Latest bracket update: Missouri grabs top spot in West Region
Fresh off a win at Baylor, the Missouri Tigers grab the final No. 1 seed this week and head West. Kansas is this close behind as current leader of the Big 12. As we wrote Sunday in an Inside the Bracket column, the current landscape for No. 1 seed options includes the aforementioned Tigers and Jayhawks, plus Baylor and Duke. This week, it was a choice between Mizzou and KU. Arguments could be made either way, and there’s no right or wrong answer. Mizzou and KU still face each other twice, so it will be settled on the court – exactly how it should be. Don’t assume Baylor is out of the picture either. The Bears have re-matches with both the Jayhawks and Tigers. There’s also the Big 12 tournament.
With Duke’s loss to Florida State, the Blue Devils sit at No. 7 on the S-curve, sandwiched between Baylor (No. 6) and North Carolina (No. 8). Those are your two seeds – along with Kansas – for the January 23 bracket.
Schedule of key games to watch this week
The bracket remains fairly fluid in the middle, which isn’t uncommon. We had some interesting results the past eight days, and that trend is likely to continue. Conference play often provides an ebb and flow. Same with those teams hovering aroud the cutline. Bubble Banter will return in early February, and that figures to be quite an adventure. This week’s Last 5 IN – St. Louis, NC State, Marshall, Iowa State, and Oregon. The First 5 OUT – Stanford, Northwestern, BYU, Mississippi, Arkansas.
Not a lot of projected changes at the bottom of the bracket. Nevada moves in as the representative from the WAC. The Wolfpack would be a fringe at-large candidate and could stay there if they win the league in dominant fashion. Time will tell. Enjoy another great week of hoops, and thanks for your interest.