Jan. 22 Bracketology: Texas, Kentucky, Kansas, and 'Nova Lead the Way

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Jan. 22 Bracketology: Texas, Kentucky, Kansas, and 'Nova Lead the Way

This bracketology will be based on how the teams have played to this point in the season. As for conference champions, whoever is currently in first place in the conference will be named the conference champion. The conference champions will have their conference next to their name.

There will not be specific match-ups, only which teams are seeded where. Automatic bids are given to conference champions and AP Top 25 teams. The other spots will be given to teams that have already put together a résumé worthy of the NCAA Tournament.

Although North Carolina is ranked, they are not included in this bracket because with the loss to Wake Forest, they will most likely not be ranked next week. They do not have a résumé worthy of the NCAA Tournament.

This bracketology will be updated as often as necessary.

 

1 Seeds

Texas, Kentucky (SEC), Villanova (Big East), Kansas (Big 12)

Texas has emerged as possibly the most talented team in college basketball. Dominating OOC wins over Pitt, USC, and UNC led them to a No. 1 ranking. Their only loss came at Kansas State. Right now, they are the overall No. 1 seed.

Kentucky is the only undefeated team left. A relatively weak OOC schedule put them behind Texas, but they are still a one seed. Their only big competition in the SEC will be Tennessee.

Villanova, led by point guard Scottie Reynolds, has unsurprisingly stayed undefeated in the Big East to this point. The Wildcats' one loss came at Temple. Villanova is the only undefeated team left in the Big East.

Kansas is the only team yet to lose a conference game in the Big 12. The Jayhawks have dominated in every win, minus Cornell and Memphis. Kansas' one loss came at Tennessee.

 

2 Seeds

Syracuse, Michigan State (Big 10), Tennessee, Georgetown

Syracuse stands at third place in the Big East. The Cuse's one loss was to Pitt, who is still undefeated in conference play.

Michigan State has a 1.5-game lead in the Big 10. The Spartans looked questionable at the beginning of the year with losses to Florida and UNC, but have now won 10 out of their last 11.

Tennessee has managed to win all five of their games since the dismissal of Tyler Smith and the suspensions of Brian Williams, Melvin Goins, and Cameron Tatum. Tennessee is currently the only team that has the ability to challenge Kentucky for an SEC title.

Georgetown still stands near the top of the Big East, currently in fourth place. The Hoyas beat the Pittsburgh Panthers on Wednesday, bringing the Panthers undefeated Big East season to an end. The Hoyas won their first eight games, including wins over Butler and Washington, before losing to Old Dominion. 

 

3 Seeds

Duke, Kansas State, Pitt, Georgia Tech

Duke's two losses have come in close games on the road to Wisconsin and Georgia Tech. As of now, Duke is looking like the favorite to win the ACC. However, they are not currently in first place due to Virginia (3-0) getting off to good start. Virginia will likely lose a game fairly soon and Duke will have a chance at first place, allowing their stock to rise.

Kansas State beat No. 1 Texas this week, moving to second place in the Big 12. Kansas State stands at No. 10 in the AP poll, and will likely move up.

Pitt has been red hot, winning 11 out of their last 13. Pitt finally lost a Big East game against Georgetown, giving Georgetown the final two seed slot and sending Pitt to the three seeds.

Georgia Tech has had their questionable moments with losses to Dayton, Florida State, and Georgia. However, they have also beaten many quality teams like UNC, Duke, USC, and Siena. Georgia Tech's wins over Duke and UNC have given them the final three seed spot.

 

4 Seeds

West Virginia, Purdue, BYU (MWC), Gonzaga (WCC)

West Virginia has struggled early in conference play. The Mountaineers looked like they could have had what it takes to be a one seed before a crushing loss to Purdue unfolded some the flaws in West Virginia. West Virginia went on to lose to Notre Dame, and then drop their first game on their home floor of the season.

Purdue looked like they could be the top team in the nation after winning their first 14 games. The Boilermakers beat Tennessee, Wake Forest, Alabama, West Virginia, and Minnesota during that stretch. Purdue would then lose their next three games to Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Northwestern. The Boilermakers snapped their losing streak with a win at Illinois on Tuesday.

