in 2002 as a means of placing the top four seeds from each region close to home for opening weekend (1st and 2nd round).

The rationale here: Theoretically, a 3-seed shouldn't have to encounter a 6-seed playing in its home state during Round 2. It's an unfair advantage for the more deserved seed.

Is it a foolproof plan? Unfortunately, no. 

In fact, since one West Coast team's merely worthy of a top-4 seed (Gonzaga) this year, the committee will have to work overtime to fill San Jose's dance card for opening weekend, knowing a pair of high-seeded schools will travel a great distance to reach northern California.

There's also a glut of Midwest- and southeast-based teams among the top seeds, and yet not enough tourney venues along the East coast.

Our three sources for predicting the seeds:

EAST REGIONAL (WASHINGTON D.C.)

1 – Virginia
16 – Iona/Norfolk State (First Four matchup in Dayton, OH)

8 – Utah State
9 – Baylor

5 – Maryland
12 – Florida/UNC-Greensboro (First Four matchup in Dayton)

4 – Kansas
13 – Georgia State

6 – Louisville
11 – Minnesota

3 – Kansas State
14 – Liberty

7 – Marquette
10 – Arizona State

2 – Tennessee
15 – Colgate

MIDWEST REGIONAL (Kansas City)

1 – North Carolina
16 – Sam Houston State

8 – Iowa
9 – Washington

5 – Nevada
12 – Oklahoma/Belmont (First Four matchup in Dayton)

4 – Virginia Tech
13 – New Mexico State

6 – Iowa State
11 – Syracuse

3 – LSU
14 – Northeastern

7 – Cincinnati
10 – Seton Hall

2 – Michigan State
15 – Vermont

RELATED

WEST REGIONAL (ANAHEIM)

1 – Gonzaga
16 – Prairie View A&M/Fairleigh Dickinson (First Four matchup in Dayton)

8 – Ole Miss
9 – UCF

5 – Wisconsin
12 – New Mexico State

4 – Florida State
13 – UC-Irvine

6 – Villanova
11 – Murray State

3 – Houston
14 – North Dakota State

7 – Mississippi State
10 – NC State

2 – Texas Tech
15 – Montana

SOUTH REGIONAL (LOUISVILLE)

1 – Kentucky
16 – Gardner-Webb

8 – Saint Mary's
9 – VCU

5 – Buffalo
12 – Clemson

4 – Purdue
13 – Yale

6 – Auburn
11 – St. John's

3 – Michigan
14 – Bradley

7 – Wofford
10 – Temple

2 – Duke
15 – Northern Kentucky