Through the first two months of the college basketball season, no team has accomplished more than Duke. Thus, the Blue Devils hold the top spot on the s-curve and the No. 1 overall seed in our first bracket projection of 2013. For what it’s worth, Duke is No. 1 in the RPI, has played the nation’s third best schedule, is 10-0 vs. the RPI Top 50, and has wins over Louisville, Kentucky, Minnesota, VCU, Temple, and Ohio State. That’s about as good as it gets. The other No. 1 seeds are Louisville, Michigan, and Kansas.
As expected, the lower half of the current bracket is quite fluid. Even some national headliners have suspect resumes to this point: Kentucky, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina come to mind. Of those three, Kentucky seems most likely to push for a significantly higher seed come tournament time. We also have teams whose non-conference schedules could prove costly in March: Virginia (No. 329), Maryland (No. 323), Georgia Tech (No. 302), Charlotte (No. 300), Wyoming (No. 281), Iowa (No. 276), Pittsburgh (No. 255), and St. Mary’s (246) are just a few. How these teams – and others – handle conference play will define their seasons because their non-conference numbers won’t help much. (SOS numbers are from ESPN’s Insider RPI).
Quick note: The current bracket is for games played through Sunday, January 6. It does not include games played Monday (Jan. 7). Notre Dame’s win at Cincinnati will be included in the next bracket and s-curve update.
Here are some related links as part of first 2013 bracket:
The race to Selection Sunday is underway. It should be a fun ride. Early brackets are much like the weather. If you don’t like it, just wait. It’s sure to change.