Kentucky rings in New Year as No. 1 overall seed
Here’s your New Year’s Day forecast … the Kentucky Wildcats will be a No. 1 seed when the 2015 Men’s Division I Basketball Championship bracket is unveiled in March. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Thus far, the ultra-talented Wildcats have conquered every challenge. And while an undefeated season may or may not occur, it’s hard to imagine UK faltering enough to lose its grip on the Midwest region. We could say similar things about Duke’s hold on the East. But the Blue Devils’ route through the ACC figures to be a bit more rigorous than the Wildcats’ drive through the SEC. Either way, UK and Duke hold the top two spots in today’s updated bracket projection – followed by Wisconsin (South) and Arizona (West).
One could easily make an argument that Virginia and Villanova should be ranked ahead of Wisconsin and Arizona. But before we drop the Badgers or West-Coast Wildcats from their preseason perches, let’s see how conference play unfolds.
If you’ve followed college hoops during the first two months, you’re well aware of the quirky resumes available for review. So take the current bracket (and Seed List) for what it is … a synopsis of where we are now, with some potential mixed in, and a whole lot of educated guesswork. Simply put: there isn’t much difference between an 8-seed and a team listed among the First Five out. With a lack of strong non-conference profiles, league results will play a huge role in determining at-large candidates.
A couple of additional notes:
- As conference play is barely underway (and hasn’t begun yet in some leagues), the automatic qualifiers are projected champions, balancing current results with some future expectations.
- Non-conference strength of schedule (NC SOS) could prove problematic for a few potential bubble teams. In particular, TCU (No. 347) and Wyoming (No. 323) have real issues – think about SMU last year. While Notre Dame is safely “IN” at the moment, the Irish need to keep pace in the ACC or a No. 323 NC SOS mark could be considered. Here are a few additional NC SOS numbers to keep in mind: Minnesota (238), Davidson (228), Indiana (219), New Mexico (279), Hawaii (287) and Evansville (288) – per ESPN data through Dec. 13 games.
- We’ve got a long way to go. Enjoy the ride.
Happy New Year! May we all be blessed in 2015.