BYU is currently in first place in the Mountain West. Their only loss this season came at Utah State. The Cougars have not played a particularly tough schedule, but they still have wins over Arizona State, Nevada, Nebraska, UNLV, and UTEP. Right now, the Cougars are a big favorite to win the MWC, and if they do, it could lead to a higher seed then they have been used to in recent years.

Gonzaga's only conference competition is St. Mary's due to the falters of Portland and San Diego. The Zags stand half a game ahead of St. Mary's and have already beaten the Gaels on the road. Gonzaga has OOC wins over Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Oklahoma, and Illinois.

 

5 Seeds

Wisconsin, Marshall (C-USA), Ohio State, Temple (A-10)

Wisconsin began the season winning six out of their first seven, including fourth place in the Maui Invitational and an upset over Duke. The Badgers went on to lose to Green Bay. Wisconsin came back with wins in their next six games, including Marquette and Ohio State. Wisconsin currently stands at 5-2 in the Big 10, 1.5 games out of first place.

Marshall is currently in a three-way tie for first place in C-USA and own the tiebreaker. The Thundering Herd have had struggles when the top competition plays with them, but their dominance in conference play will lead to a high seed.

Ohio State has lost one game with Evan Turner in the lineup, and that was by four points to UNC at the beginning of the year. After a 1-3 start in conference play, Evan Turner returned to the Buckeys' lineup and has lead the team to three straight wins and a Top 25 ranking.

Temple is far and away the best team in the A-10 this year. Temple lost early in the season by one point at Georgetown. The Owls did not lose in December, winning all seven of their games, including Villanova and Seton Hall. After getting destroyed by Kansas, the Owls have won five straight games and stand at 4-0 in conference play.

 

6 Seeds

Northern Iowa (MVC), Butler (Horizon), Arizona State (PAC-10), Clemson

Northern Iowa's 15-game winning streak was ended by Wichita State on Tuesday night. No. 20 Northern Iowa will most likely lose their ranking the next time the voters meet. The Panthers still stand in first place in the MVC.

Butler is yet to lose in Horizon League play. The Bulldogs have dominated in almost every conference game so far. Butler has OOC wins over Northwestern, Ohio State, and Xavier.

Arizona State is currently in first place in a weak Pac-10 conference. The Sun Devils are in the midst of a four-game winning streak. In every OOC game against top competition, the Sun Devils failed to win, leading to a lower seed despite first place in the Pac-10.

Clemson is in a five-way tie for second place in the ACC. The Tigers' best conference win is against UNC. In non-conference games, Clemson beat Butler and South Carolina, while losing to Illinois and Texas A&M.

 

7 Seeds

Mississippi, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Mississippi State

Ole Miss got off to a start similar to last year's. Fortunately for the Rebels, they were not plagued by injury and have continued to win and stay in the Top 25. The Rebels only conference losses are in close games to Tennessee and Mississippi State. Ole Miss' best OOC win is at Kansas State.

Vanderbilt is still undefeated in SEC play. The Commodores three OOC losses came to Cincinnati, Illinois, and Western Kentucky. Vanderbilt does not have any signature wins, but they have destroyed a lot of their competition.

Xavier dropped to second place with a loss to Temple on Wednesday night. This was Xavier's sixth loss of the season and the fourth decided by five points or less. The Musketeers beat Cincinnati and Dayton.

Mississippi State started off with a disappointing loss to Rider. The Bulldogs then won 12-of-13 games before losing to Western Kentucky. Wins over Ole Miss, Arkansas, and Georgia have put the Bulldogs in a four-way tie for first place in the SEC.

 

8 Seeds

New Mexico, Cornell (Ivy), Virginia (ACC), Old Dominion (CAA)

New Mexico got off to a great start this season before losses to Oral Roberts, San Diego State, and UNLV knocked them out of the Top 25. New Mexico still stands at second place in the MWC. Wins over Louisiana Tech, Cal, Texas A&M, and Dayton have given them spot in the bracket.

Cornell was expected to be good and dominate the Ivy League. The Big Red has big wins at Alabama and St. John's. Cornell gets into the top half of the bracket because of how close they played on the road with No. 1 Kansas. Cornell's only competition in conference play will be Harvard.

Virginia had struggled a lot early on this year. The Cavs are now in the middle of an eight-game winning streak, leading to a 3-0 start in ACC play. It is hard to believe that the Cavs could finish the year as ACC champions, but as of now they are, so they have own a spot.

