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With conference play now in full swing, a few themes seem to be taking hold. The overall strength of the Big 12 is one of the storylines of the season so far, and the Big East is not far behind.
With two teams (Kansas and Oklahoma) at the top of the bracket, the Big 12 boasts two teams who figure to be Final Four contenders. Behind them Iowa State, West Virginia, Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech are all in the field, meaning a whopping 80 percent of the Big 12 currently owns a tournament bid.
Two perennial powers (Duke and Kentucky) have hit some tough times in January. Duke is currently losers of three straight, two of which came at Cameron Indoor Stadium. This stretch knocked the Blue Devils down to the six seed line, as their lack of a signature win and relatively unimpressive RPI are beginning to be exposed.
Kentucky has two early losses in the relatively weak SEC and looks to be, at the moment, clearly behind undefeated conference leader Texas A&M. Wins over Duke and Louisville keep Kentucky in the top third of the bracket, but the Wildcats are not the dominant team that we are somewhat accustomed to seeing.
Looking ahead to this weekend, another showdown in the Big 12 leads the slate of games as Oklahoma visits Baylor. In the Big East, Villanova hosts Providence in another game of highly ranked teams. Stay tuned to @ScoutBrackets to see how all the games impact the outlook of the tournament field.