Barring any major upsets, it’s not hard to say that Indiana, Duke and Louisville deserve a No. 1 seed, but the question remains about Gonzaga.
They play in a very weak West Coast Conference that gave them an awful strength of schedule, and when they stepped outside of the conference to face Butler and Illinois, they lost.
Though they are a very impressive team and those are their only losses, is it fair to award them a No. 1 seed when other teams are playing against elite competition on a nightly basis? As of right now, it seems that it is.
But there are a few top teams out there who can bump Gonzaga out of that seed with a dominating performance in their conference tournament.
The Big Ten has been a powerful conference this season, and No. 6 Michigan and No. 8 Michigan State are big reasons why.
The Wolverines are 26-6 with their only losses coming from within the conference, and they have the talent and upcoming schedule to make a strong argument for a No. 1 seed. Michigan plays No. 22 Wisconsin on Friday, and if victorious, they face the winner of the No. 3 Indiana and Illinois game.
Advancing past the Hoosiers would definitely cause Michigan to be worthy of a top seed and put them into the conference finals against another elite opponent, which is where Michigan State comes in. The Spartans are on the other side of the bracket and face Iowa on Friday.
No. 10 Ohio State will most likely take down Nebraska, so if Michigan State can beat them too, then they’ll be looking at the finals.
It is possible for either team to make a run in their conference tournament by beating tough competition and defeating arguably the best team in the nation in Indiana. If this happens to either team, they would be more deserving than Gonzaga to receive a No. 1 seed.
Otto Porter Jr. and the Hoyas have had an amazing year and are in talks for a No. 1 seed.
The Big East is as good as ever, and No. 5 Georgetown sits at the top, just behind No. 4 Louisville. Winning the conference tournament will definitely give Georgetown a No. 1 seed, because it will mean beating No. 19 Syracuse and Louisville losing early or to the Hoyas.
Georgetown has been battle-tested by this brutal conference, and, if they come out on top, they’ll most likely snag a top seed away from Louisville instead of Gonzaga.
Though if the championship game ends up being Georgetown vs. Louisville—and it’s a really close, overtime thriller—then it’s possible to see both squads with a No. 1 seed.
Maybe the most surprising team in the country this year, the No. 9 Miami Hurricanes sit on the outside of the group of No. 1 seeds, but have an opportunity to join them with a conference title.
The ACC has been less than stellar this year, with No. 2 Duke and the Hurricanes being the only ones to emerge as title contenders. Miami won the regular season conference title with a 15-3 record in the ACC.
The two teams split their regular season meetings and have a chance to meet in the conference championship if they can both come out on top against average teams.
It is a similar situation to Georgetown’s fate with Louisville in that Duke and Miami could both get No. 1 seeds if a really close and well-played game occurs yet Miami wins.
A loss for the Hurricanes at any point in the conference tournament would put them out of contention for a top seed, but they can take Duke’s or Gonzaga’s spot if the previously mentioned circumstances happen.
There are many teams who see a road of brutal competition ahead of them as they fight to get a higher seed in the big dance. The difficulty of winning a power conference tournament is tremendous, and if one of the top teams dominates their field, then it’s possible to knock the No. 1 ranked team in the nation out of a No. 1 seed.