Old Dominion has won six straight games. The Monarchs picked up OOC wins against Marshall, Georgetown, and Charlotte.

 

9 Seeds

Washington State, Baylor, Missouri, Texas A&M

Washington State has benefited from the Pac-10's weak year; the Cougars stand in second place with a big win over USC on Thursday.

Baylor got off to a great start, as they have the past few years. A loss at Colorado set the Bears back a little, but they still stand at 2-2 in the Big 12, in the middle of the pack. 

Missouri had a nine game winning streak before they lost to Oklahoma. During that stretch, the Tigers beat Illinois, Georgia, and Kansas State. Missouri stands in fourth place in the Big 12.

Texas A&M is currently in a four-way tie for fifth place in the Big 12. The Aggies lost a close overtime game at Texas where a win would put them as high as a seven seed. In non-conference play, the Aggies beat Clemson and Minnesota.

 

10 Seeds

Wichita State, William & Mary, Connecticut, Wake Forest

Wichita State's three losses this season have come on a neutral site against Pitt and on the road against Illinois State and Creighton. Wichita State picked up a huge win over No. 20 Northern Iowa, moving one game out of first place. The Shockers' best OOC win was over then No. 20 Texas Tech.

William & Mary dropped into fourth place in the CAA with a loss to VCU on Wednesday. The Tribe still have the best overall record out of everybody in their conference, and they have OOC wins over Richmond, Wake Forest, and Maryland. The Tribe also played close on the road with Connecticut and Harvard, where they lost in triple overtime on a miracle shot. William & Mary has already beaten VCU in conference play.

Connecticut has struggled more than expected, to say the least. The Huskies lost just about every time opportunity knocked. The best non-conference wins for the Huskies were against William & Mary and Harvard (in close games) and in a blowout over LSU. Connecticut is 3-3 in the Big East with wins over Notre Dame, Seton Hall, and St. John's. In conference, the Huskies have lost to Cincinnati, Georgetown, and Pitt.

Wake Forest has taken most of their big wins down to the wire, but the Demon Deacons have still been able to pull out the wins. Wake Forest looked like they would be back in the bottom after losing to William & Mary and getting blownout by Purdue. The Demon Deacons had big OOC wins over Gonzaga, Richmond, and Xavier. Wake Forest picked up a big conference win over North Carolina this week.

 

11 Seeds

Rhode Island, UAB, Siena (MAAC), Illinois

Rhode Island has only lost two games this season—the first came down to missed shot at the buzzer and the second was to No. 21 Temple in overtime. The Rams are currently in third place in the A-10. Rhode Island beat Northeastern, Fairfield, Oklahoma State, and Akron in non-conference play.

UAB has won 16-of-18 games this year. The Blazers will play for first place in C-USA on Saturday night. The Blazers have already manhandled Georgia, Cincinnati, and Butler.

Siena has dominated the MAAC after a slow start in non-conference play. Siena's leading scorer, Edwin Ubiles, played hurt for many of the non-conference games and has had to sit out against Georgia Tech and Manhattan. The Saints' only big OOC win was over Northeastern, and that is not enough to put them where some though they would end up at the beginning of the year. Siena has dominated the MAAC, winning all but two of their games by double digits. The Saints hold the nation's second longest home winning streak at 32.

Illinois could have been as high as a nine seed before losses to Michigan State and Purdue set them back a little. The Fighting Illini beat Clemson and Vanderbilt in non-conference play. In the Big 10, Illinois' best win is over Northwestern in overtime.

 

12 Seeds

St. Mary's, Cal, Tulsa, Florida State

St. Mary's is half a game behind Gonzaga for first place in the WCC. The Gaels beat Utah State, Oregon, and Northeastern in non-conference play. St. Mary's has already beaten Portland in conference play. The Gaels' one WCC loss came to Gonzaga, and their two OOC losses came in close games to Vanderbilt and USC.

Cal is in second place in the Pac-10. Since the return of Theo Robertson, the Golden Bears have started winning more games. Considering that half of their losses came without one of their key players, they still deserve a spot as a lower seed in the tournament.

Tulsa has won six straight games. The Hurricane picked up OOC wins over Oklahoma State and Colorado. In C-USA, the Hurricane have a big win over Houston.

Florida State beat Alabama, Marquette, and Auburn in non-conference play. The key win for the Seminoles is an overtime victory at then No. 15 Georgia Tech in the ACC opener.

