In honor of the Selection Committee releasing their top sixteen seeds Sunday afternoon, I decided to follow suite. This week’s edition of Bracketology takes a break from potential bracket buster’s and Cinderella’s and focuses on my top sixteen seeds in the fast-approaching tournament. Results have been considered through Sunday February 10th.
NCAA Tournament Selection Committee seeds released today. pic.twitter.com/l0ffzAKFbY
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) February 9, 2019
Duke completed a season sweep of Virginia Saturday evening with a convincing ten-point victory. Duke entered the game shooting under 30 percent from three in conference play but torched Virginia shooting 62 percent from three Saturday. If Duke shoots anywhere close to this good, they are impossible to beat and are clear favorites to win it all.
☔️☔️💦💦💥⚡️Scored most points by an opponent at UVA in a decade. ☔️☔️⛈💧☔️
Next up: at Louisville Tuesday pic.twitter.com/aRL3NMr0D6
— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) February 10, 2019
Tennessee hasn’t lost since November 23rd when they fell to Kansas. The Vols ran their win streak to 18 games with double digit wins over Missouri and Florida this week. They are clear favorites in the SEC and are best suited to defeat Duke with their collection athletic forwards. They’ll head to Kentucky next Saturday for their first true test in weeks.
Virginia is a clear one seed and third best team in the country. Their only two losses are to number one overall seed Duke. The score didn’t indicate how well Virginia played Duke Saturday. The Cavs were out manned athletically but closed the Duke deficit to single digits on multiple occasions. Virginia proved they can play with and potentially beat anyone.
Michigan still only has two losses in a very competitive Big Ten. Both losses were on the road to Iowa and Wisconsin respectively. They were able to avenge the Wisconsin road loss at home with a 62-51 victory over the weekend. Michigan has four meaningful Big Ten games remaining against Maryland and Michigan State before the Big Ten Tournament begins.
North Carolina (19-4)
If I could have five number one seeds North Carolina would be the 5th. The difference between North Carolina and Michigan is negligible. I favored Michigan this week after UNC needed overtime to defeat a less than stellar Miami squad on Saturday. The Heels host Virginia Monday night with a huge opportunity to jump up to a one seed.
No surprise that Gonzaga is rolling through the West Coast Conference. The Zags destroyed St. Mary’s on Saturday by 48 points. They are one of two teams to defeat Duke. Gonzaga shouldn’t have a problem being a top seed this March.
— Gonzaga Basketball (@ZagMBB) February 11, 2019
Kentucky did nothing but improve its resume over the past week. They got a big road win Saturday over a respectable Mississippi State team. The Wildcats have two home games this week against ranked LSU and number one Tennessee. An undefeated week could propel Kentucky into number one seed considerations.
Marquette avenged a mid-week loss to St. Johns with a monster win over fellow Big East contender Villanova Saturday afternoon. Marquette plays great team defense and has an absolute stud in Markus Howard at point guard. I would consider Marquette clear favorites in the Big East.
The only thing preventing Nevada from being a top two seed is their strength of schedule. Their best win is a home victory over Arizona State and their only loss is an ugly blowout to New Mexico. Their talent is enough to get them by against most teams but not being battle tested could hurt them in the long run.
That’s eight in a row for Purdue. They have been on a rule since making their debut on Bracketology as Potential Cinderella a few weeks ago. With a split already on the books with Michigan State, Purdue looks to be certain of a number two seed in the Big Ten tournament with a win this week over Maryland.
— Purdue Men’s Basketball (@BoilerBall) February 11, 2019
Kansas has been a sinking ship for weeks now and star guar Legerald Vick has now left the team for personal reasons. Kansas has also struggled all season away from home. All six of their losses have come away from Phog Allen Fieldhouse. Even with all the negatives around Kansas, I still consider Kansas slight favorites in the Big 12.
Houston does not have many signature wins on its resume but 23-1 is 23-1. Their only loss is a road loss to bubble team Temple. Houston is led by star guard Corey Davis Jr who averages just under sixteen points per game. Houston’s fast athletic pace could be enough to propel them to a sweet 16 birth.
Virginia Tech (18-5)
After two losses this week the Hookies dropped eleven spots in the new AP poll, but I am still a believer in this Virginia Tech team. No doubt star guard Justin Robinson being out hurts. Hopefully Va Tech can get Robinson back for postseason play.
Michigan State (19-5)
Michigan State finally got themselves in the win column with a blowout win over Minnesota Saturday. I’m not the biggest fan of this year’s edition of Sparty, but their resume warrants a place in my top sixteen.
Iowa State (18-6)
Iowa State was all but set to be considered the favorite in the Big 12 before a puzzling home loss to TCU. TCU is all but certain to make the tournament but giving up 92 at home to a less talented TCU team is concerning.
Florida State (18-5)
It was a dead heat between Louisville and Florida State for my last 4 seed slot. Seeing as Florida State defeated Louisville in overtime Saturday I had no choice but to go with Florida State. They have now won five ACC games in a row and rely on tough physical play to earn victories.