With Selection Sunday under two months away I though it was time to take an early look at my early tournament seed. The NCAA should be releasing their official early tournament seeds in the coming days and I guess we will have to see how much weight they put into my evaluation of the college basketball landscape. As my readers know I am a tad unconventional when it comes to my evaluation process. Factor considered when seeding the teams were significant wins, bad losses, coaching, and overall roster talent.
🚨 NEW AP POLL 🚨
Baylor is the new No. 1! 👀
4. San Diego State
5. Florida State
10. Seton Hall
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 20, 2020
Not only do I have Baylor as a one seed in their back yard, I also would consider them the current number one overall seed. Their quality wins are too numerous to mention, but the most impressive was a 67-55 demolition of Kansas at Phog Allen Field House. I fully expect Baylor to keep the ball rolling and end the Kansas reign of terror atop the Big 12.
Seton Hall (15-4)
Seton Hall is absolutely rolling in Big East Play and it’s pretty much all due to senior standout Myles Powell. Powell is a first team All American in my eyes and a legit contender for National Player of the Year. It should be a lot of fun watching Seton Hall and Villanova battle for the Big East Championship.
Florida State (17-2)
I’m a big fan of what Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton is building at Florida State. Once again Hamilton has built a long, athletic, deep team. Florida State’s best win to date is a win against projected two seed Louisville. This team should be able to make more noise in what I consider a very down ACC.
The more I watch this Iowa team the more I see a Final Four contender. Kudos go to Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery and his scouts for hitting a home run with Luka Garza. He’s led the Hawkeyes to 15 wins while averaging 23 points per game and shooting 56 percent from the floor. Garza has put him and his Iowa squad on the map for multiple individual and team accolades as 2020 continues to unfold.
“People are starting to figure out how special Luka is”
No, this isn’t about Doncic—it’s about Iowa’s Luka Garza, who has quietly become one of college basketball’s most dominant players https://t.co/0dxHXL87yl
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 22, 2020
East (New York)
San Diego State (21-0)
I have them slated as my weakest one seed forcing them to travel cross country to play a potential regional final in New York. The Aztecs are led by star point guard Malachi Flynn who averages just under 17 points per game. A San Diego State loss at this point would be devastating in terms of their seeding.
The success that head coach Jay Wright has endured at Villanova is impressive to say the least and the Wildcats are peaking as we progress into 2020. Local point guard Conner Giilespie has picked up right where Ryan Arcidiacano left off and five-star recruit Jerimiah Robinson-Earl continues to develop under Wright.
Early Season victories over Michigan State and Kansas certainly loom large, but their seed will be hurt by the softness of the ACC this year. I don’t think Duke is as good as Florida State or Louisville.
The Terps have all the talent to make a serious tournament run and it would seem they have put their inconstancies of years past behind them. Jalen “Sticks” Smith continues to shoot up NBA draft boards averaging 22.5 points and 10 boards over his last four games. Maryland was able to get a rare Big Ten road victory Sunday afternoon over a good Indiana team.
Once again Bill Self has his Kansas program primed for a Final Four run. The most impressive aspect of the Jayhawks resume is they have no bad losses. They also have wins over Dayton, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Colorado.
Michigan State (15-5)
One of my preseason Final Four selections is rounding into form nicely. They have probably the best tournament coach in Tom Izzo and a probable All-American at point guard in Cassius Winston. It’s hard to imagine Sparty being snubbed of a one seed if they win both the Big Ten regular season title and the post season tournament.
Like above mentioned Kansas, Louisville has been constantly awesome all season. They have no bad losses and play stifling defense. I question their ability to constantly score and they need someone to step up at the point guard position.
West Virginia (16-3)
The Mountaineers continue to be the best team in the country no one is talking about. Head Coach Bob Huggins continues to pile up wins while stifling teams with his high-pressure style of defense. West Virginia also sports one of the best freshmen in the country in Oscar Tishiebwe. He leads the Mountaineers in points, assist, field goal percentage, rebounds, and blocks.
West (Los Angeles)
I don’t really consider this a vintage Gonzaga team, but they will once again eclipse the 30-win mark. They played a tough enough schedule and have enough quality wins to warrant a one seed.
With wins over Seton Hall, Houston, Michigan, Memphis (with Wiseman), Arizona accompanied with a one-point loss to Gonzaga give Oregon an extremely impressive resume. Only a horrendous loss to Washington State keeps them off the one line regarding this article. The coach point guard combination of Dana Altman and Peyton Prichard might be the best in the country.
Dayton is led by All-American forward Obi Toppin. Toppin burst on the scene at the Maui Invitational and hasn’t slowed down since. The Flyers have only lost twice all year to Colorado and Kansas. Dayton is also plenty battle tested enough to hang with the blue bloods in March as the Atlantic-10 is an underrated conference.
— Dayton Basketball (@DaytonMBB) January 23, 2020
It’s time to forgive Kentucky for horrendous early season losses to Evansville and Utah. In typical Calapiri form the Cats are peaking at the right time after a huge road win over Texas Tech in their last outing. Kentucky shouldn’t have any issue winning a weak SEC conference.