Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
No. 1 Duke (19-2, RPI: 1) vs. No. 16 Charleston Southern (Big South auto bid) / Robert Morris (Northeast auto bid)
Please see the final slide for a more in-depth analysis of the No. 1 seeds.
No. 8 Iowa State (16-6, RPI: 36) vs. No. 9 Wichita State (19-4, RPI: 28)
Coming into Monday night, Iowa State and Oklahoma were virtually indistinguishable. After a 19-point win that was never remotely in doubt, the Cyclones have been solidified as the fourth-best team out of the Big 12. Saturday's game at Kansas State could push them even further into the field.
After losing to Indiana State and Northern Iowa, Wichita State drops from a No. 4 seed to a No. 9 seed. Such is life as a mid-major. Until the Shockers prove me wrong, I will keep insisting that they struggle on the road, and as such I feel safe in assuming they'll lose two more games at Indiana State and Creighton.
No. 5 Cincinnati (18-4, RPI: 19) vs. No. 12 Arizona State (Last Five In)
Of all the "middling" seeds in the Big East, the Bearcats might be the best. If last-second shots had gone their way against Syracuse, New Mexico and St. John's, they would be 21-1 and undoubtedly a No. 1 seed. They could absolutely win their next seven games and climb a few more lines in the next six weeks.
No. 4 Michigan State (17-4, RPI: 13) vs. No. 13 Bucknell (Patriot auto bid)
I will say that I originally had Michigan State and Minnesota swapped before I realized the committee wouldn't set up MSU/Kansas and Duke/Minnesota Sweet 16 showdowns, since those games already took place in November.
If we ignore the season opener in Germany, the Spartans are 18-0 when they aren't playing on the road against teams in the RPI Top 10. That's pretty good.
No. 6 Creighton (20-3, RPI: 33) vs. No. 11 Baylor (13-7, RPI: 45)
I'm not sure why their SOS (126) is so atrocious, considering they're 8-2 against the RPI Top 100, but if the Bluejays can score wins in upcoming road games against Indiana State, Northern Iowa and Saint Mary's, it should correct itself and move them up at least one line.
I said it in last week's update, but Baylor jumped out to a 5-1 record in the Big 12 by using up five of its eight easiest conference games. Games against Oklahoma and Iowa State led to losses last week, and I suspect there will be at least five more as the Bears stumble and play someone else into the field.
No. 3 Syracuse (19-3, RPI: 11) vs. No. 14 Valparaiso (Horizon auto bid)
The Orange beat Louisville and Cincinnati without him, but they've missed James Southerland in recent games. In the first 19 games, Triche and MCW combined to shoot 43 percent from the field, 31 percent from downtown and committed 6.3 turnovers per game. In the losses to Pitt and Villanova, those numbers have dropped to 29 percent, 22 percent and 7.5 TO.
No. 7 Missouri (16-5, RPI: 34) vs. No. 10 Memphis (18-3, RPI: 43)
It's bad enough that Missouri was without Laurence Bowers for a few weeks, but fellow big-man Alex Oriakhi played particularly awful while Bowers was out. In fact, in Missouri's last four losses, Oriakhi has a total of 14 points and 12 personal fouls. When both guys are at the top of their game, Missouri will be borderline unstoppable.
Memphis is on a 12-game winning streak since coming up short against Louisville. If they win at Southern Miss this weekend, it's only a matter of time before the Tigers settle into a No. 6 or No. 7 seed.
No. 2 Gonzaga (20-2, RPI: 12) vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun auto bid)
The Zags survived a scare against San Diego on Saturday to stay at a No. 2. I think either Louisville or Syracuse will eventually supplant them, but they're clearly one of the 10 best teams in the nation today.