 

 

13 Seeds

Murray State (OVC) Coastal Carolina (Big South), Louisiana Tech (WAC), Notre Dame
Murray State does not have any big OOC wins, although they did play close on the road with Cal, Louisiana Tech, and Western Kentucky. The Racers have simply dominated the OVC so far at 9-0. After winning the conference opener by only two points, the Racers have won all of their other conference games by nine points or more.

Coastal Carolina's 12-game winning streak was ended by the Radford Highlanders. The Chanticleers stand in first place in the Big South at 7-1. In non-conference play, Coastal Carolina beat Charleston and Indiana State.

Louisiana Tech had won 15-of-16 games before picking up their first conference loss at San Jose State. The Bulldogs have dominated a lot of their competition. Their best OOC wins are against Murray State and Houston.

Notre Dame's win over West Virginia gave them a spot in this bracket. The Fighting Irish lacked a big OOC win with their best win coming over UCLA. Along with beating West Virginia, the Fighting Irish have lost close games (both on the road) to Connecticut and Cincinnati.

 

14 Seeds

College Of Charleston (SoCon), Morgan State (MEAC), Weber State (Big Sky), Arkansas State (Sun Belt)

Charleston caught the nation's eye with a come-from-behind overtime win over UNC. This was Charleston's only good OOC win. So far, the Cougars have won all seven of their conference games. The Cougars play a big game against third place Wofford, Friday night on ESPN2. If Charleston continues to dominate the SoCon, their seeding could move up, similar to in 2007 and 2008.

Morgan State beat Arkansas in non-conference play and also played close with Louisville. The Bears have dominated the MEAC to this point, and if Reggie Holmes continues to score over 22 points per game, Morgan State could easily take home a MEAC title.

Weber State's best OOC wins were over Utah and Morehead State. The Wildcats are 5-1 in the Big Sky with the one loss coming at Northern Colorado, who is currently 16-4 and in second place in the Big Sky.

Arkansas State has won four straight games, leading to first place in the Sun Belt at 6-1. If the Red Wolves continue to play this well in the Sun Belt, their seeding could move up a little, but most likely no higher than a 13 seed due to no big OOC wins.

 

15 Seeds

Sam Houston State (Southland), Oakland (Summit), Vermont (AEC), Lafayette (Patriot)

Sam Houston State is 3-0 in the Southland. The Bearkats beat Oral Roberts, Rider, and Auburn in non-conference play. 

Oakland lacks any big OOC wins. So far, they have dominated the Summit League. If they continue to dominate the Summit, their stock could rise a little bit.

Vermont had a rough start to the season, winning only two of their first five. the Catamounts went on a five-game winning streak before losing to Delaware, and then had a seven-game winning streak ended by Stony Brook on Thursday night, handing Vermont their first AEC loss of the year. 

Lafayette has won six straight games, leading to a 4-0 start in the Patriot League. The Leopards did not have any big wins in non-conference play.

 

16 Seeds (Northern Illinois and Jackson State—Play-In Game)

Santa Barbara (Big West), Campbell (A-SUN), Quinnipiac (NEC) Northern Illinois (MAC), Jackson State (SWAC)

Santa Barbara had a rough stretch in non-conference play. After winning their first four, the Gauchos dropped six out of seven. The Gauchos are tied with Pacific for first place in the Big West, but Santa Barbara's win over the Tigers gives them the tiebreaker.

Campbell had a rough non-conference stretch with no impressive wins. Despite being in first place in the Atlantic Sun, the Camels still find themselves as a 16 seed.

Quinnipiac stands in first place in the NEC. The Bobcats lack any wins over quality teams.

Northern Illinois was horrible in the first two months of the season, winning only two of their first 10 games. Since the start of 2010, the Huskies have not lost and are a perfect 4-0 in the MAC. The poor start for the Huskies puts them in the play-in game.

Jackson State almost automatically gets a spot in the play-in game due to playing in the SWAC. On top of playing in the worst conference in college basketball, the Tigers lost their first 10 games of the season. Now, they have won six out of their last seven and stand in first place in the SWAC.

 

Last Four In

Cal, Tulsa, Florida State, Notre Dame

First Four Out

Washington, Dayton, Florida, Northwestern

Next Four Out

Cincinnati, North Carolina, Maryland, Richmond

 

Feel free to comment on the seedings.

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