Bracket update: Wichita State closing in on No. 1 seed
Alongside Syracuse, Wichita State is one of two unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. The Shockers’ resume speaks for itself – a Top 10 RPI, Top 50 non-conference strength of schedule, and an 11-0 record away from home. Given WSU’s remaining Missouri Valley Conference schedule, it’s likely the Shockers will enter the MVC tournament with a perfect record. Regardless of the league, that’s impressive.
So what’s keeping Wichita State off the top line?
Not much at this point. When it comes to separating teams at the very top (or at the cut-line) the margins are often small. And there are only four No. 1 seed slots available, which means someone has to be No. 5 on the s-curve. As of today, that’s Wichita State. By comparison, here are the records of the current No. 1 seeds vs. Top 100 RPI opponents: Syracuse (12-0), Arizona (12-1), Kansas (15-5), Florida (8-2). Wichita State is 5-0. Again, these are small differences sometimes – particularly with respect to Florida – but something the Selection Committee has to evaluate.
The other two-seeds today stack up like this against the Top 100: Michigan State (10-4), Villanova (10-2), San Diego State (6-1). If there’s a reason why Wichita State and San Diego State remain two-seeds on Selection Sunday (even if they keep winning), it won’t be because they are not worthy. It’ll be because the other teams, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, are more worthy. And keep in mind, only one No. 1 seed (Louisville) made the Final Four last April, so while earning at No. 1 seed is noteworthy, it doesn’t necessarily equate to March success. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Shockers or Aztecs in an Elite 8 or Final Four showdown.
Enjoy another week of college hoops.