As we inch closer and closer to Selection Sunday, we still can’t get any consensus as to the favorite to cut down the nets about a month from now in Atlanta. And we have a new number one. Surprise surprise…
Gonzaga: Mark Few’s been on their sideline for a while, but has never sat atop the rest of the nation the way they are right now. Having cruised through the WCC schedule and with Indiana’s loss to Minnesota last week Gonzaga slides in at the top. Their regular season schedule is over and if they can win the WCC tournament they have a chance to be the number one overall seed in the big dance on Selection Sunday on March 17th.
Indiana: Tough loss on the road at Minnesota but it seems like this year unranked road opponents are really getting up for games against some of the nation’s top teams as just in one week in addition to Indiana’s road loss at Minnesota, we saw Michigan lose at Penn State, and Duke lose at Virginia. Lest we forget only ten days ago Miami lost on the road to a 500 Wake Forest team. Indiana can validate their spot at two with wins over Ohio State and Michigan this week which would make a case for them to be the tournament’s number one seed, especially if they win the Big 10 tournament next week.
Duke: As skeptical as I was of the Blue Devils, and even after their road loss to Virginia, they stay at three this week due to the big win over Miami on Saturday. Ryan Kelly’s not going to score 36 points every game though. They get Virginia Tech early this week and North Carolina on Saturday. I don’t think college basketball could have asked for a better regular season finale for both Duke and North Carolina than for the two teams to play each other in Chapel Hill in front of a national audience.
Georgetown: I thought about Kansas here but if Bill Self doesn’t have confidence in his team (calling them the worst Kansas team in his time there after a loss to TCU) then how can I? Plus I like Georgetown. The best team in their league and the Big East remains one of the country’s deepest conferences. Wins at Syracuse, home against Louisville, and home against Marquette certainly seem to support their Big East supremacy. At Villanova and a rematch with Syracuse is what looms for the Hoyas this week.
Iowa State: The cyclones have been reeling as of late and a win against Kansas last week would have helped their tourney chances but they still remain afloat with a nice win against Kansas State earlier in February. That being said their resume could use a little more meat. Oklahoma State gives them a chance to do so this week as does the Big 12 tournament.
Maryland: Right now it doesn’t look like the Terps are going to make it. A win against Duke only carries so much weight. They have some bad losses against Boston College, Virginia, and Georgia Tech and though NC State at the time was a decent win it’s not as pretty right now. The ACC tournament might be Maryland’s only hope, but in this crazy upset-filled college basketball season, anything’s possible.
Akron: A nice win for the Zips against another potential mid major Cinderella in Middle Tennessee back in December. Akron is normally a tournament team often the automatic bid out of the MAC so depending on seeding and their first round opponent maybe they can make some noise in the dance.
Don’t Sleep on Me
St. Louis: The Billikens suffered a tough loss off the court this year back in December with the passing of legendary college basketball coach Rick Majerus but have stayed strong on the court en route to a 12-2 A-10 record. The A-10 is a conference on the rise in college basketball with a possibility of getting as many as five teams in the field. Therefore a team like St. Louis excelling right now, could be a team to watch out for in the tournament.