Quick Takes: Florida, Big 12 States headline wild Saturday
What a Saturday in college hoops – and it’s February!
Four of the top eight teams on Saturday morning’s Seed List lost, two at home and two in blowout fashion on the road. Another two lost in slots 9-12, and another two in slots 13-16. Simple math equates to eight of the top 16 teams on the Seed List losing Saturday. The flip side, of course, is that eight other teams (the winners) posted signature or marquee victories on their resumes. My initial takeaways are that Florida and three Big 12 “States” benefitted most from a wild Saturday.
Florida’s win over Kentucky added an important piece to the Gators’ otherwise solid profile: a victory over a sure-fire NCAA team. Prior to Saturday, Florida had nice wins against Arkansas, Seton Hall, and Miami-FL, among others. But are you confident all of those teams will reach the final Field of 68? See bullet-point below about the Razorbacks loss at Missouri. On a related note … with South Carolina’s win over Georgia, the SEC title chase is up for grabs.
Iowa State, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State were arguably the biggest winners on Saturday. The Cyclones won at Kansas, K-State won at Baylor, and Oklahoma State won at West Virginia. Quite a trifecta. Those types of road wins do wonders for resumes and help separate bubble contenders. If ISU, KSU, and OSU all end up in the March bracket, Saturday could be a big reason why.
More Quick Takes from Saturday:
- Louisville (No. 6 on Saturday’s Seed List) has won 7 of 8 games in rather dominate fashion. The Cardinals blew past Boston College on the road.
- Oregon looked like a Final Four team while routing Arizona. The Ducks also looked much less impressive in their previous two outings, a loss at Colorado and a one-point win at home over Arizona State. Oregon is really good, but try not to over-emphasize one results or margin.
- Arkansas lost at Missouri. What else is there to say? The Razorbacks profile still needs some work, and that was before the debacle in the Show-Me State.
- Middle Tennessee State’s at-large hopes took a hit with a loss at UTEP (RPI No. 296). That’s one the Blue Raiders would like back.
- Akron lost to a much better team (Ohio) on the road, but it was a missed chance to sweep arguably the MAC’s second best team.
- Valparaiso lost at Green Bay. A tough day for some good mid-majors.
- Wichita State pounded Illinois State to regain a share of the Missouri Valley lead. The Shockers and Redbirds are both hoping for NCAA berths. It’s questionable (right now) whether either makes it without winning the MVC tourney. If they meet again in Arch Madness, it could be winner take all.
- The ACC bubble keeps moving around. Stay tuned. Another day, another change.
- On that note Syracuse has re-entered the at-large conversation. The Orange have won four straight and now have wins over Florida State and Virginia. The question is whether ‘Cuse can take it on the road, where they are 1-5 in road games and 1-7 overall outside the Carrier Dome.
- Seton Hall won at Georgetown, an important road get for two Big East bubble teams.
With so many top teams losing, the upper end of the Seed List may not change that much. Teams have played 20-plus games at this point, so one game is just that. Bodies of work matter more than a single outcome. It will be tough, however, to not have Villanova and Gonzaga in the Top 2 spots. Enjoy your Sunday and the Super Bowl.