This Week's Bracket
We are entering the thick of conference play as January begins to wind down and, thanks to a series of upsets, the top two seed lines have taken on very different appearances over the past two weeks. Wisconsin, Arizona, Villanova and Duke have all suffered unexpected losses and Kentucky has had more than their share of close calls.
As we currently stand, two teams have distanced themselves from the rest of the field: Kentucky and Virginia. Both are undefeated at the halfway point of the season and are holding down the top two spots in the field. While Kentucky had to survive a pair of scares (to Ole Miss and Texas A&M), the Wildcats have given no reason to be removed from the top of the bracket.
Virginia has been about as under-the-radar as a 17-0 team can be. They now hold the ACC’s projected auto-bid, which belonged to Duke for the entire nonconference season. The Cavaliers have their biggest test of the season to date coming up on January 31st when they host the Blue Devils.
One of the bigger surprises of the season to date has been the overall strength of the Big 12. Kansas and Iowa State figure to battle it out for the conference title, but behind them lies a group of solid teams that have legitimate NCAA tournament hopes (Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma State, West Virginia). Kansas State, which had a brutal nonconference run to open the season, is 11-8 and already holds wins over Baylor and Oklahoma.
Even perennial cellar-dweller TCU is off to a 14-4 start, although that is largely a result of a ridiculously weak nonconference schedule. Seven of the Big 12’s ten members currently hold bids and that could very well end up being the case on Selection Sunday.
You never know when the next giant is going to fall in the college basketball world, so check back next week to see how the latest action has affected the outlook for March.
Big 12 (6)
Big Ten (6)
Big East (6)
Mountain West (3)
West Coast (2)
Missouri Valley (2)
Conference USA (2)
New to the Field
- Miami (FL)
Left the Field