Indiana lost at Illinois on a last second layup, five days after giving Michigan a loss. Kansas looked dreadful this week, drawing comparisons to the Topeka YMCA. Florida finally looked mortal in losing on the road at Arkansas, and now Will Yeguete is out until at least the conference tournament. This week has muddled the situation at the top, where at least ten teams still have a viable shot at a #1 seed.
For this week, I’ll still project the Big Ten to get two #1 seeds in Indiana and Michigan. Duke has the best profile, while for now, I will hesitantly put Arizona in the final slot. They have the best current profile but those close wins could turn into losses and swing it again. I suspect the Big East champ gets a top seed, but it is too close to call right now, and it looks like the #1 seeds could be at stake still by conference tournament time.
Oklahoma State is the big riser this week, jumping up to a 5 seed with the win over Kansas, and three straight wins over tournament caliber teams (I had them projected to get to a 6 seed back in the initial projections). The Illinois win puts them back on the other side and barely in. I think they can make the tournament with a 7-11 conference record in the Big Ten, with wins over Indiana, Gonzaga, Ohio State, and Butler.
#1 seeds: Michigan*, Duke*, Indiana, Arizona*
#2 seeds: Syracuse*, Florida*, Kansas*, Louisville
#3 seeds: Gonzaga*, Miami, Michigan State, Ohio State
#4 seeds: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Butler*, Colorado State*
#5 seeds: New Mexico, Minnesota, Creighton*, Oklahoma State
#6 seeds: Georgetown, Marquette, Kansas State, Virginia Commonwealth
#7 seeds: Wisconsin, Mississippi, San Diego State, Oregon
#8 seeds: Kentucky, Wichita State, North Carolina State, UCLA
#9 seeds: UNLV, Iowa State, Colorado, North Carolina
#10 seeds: St. Mary’s, Baylor, Belmont*, St. Louis
#11 seeds: Notre Dame, Missouri, Memphis*, Middle Tennessee State*
#12 seeds: Virginia, Southern Miss, Oklahoma vs. Indiana State, La Salle vs. Illinois
#13 seeds: Akron*, North Dakota State*, Stephen F. Austin*, Bucknell*
First Six Out: Maryland, Temple, Arizona State, Villanova, Arkansas, Iowa
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]