As the calendar turns to March, Kentucky has entrenched itself as the No. 1 overall seed. Unless the Wildcats lose multiple times between now and Selection Sunday – which is highly unlikely – they will stand atop the bracket when the official Field of 68 is unveiled on March 15. UK’s proverbial “march” will begin in Louisville and head through Cleveland in the Midwest Region.
As for the remaining No. 1 seeds, Virginia has a firm grasp on the East. After that, there’s still a bit of a race. If Gonzaga loses, Villanova is next in line to ascend to the top line. We also can’t exclude Wisconsin, Arizona, or even Kansas – although the Jayhawks will need help from the others in front of them. While winning both Big 12 regular season and tournament titles (if it happens) would be mighty impressive, the Jayhawks’ loss total might be too great to push KU ahead of the other three if those teams continue to win.
The bubble/cutline remains a hodge-podge of rotating resumes. The week ahead – leading into conference tournaments – figures to be huge. And it might be Friday or Saturday of Championship Week before the final Field comes into focus.
We’re now a month from Selection Sunday, and Madness continues around the bubble. Weekend results did little to change this scenario, so the same rules apply: If your team is seeded 8th or lower they have work to do. In fact, we have a few teams on the 8/9 seed line that should probably be 11/12 seeds. That’s where we stand. Championship Week will be must-see TV.
Unbeaten Kentucky (25-0) continues to lead the Field of 68. At this point, it would take multiple glitches for UK to lose its reign on the Midwest Region. Elsewhere at the top of the bracket, Virginia, Gonzaga, and Duke continue to hold No. 1 seeds. If Kansas, Villanova, Wisconsin, and Arizona also keep winning, there will be some interesting discussions among Selection Committee members regarding the top two seed lines. Keep this in mind: Although the Committee will “balance” regions for the Top 4 seed lines, geographic preference remains a priority – as long as other bracketing principles can be met. Thus, we’re likely to see Arizona in the West and Wisconsin in the Midwest regardless of their spot on the 2-line, assuming both stay in that group.
We’ll see how much the bottom of the bracket changes by Friday. Until then, enjoy another whacky few days of college hoops.
Headlined by unbeaten Kentucky, eight teams enter the stretch run toward Selection Sunday as No. 1 seed contenders. Based on the Seed List for today’s bracket, those contenders in order are: Kentucky, Virginia, Gonzaga, Kansas, Duke, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Villanova.
Notre Dame and Louisville could potentially enter the mix, although the Irish, in particular, have a major hurdle to overcome: a non-conference schedule ranked among the worst in college basketball (No. 326). That type of non-league schedule likely won’t be rewarded by the Selection Committee unless the Irish win the Atlantic Coast Conference (season and tourney).
With the Super Bowl behind us, March Madness begins to grab headlines. So if you’re just settling back into college hoops, here’s one other thing you need to know about the bracket and overall landscape of the projected NCAA tournament field, as of today. There’s a lot of mediocre teams and resumes. The proverbial bubble? It basically includes teams seeded 8th or lower, and some of the 7-seeds have question marks. Which means that much of the bracket will ebb and flow over the next month. Much like the weather, if you’re not satisfied, wait a couple of days – it’s likely to change.
Kansas finds itself in familiar territory heading into Super Bowl weekend. Thanks to a resume that includes 11 Top 100 RPI wins and the nation’s top-rated (overall) strength of schedule, the Jayhawks claim the final No. 1 seed in today’s bracket. KU also leads the Big 12, arguably the deepest conference in college basketball.
Kentucky and Virginia remain firmly entrenched as the top two seeds. And Gonzaga keeps it’s hold on the West, but will be challenged for that spot as we march toward Selection Sunday. Those also pushing the top line: Arizona and Wisconsin. Notre Dame continues its climb. But it’s worth noting that a weak non-conference SOS could ultimately impact the Irish’s final landing spot.
As for teams around the cutline, it’s a muddled mess. Resumes resemble Swiss cheese; in other words, it’s not difficult to find the holes. It’s also a bit odd to find teams such as Syracuse, Michigan, Connecticut, and Florida on the outside looking in. Will one of them make a February run? The clock is ticking.
It’s been a volatile week atop the bracket. As a result, three new teams join Kentucky on the top line: Virginia, Villanova, and Gonzaga. Wisconsin and Duke now reside on the two-line, with Arizona dropping to the top 3-seed spot. Kansas and Louisville fill out the top two seeds in each region.
We continue to see some odd profiles, which creates interesting seeding debates. Texas is a good example. The Longhorns have lost back-to-back games and three of five, but all to quality opponents. Early this season, UT looked like a Top 10 team, and there’s enough talent to suggest the Longhorns may return to form. At the same time, the Longhorn’s currently own one victory (Iowa) or a team in today’s projected field. Previous wins at Connecticut and over California have waned a bit. It’s going to be a big week for Texas – in terms of bracket position – they play West Virginia, at TCU, and Kansas in their next three games. 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.