Jan 21, 2014, 11:54 AM EST
Since losing to San Diego State, the Kansas Jayhawks have put together a five-game surge that includes victories over its biggest competitors in the Big 12 conference – Oklahoma, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and Baylor. Two of those (Oklahoma, Iowa State) were on the road. Add in victories over Duke and New Mexico in non-conference play, and KU has notched eight Top 50 RPI victories. That’s two more than Syracuse, four more than Arizona, and three more than Michigan State – the other members of today’s No. 1 seed club. It’s also worth noting that Kansas has played the nation’s toughest schedule and currently sits atop the RPI. That’s a pretty strong profile (despite four losses – all to Top 25 RPI Teams), and the primary reason why the Jayhawks received the No. 4 slot on this week’s seed list (s-curve). When evaluating KU’s overall body of work, it’s pretty strong.
We still have two months to go and several other teams could reach the No. 1 seed line by March. Teams like Florida and Wichita State are building strong resumes, as is San Diego State. And it’s too early to count out Iowa, Michigan, or Wisconsin from the Big Ten title chase. The final contenders will be much more clear by mid-February.
On the flip side, January hasn’t been a good month for teams like Ohio State, Baylor, and North Carolina – or Georgetown for that matter; as the Hoyas are among the First Five OUT today. Through the first third of conference play, the Buckeyes, Bears, and Tar Heels own a combined 4-12 record (in league play). Some of that is due to scheduling and some of it has been inconsistent play. Either way, it would be a good time for those squads to reverse course. By the time we reach mid-February, a seriously sub-par conference record will not be endearing to the Selection Committee.
One of the best things about college basketball is that we never know what will happen. Enjoy the hoops.
UPDATED: January 21, 2014
Teams in CAPS represent the projected AUTOMATIC bid based on current standings with RPI as a tiebreaker for teams with the same number of losses. Exceptions are made for teams that use an abbreviation (UCLA, BYU, etc).
Several new bracketing principles were introduced after last year’s tournament. You can read them for yourself at http://www.ncaa.com. For example: teams from the same conference may now meet before a Regional final, even if fewer than eight teams are selected. The goal is to keep as many teams as possible on their actual seed line.
FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS – Dayton (First Round)
- BYU vs. Arkansas | Midwest Region
- VCU vs. Providence | South Region
- SAVANNAH ST vs. UNC-ASHEVILLE | East Region
- SOUTHERN vs. CHATTANOOGA | South Region
BRACKET PROJECTION …
|WEST – Anaheim||EAST - New York|
|1) ARIZONA||1) SYRACUSE|
|16) SOUTH DAKOTA||16) SAVANNAH ST / NC-ASHEVILLE|
|8) Baylor||8) Xavier|
|9) GONZAGA||9) UCLA|
|5) Duke||5) Oklahoma|
|12) GREEN BAY||12) HARVARD|
|4) Kentucky||4) Michigan|
|13) S.F. AUSTIN||13) MANHATTAN|
|6) Kansas State||6) Memphis|
|11) Stanford||11) Dayton|
|3) SAN DIEGO STATE||3) Iowa State|
|14) UC-IRVINE||14) GEORGIA STATE|
|7) Connecticut||7) Ohio State|
|10) Missouri||10) Florida State|
|2) Wisconsin||2) Villanova|
|15) UTAH VALLEY||15) BOSTON UNIVERSITY|
|SOUTH – Memphis||MIDWEST – Indianapolis|
|1) KANSAS||1) MICHIGAN STATE|
|16) SOUTHERN / CHATTANOOGA||16) ROBERT MORRIS|
|8) Oregon||8) Colorado|
|9) Minnesota||9) New Mexico|
|5) Pittsburgh||5) CREIGHTON|
|12) SOUTHERN MISS||12) BYU / Arkansas|
|4) MASSACHUSETTS||4) CINCINNATI|
|13) TOLEDO||13) MERCER|
|San Antonio||San Antonio|
|6) Louisville||6) Saint Louis|
|11) VCU / Providence||11) North Carolina|
|3) Iowa||3) Oklahoma State|
|14) DELAWARE||14) BELMONT|
|7) Virginia||7) California|
|10) Texas||10) George Washington|
|2) FLORIDA||2) WICHITA STATE|
|15) STONY BROOK||15) NO COLORADO|
NOTES on the BRACKET: Arizona is the overall No. 1 seed followed by Syracuse, Michigan State, and Kansas.
