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Meet the teams still competing for the fourth No. 1 seed

Mar 15, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

With Arizona, Florida and Wichita State all but locking up three out of the four No. 1 seeds, we decided to take a look at some of the remaining contenders for the fourth No. 1. Here’s a look at some key information for those contending for a No. 1 seed as we move closer to Selection Sunday.

Creighton

RPI: 8, SOS: 34, KenPom: 6

Key wins: Villanova (2), Xavier (2), Nebraska, at Saint Joseph’s, Arizona State

Key losses: at St. John’s, at Georgetown, San Diego State, George Washington

While Creighton lacks the strength of schedule of some of the other No. 1 seed contenders, Doug McDermott and the Bluejays do own two key wins over Villanova — another contender for a No. 1 seed — and Creighton is also the one still playing for the Big East title against Providence on Saturday. If the Bluejays knock off Providence and have some other teams fall early, could they sneak into a No. 1 seed?

Duke

RPI: 7, SOS: 8, KenPom: 8

Key wins: Michigan, Syracuse, North Carolina, Virginia, UCLA, at Pittsburgh

Key losses: at Clemson, at Notre Dame, at Wake Forest, Kansas, Arizona

The Blue Devils are still vying for the final No. 1 seed as they face N.C. State in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Saturday with another potential game against fellow No. 1 seed contender Virginia in the title game. If the Blue Devils can win out, they have a chance at a No. 1 seed.

Michigan

RPI: 10, SOS: 11, KenPom: 11

Key wins: Nebraska (2), Michigan State (2), Minnesota (2), at Wisconsin

Key losses: Charlotte, at Indiana, at Iowa

Michigan would help itself out quite a bit if they could beat No. 24 Ohio State for the second time this season in the Big Ten semifinals on Saturday and a potential shot at Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game could act as a play-in game for a No. 1  seed, depending on how some of these other teams fare the rest of the way.

Villanova

RPI: 6, SOS: 50, KenPom: 7

Key wins: Kansas, Providence (2), Xavier, at Saint Joseph’s

Key losses: Seton Hall, Creighton (2), at Syracuse

The Wildcats are holding their breath after falling to Seton Hall in their opening game of the Big East Tournament earlier in the week and they’ll have to hope that the favorites in the Big Ten and the ACC keep losing.

Virginia

RPI: 11, SOS: 43, KenPom: 5

Key wins: North Carolina, at Pittsburgh, Syracuse

Key losses: at Green Bay, at Maryland, at Duke, VCU

The Cavaliers are still fighting for an ACC title and if they win out against Pitt and a potential game for the championship against Duke, Tony Bennett’s ballclub could find itself in position for a potential No. 1 seed. Virginia’s resume is damaged by only three wins against top-50 opponents — two of them at home — and the bad losses on the road at Green Bay and Maryland are an eye-sore on the resume.

Wisconsin

RPI: 5, SOS: 3, KenPom: 10

Key wins: Florida, Saint Louis, at Virginia, at Michigan, Michigan State

Key losses: at Indiana, Northwestern

The Badgers have certainly played a tough non-conference schedule with wins over No. 1 seed Florida and potential No. 1 seeds — on the road — in Virginia and Michigan. Can Wisconsin win another against No. 22 Michigan State on Saturday in the Big Ten semifinals and win the Big Ten Tournament title on Sunday to secure the final No. 1 seed? It’s certainly possible.

  1. bat42boy - Mar 15, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    You’re forgetting San Diego State from the Mountain West Conference. I like them better than the ones you’ve mentioned, only if they best New Mexico. This conference is one of the most overlooked conferences in the country when it comes to basketball.

    • Scott Phillips - Mar 15, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      San Diego State has had a great season — and you’re not wrong about the Mountain West — but the Aztecs have an RPI of 14 and a SOS of 122, which is lower than any of the teams I profiled. Bracketology experts have the Aztecs around a 3 or 4 seed right now. Again, they’re having a great year, but they’re just not in the same class as the teams I mentioned when it comes to a resumé. Thanks for reading.

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