Thoughts on the Fourth #1 Seed
At this point, Kansas has all but locked up the overall #1 seed, in the Midwest region. Syracuse and Kentucky will continue to battle for the #2/#3 line, but because Syracuse can’t play in the East region (whose semi-final and final it hosts), Kentucky will be in the East and Syracuse in the South. Which leaves the #1 seed in Salt Lake still open for plenty of discussion.
As far as my own thoughts about the final #1 seed…my S-Curve looks like this:
4 West Virginia
5 Ohio State
8 New Mexico
All of those teams can still play their way up to the #1 line depending on what they–and the other teams in that cluster–do in their conference tournaments. Surprisingly, Purdue is the team that controls its own destiny. If Robbie Hummel were still healthy, there wouldn’t be any debate about the last number one. So the Committee will be watching their Big Ten Tournament performance very closely to see how the Boilermakers do with out him.
As several people have said, Ohio State is going to get plenty of Committee love for Turner’s injury because of what they’ve done with him back healthy. If they win the Big Ten Tournament title and WVU and/or Duke make early exits, I think they’ll be the last #1 seed with both a regular season and tournament victory.
As far as the WVU – Duke comparison…which team’s wins look better to you?
WVU: N-Texas A&M, Ole Miss, @Seton Hall, Marquette, @South Florida, Ohio State, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Georgetown, @Villanova
Duke: N-Arizona State, N-Gonzaga, Clemson, Wake Forest, @Clemson, FSU, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Virginia Tech
Duke only has TWO wins over teams above the #8 seed line. West Virginia has SIX. Beating the Wildcats yesterday in Philadelphia was a phenomenal late-season win.
K-State is not as strong as most fans think, in my opinion. Most of their wins came in the far weaker Big 12 North, and they haven’t beaten a top-half seed since January 26 at Baylor.