Last Five teams in (at large): Dayton, VCU, Providence, Arkansas, BYU
First Five teams out (at large): SMU, Tennessee, Clemson, Boise State, Georgetown
Next five teams out (at large): Purdue, LSU, Saint Mary’s, Ole Miss, Illinois
Breakdown by Conference …
Big 12 (7): Kansas, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas
Big Ten (6): Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota
Pac 12 (6): Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, UCLA, California, Stanford
ACC (6): Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Florida State, Pittsburgh, Virginia
Atlantic 10 (5): Massachusetts, VCU, Saint Louis, Dayton, Geo Washington
SEC (4): Kentucky, Florida, Missouri, Arkansas
American (4): Louisville, Memphis, Connecticut, Cincinnati
Big East (4): Creighton, Villanova, Xavier, Providence
Mountain West (2): New Mexico, San Diego State
West Coast (2): Gonzaga, BYU
Missouri Valley (1): Wichita State
Conference Automatic Qualifiers … Southern Miss (C-USA), Belmont (Ohio Valley), Georgia State (Sun Belt), Boston University (Patriot), South Dakota (Summit), Green Bay (Horizon), Chattanooga (Southern), Utah Valley (WAC), Manhattan (MAAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), Toledo (MAC), Mercer (A-Sun), Harvard (IVY), UC-Irvine (Big West), Delaware (Colonial), Stony Brook (American East), Northern Colorado (Big Sky), Savannah State (MEAC), UNC-Asheville (Big South), Robert Morris (NEC), Southern (SWAC)
Jan 31, 2015, 11:15 AM EST
Raheem Appleby showed surprising hops as the 6-foot-4 guard threw down a solid dunk over a Western Kentucky defender.
Jan 31, 2015, 10:10 AM EST
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino believes one of his underclassmen will definitely leave for the NBA.
Pregame Shootaround: Duke battles Virginia and Wichita State gets its biggest Valley test on a busy Saturday
Jan 31, 2015, 9:00 AM EST
Duke and Virginia highlights a busy Saturday slate.
Jan 30, 2015, 11:01 PM EST
Here is a rundown of all the action from Friday night.
Jan 30, 2015, 9:30 PM EST
The Jayhawks will wear these on Feb. 28.
Jan 30, 2015, 7:45 PM EST
That rivalry ended when Mizzou left the Big 12 in favor of the SEC.
Jan 30, 2015, 6:30 PM EST
Trey Davis left the court with only seconds remaining after colliding into a Kendall Pollard screen.
Jan 30, 2015, 5:45 PM EST
The backup guard has missed the last five games.
Jan 30, 2015, 5:09 PM EST
“Big Country,” Randy Rutherford and the rest of the squad is expected back for the team’s game against Kansas to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their trip to the Final Four.
Jan 30, 2015, 4:04 PM EST
Bruce Pearl expressed remorse over how his tenure at Tennessee ended and also remains thankful for former Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton.
Jan 30, 2015, 2:47 PM EST
Having already lost one game in Ivy League play, Harvard looks to bounce back with a win at Princeton.
Jan 30, 2015, 12:50 PM EST
Aaron White suffered a stinger in Iowa’s loss to Purdue, and Gabe Olaseni is dealing with a sprained ankle suffered Monday.
Jan 30, 2015, 11:43 AM EST
The donation will be used to improve the basketball offices and practice facility, with leftover funds being used for any improvements that may need to be made down the line.
Jan 30, 2015, 11:00 AM EST
Kansas’ incredibly rigorous schedule moves them to the top line in the latest update.
Jan 30, 2015, 10:35 AM EST
Thursday’s loss was a reminder of the fact that these current Utah players are still getting used to being the “hunted.”
Jan 30, 2015, 9:50 AM EST
While D’Angelo Russell gets most of the attention (and rightfully so), another freshman has stepped forward in the last two games for the Buckeyes.
Jan 30, 2015, 9:02 AM EST
The Super Bowl isn’t the only high-octane action we’ll see this weekend.
Jan 30, 2015, 12:19 AM EST
With Shannon Scott being a senior and D’Angelo Russell considered to be a possible lottery pick if he goes pro, JaQuan Lyle’s commitment is a nice insurance policy moving forward.
Jan 29, 2015, 10:57 PM EST
Ike Nwamu scored 20 points in the Bears’ 75-72 overtime win over Chattanooga, but should he have two (or three) more points to his credit?
Jan 29, 2015, 9:38 PM EST
Providence’s Kris Dunn posted the program’s first triple-double since 2006, and UMass held off Dayton in Amherst.
- Rick Pitino on Terry Rozier’s impending NBA Draft decision: ‘He’s not coming back’ 0
- Weekend Preview: Duke-Virginia, an MVC showdown and UNC-Louisville 2
- Duke dismisses reserve shooting guard from program 13
- Chase for 180: Already a good shooter, Tyler Harvey’s been even better in 2014-15 0
- Film Session: The case for Jerian Grant as National Player of the Year 1
- Jerian Grant, No. 8 Notre Dame erase another double-digit deficit as they beat No. 4 Duke 7
- Late Night Snacks: No. 8 Notre Dame outlasts No. 4 Duke in a thriller 2
- Duke dismisses reserve shooting guard from program (13)
- Bill Self on the loss of Kansas-Missouri rivalry: ‘It hasn’t been great’ (8)
- Jerian Grant, No. 8 Notre Dame erase another double-digit deficit as they beat No. 4 Duke (7)
- Coach K earns career win No. 1,000 in No. 5 Duke’s win over St. John’s (4)
- Kentucky lands commitment from international Class of 2016 big man (4)