For the past couple of weeks, Duke and Kansas have been battling for the final No. 1 seed position. With Kansas losing at Oklahoma State this past weekend, Duke and KU flip-flop on the Seed List and the Blue Devils now sit atop the South Region. Not that it’s a huge difference, Kansas is the No. 2 seed in the same region. The other No. 1 seeds remain the same: Kentucky, Virginia, and Gonzaga. It’ll be interesting to see how the Selection Committee ultimately handles Gonzaga. If the Bulldogs win out and enter Selection Sunday with only one loss, it’s tough to imagine a scenario in which they are not a No. 1 seed in the West. But on paper, one could clearly make a case that both Duke and Kansas have superior resumes.
Elsewhere, the Big Ten benefits from its bunching of teams. Illinois, Purdue, and Michigan State are all among the last six teams in today’s bracket – giving the B10 eight representatives. It’s doubtful that will hold up over the next month; five to six bids is much more likely.
A final thought … given the current landscape, Championship Week may become more like Tiebreaker Week for the Selection Committee. Conference tournament results could well determine the final few teams in and out of this year’s NCAA tournament.
Enjoy another week of hoops. Next bracket update is Friday.
In an overtime, down-to-the-wire, resume comparison battle, the Duke Blue Devils edged Villanova for the final No. 1 seed in today’s bracket update. Without taking you through all the nuances, Duke’s road wins at Wisconsin and Louisville ultimately trumped Villanova’s better “losses.” It was that close.
Looking ahead, it’s a challenging week for the Blue Devils. They begin a three-game road swing on Sunday that takes them through St. John’s, Notre Dame, and Virginia. In terms of Duke’s final bracket position, the next eight days could be huge.
Elsewhere, the week’s biggest climbers are Georgetown and Indiana. The Hoyas spliced together wins over Butler and Villanova, and the Hoosiers backed up a road win at Illinois by out-gunning Maryland Thursday night in Bloomington. Both are five-seeds today. Read more…
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. Read more…
It’s certainly been an interesting two months in college hoops. We’ve seen a variety of odd upsets. We’ve seen mid-major hopefuls slide out of contention for at-large consideration. And we’ve seen some traditional powers skid into the holidays. What hasn’t changed – thus far – is our projected No. 1 seeds. If anything, Kentucky and Duke have further solidified their positions atop the Midwest and East Regions. There’s nothing blue about Christmas in Lexington and Durham this year, except for their appropriately dressed fans.
Regular bracket updates resume in early January. It should be quite a ride. The current bubble is so fluid, a big road win (such as Stanford’s victory at Texas) can vault a team up the Seed List. With the exception of the Top 7-8 teams on our current seed rankings, you’ll find some quirky resumes. Some teams have a bad loss. Some teams lack a quality win. Some teams haven’t ventured far from home. And some are merely treading water as conference play looms. It’s safe to say, the middle and lower bracket positions will revolve in the coming weeks. Maybe more than usual. We’ll see.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Have a safe and joyous holiday season.
No change at the top of today’s Seed List update – through games on December 12. Kentucky, Duke, Arizona and Wisconsin would still be No. 1 seeds. The middle and lower bracket spots remain more fluid; nothing unexpected really. Below the headlines, Northern Iowa and Colorado State continue to climb. And both are looking like strong NCAA-bid contenders as we head into the holiday season.
Looking forward, the weekend provides a great slate of games. Below are some of the matchups that could impact the framework of our first in-season bracket update – coming next week … Read more…
Ask someone which ACC-Big Ten Challenge game they are most looking forward to and you’ll likely hear a common answer: Duke at Wisconsin. That’s certainly the headliner, with two projected No. 1 seeds battling at the Kohl Center.
But let’s dig a bit deeper – because barring a collapse, both the Blue Devils and Badgers will be Dancing as high seeds. This is a much more important event for teams like Florida State, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Purdue, and NC State. Let’s take a look:
Nebraska at Florida State – The Seminoles have staggered out of the gate, at one point losing three straight to Northeastern, Providence, and Massachusetts. A victory over Nebraska would begin to rebuild a non-conference resume that finds a victory over Manhattan as its best asset. For the Huskers, who dropped an OT decision at Rhode Island, a road win at FSU would build some momentum ahead of a date with rival Creighton on Sunday. Read more…
This won’t surprise anyone …
Fresh off a national title game appearance, the Kentucky Wildcats hold the top spot in our 2015 Preseason Bracket – hardly a surprise given the team’s returning talent and stellar recruiting class. If all goes according to the UK’s plan, the Wildcats path to the Final Four would likely go through Louisville and Cleveland in the Midwest Region.
Keeping the top spot won’t be easy. Wisconsin, Arizona, and Duke will push the Wildcats as projected No. 1 seeds. Next in line: Kansas. The Jayhawks have a habit of winning Big 12 titles and putting themselves in the top-line discussion. Some believe Gonzaga has the horses, too. And the Atlantic Coast Conference appears as deep as the once-mighty Big East – which opens the door for more than one ACC representative atop the bracket.
But let’s also remember this … we’re currently working off of blueprints and expected returns. The actual college basketball season is more like the stock market. Teams will have ups and downs. Some teams will outperform expectations. Some will underperform. There will be a surprise or two, and that’s we love it.
What we do know is that come March, 68 teams will begin an amazing journey toward Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. In 2010, that venue delivered an incredible championship game between Butler and Duke, as Gordon Hayward’s half-court heave bounced off the rim as time expired. Let’s hope we’re treated to an equally good classic this go-around.