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Many schools remain in contention for No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament

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Florida, Wichita State and Arizona are pulling away from a crowded pack in the race for No. 1 seeds and it’s a tough call getting tougher by the day for the fourth one.

This is one of those years in which the difference between the No. 4-ranked team in the nation and a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament is slight. The way it looks now, plenty of round of Sweet 16 games could light up the tournament with buzzer-beaters and overtime battles.

For now, let’s focus on the field in contention for the fourth No. 1 seed, ranked in order of where I would seed them at the moment, with the understanding that plenty can change during the final two weekends leading up to Selection Sunday, March 16.

1 - Virginia: The NCAA Tournament selection committee does not look at conference standings, in part because of imbalanced schedules and the Cavaliers did benefit from their ACC slate. Still, Virginia has been smoking good teams for the majority of conference play, putting a shaky nonconference season in the distance.

The Cavs have gone 16-1 in ACC play, won 11 of those games by double figures and seven by 19 points or more. The lone conference loss came at Duke by four points, which is about the margin of home-court advantage. Other losses: Virginia Commonwealth by three, Wisconsin by 10, at Wisconsin-Green By by three, at Tennessee by 35.

2 - Kansas: None of the seven losses could be characterized as bad ones. Don’t forget, the three-point loss at Colorado came when the Buffs had Spencer Dinwiddie, lost for the season five weeks later.

The most impressive nonconference victories came against Duke in Chicago by 11 points and vs. New Mexico in Sprint Center by 17. Sweeping Iowa State and Oklahoma won’t hurt.

3 - Wisconsin: No team in the country has more big-time victories, but a stretch of five losses in six games hurts the Badgers’ cause. Three of the losses — at Indiana and Minnesota, and at home vs. Northwestern — don’t look good.

Badgers won vs. Florida, at Virginia, vs. Michigan State, at Michigan and swept Iowa.

4 - Villanova: On the rare occasions Villanova loses, it gets slaughtered, but the Wildcats win all their close ones. Three losses — to Creighton twice and to Syracuse — came by a combined 65 points. Victories against Kansas and Iowa in the Bahamas remain Nova’s best lines on a shaky resume for a No. 1 seed.

5 - Syracuse: Orange have completely collapsed. Did somebody figure out how to attack the zone and everybody else copy it? More likely, Syracuse's lack of scoring depth has been the main cause of the unraveling. The Orange have lost four of last five games, including a home setback to Georgia Tech.

6 - Duke: Like Kansas, Duke has seven losses. Unlike Kansas, some bad ones are in the mix. Blue Devils have lost ACC road games to Notre Dame, Clemson and Wake Forest. They rely too heavily on perimeter shooters because Jabari Parker, a threat from anywhere on the court, is the only reliable inside scorer.

7 - Michigan: The Big Ten champion has lost seven times, but only three in a competitive conference. Lost to Charlotte early in the season. Only shot at gaining consideration for a No. 1 seed lies in winning the regular-season finale vs. Indiana and taking the conference tournament title.

8 - North Carolina: included here as much because of the opportunities in front of the Tar Heels to leapfrog schools in front of them by winning at Duke on Saturday and then winning three games to take the ACC conference tournament title. That would give UNC 16 victories in a row and seven losses on the season. The Heels already have victories vs. Louisville, Michigan State, Kentucky and Duke.

If KU were to land the fourth No. 1 seed, the tournament selection committee might send Florida to Memphis, with Arizona going to Anaheim, Wichita State to Indianapolis and KU to New York. As a No. 2 seed, KU could go to Indianapolis, setting up a potential Elite Eight game with the Shockers.

Comments

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 9 months ago

I think KU ends up in New York or Memphis. If KU is the 4th one seed, they will be in the east in New York.

Here's were it gets interesting to me. The selection committee is supposedly sticking more to the S curve this year than in recent years so if KU is the 4th or 5th overall seed, they'll likely be in New York unless Wichita St. is the 4th overall seed.

If the selection committee goes by miles from campus, Memphis is about 40 miles closer to Lawrence than Indianapolis. This is important because if KU is the 5th overall seed, they get slotted first and because Memphis is closer, KU would likely be set up for an Elite 8 rematch with Florida instead of Wichita St.

To me, unless KU drops another game between now and the tournament, I believe KU is getting put in the New York or Memphis regional.

