So, what must happen then for the Panthers to get the top seed in the Midwest? Well, as with last year, a host of things.
First the Panthers must win out through the Big East tournament. The committee won't stand for one loss at all the rest of the way. This may in fact be the hardest task for the Panthers with a visit to Providence on March 2 looming on the horizon.
Second, Mississippi State cannot win their conference tournament. The committee loves the Bulldogs and would put them ahead of the Panthers if given the chance.
Okalahoma State could also steal the #1 seed from the Panthers, but this is less likely to happen. A loss along the way for the Cowboys would seal their fate to a #2 seed.
If Duke should lose again in the ACC tournament, then the committee may not be able to give them a #1 seed, especially if they fail to make the championship game.
As it stands now, the only locks for a #1 seed are St. Joesph's (the most overrated team in the country) and Stanford due to their unblemished records.
The Panthers need to take care of their own business along the way and the committee should and probably would make up for last year's overlook with a top seed in Midwest.