Rick Neely 7 years, 9 months ago

Remember though, they are still using the pod system this year. Theoretically, KU and WSU could both be in St. Louis.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 9 months ago

St. Louis is a second and third round site, New York and Memphis are Sweet 16 and Elite 8 sites.

Len Shaffer 7 years, 9 months ago

God, that would be terrible! Florida is the absolute WORST team I would want to face in the tournament. Given how good and experienced they are, I could easily see them playing just as well against KU the second time as they did the first.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 9 months ago

If anyone is wondering how KU can be considerd a possible #1 seed at 23-7, just look at their schedule.

Based on current bracketology projections, Kansas will have played 21 games against teams going to the NCAA or about 2/3's of their regular season schedule!!! The Hawks record is 14-7 in these games. Throw in potentially 3 more from the Big 12 tourney and you've got a WHOPPING 24 games!!

Bill, don't do this to us again, OK??!!

Len Shaffer 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm guessing he doesn't want to do it to himself again either.

Asad Zoberi 7 years, 9 months ago

I'd rather go with a #2 seed in Indy than a #1 seed in NY. I think a #1 seed for this young team would bring extra pressure. With the #2 seed they would play with a chip on the shoulder, IMO

Rodney Crain 7 years, 9 months ago

Hate to say this but there is a real chance we lose two more games and are a #3 seed In INDY. I think it is very possible we lose at West Virginia. This will be their super bowl, and this is a must win for them to be considered for the NCAA tournament. Its an early East coast game too, we will not be ready to play at a high level this early. I think it is very possible we lose to OK State in the first(second) round of the B12 tournament. OSU is on a mission and could win the B12 tournament.

9 losses, who would have thought that with this roster.

If we lose 1 close game maybe a 2 seed, maybe a 1 if we win the B12 tournament. But I just do not think that is going to happen.

I still see a sweet 16 exit for this team due to its PG play and inability to defend a set of good guards which is mostly what you will see in the NCAA's. We have gotten better defensively but our PG play, or lack there of will be our downfall. We are not sure if Joel can play, if he can't an early exit is a given.

I would love to be just a "sky is falling" poster but we cannot change who we are, inconsistent and in need of a quality PG.

Still any Championship season is a good one, so congrats to the team for #10!

Brian Mellor 7 years, 9 months ago

Personally, I think we're going to curb-stomp OSU if we get a chance to play them again. We've played exactly one half with any focus at all thus far, barely won once, and barely lost this last time. I think they'll come back with a chip and smack them down after losing, and after hearing Smart's creativity with the truth.

Robert Brock 7 years, 9 months ago

O-State pounded us in the second half. They scored 47 points (they came with ease) and Marcus Smart did anything he wanted, scoring 20 points against Selden and Wiggins. Why will things be different on a neutral court?

Scott Oswalt 7 years, 9 months ago

I highly doubt we lose to West Virginia and I think we will roll through the Big 12 tourney. #1 seed is in KU's future. BEAK EM' HAWKS!!!!

Rodney Crain 7 years, 9 months ago

Keep up all the positive support posters we are going to need it.

Like I said I hate to say it but .... we are going to lose 1 if not 2 more games before selection Sunday.

Mark Lindrud 7 years, 9 months ago

We are a lock for no worse than a 2 seed. We have been in too much discussion for a 3 seed. I want the 2 seed in the midwest so we are in St Louis and Indy, two places where the travel will be minimal and we can get KU fans.

Scott Oswalt 7 years, 9 months ago

If you hate to say it, then don't... It's Friday and you're killing my vibe.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 9 months ago

"Seeding guarantees nothing."

--history

Allen Shepard 7 years, 9 months ago

Losses without Embiid don't count against our seeding. If we are on the 1/2 hump, sure it will land us on the 2, but we won't drop to the 3 based on those. The committee takes injuries into account.

Travis Clementsmith 7 years, 9 months ago

Villanova is not getting a 1 seed ahead of us if we both win out. Big East is not that "big" and they have not finished strong. Always get the one seed if you can. People who think it doesn't matter don't appreciate "odds". Sure, upsets happen, but if you're a 1 seed, you are guaranteed to not see any of the highest seed between 1 and 12, until the regional finals. I don't care if its NY or Indy, you take the odds as a one seed.

Greg Lux 7 years, 9 months ago

We would be much better off as a #2 seed in Indianapolis then a #1 seed in New York. We need our 6th man ( THE FANS ) to be able to get to the game. There is little difference between a #1 and #2 seed anyway. No matter what seed we get we need our fans. Mid-West regional all the way !!!

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