College Basketball Top 25: Which of Them Are Potential Top Tourney Seeds?

Jim SullivanFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2011

College Basketball Top 25: Which of Them Are Potential Top Tourney Seeds?

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    Basketball season can be so complicated. Things can change with just one shot. A layup, a half-court miracle, and three pointer at the buzzer. No one team is better than any other as we see every March, but the regular season is just as full of drama.

    Who ends up as the four No. 1 seeds in the Big Dance is always a gigantic deal. Being good enough to have that honor means it will get extremely tough down the road. It also comes with a lot of pressure being that a No. 1 seed has never lost in the first round and is expected to make it all the way to the Final Four.

    The Top 25 this week is chalk full of No. 1 potentials. As we push through into the sixth week of the rankings, we take a look at which ones actually have the capability to nail that one seed in the tournament this postseason.   

North Carolina

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    The Tar Heels are a traditional power that almost always will have a shot to secure a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance. UNC is 8-2 coming out of the gate with only losses to top ranked Kentucky and UNLV. A strong finish to their non-conference schedule could leave North Carolina an unstoppable force going into ACC play. 

    Never count out Roy Williams and company to play themselves all the way into a No. 1 seed in the tourney. Their talent is unimaginable and could explode as the season progresses.  

Baylor

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    The undefeated Bears are the comeback story of the decade. After the terrible murder a couple of years back and the shutdown of the program, Baylor has come surging back with a vengeance. Their talent is more than good enough to win the Big 12 and compete nationally for a No. 1 seed. 

    Their sophomore leading scorer Perry Jones III has come out as one of the best players in the conference. Their non-conference schedule is easy enough leading up until their matchup with Mississippi State. From then on, the Big 12 will provide all the competition the Bears can handle.

UConn

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    As the defending national champions, the Huskies have everything to prove this year. Without the prolific Kemba Walker, UConn will have a tough time in the the Big East, but don't expect this squad to just lie down. 

    Head coach Jim Calhoun knows how to win and push this team to the brink. They won the Big East tournament last season and have just enough talent to do it again. Watch out for this 8-1 team to take a No. 1 seed if they can direct all of that potential into winning in their own conference. 

Missouri

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    Possibly one of the most talented and experienced squads in the nation, Missouri has every bit of potential to surprise the country and take a No. 1 seed. Marcus Denmon and Kim English lead the scoring while Phil Pressey takes over the assists and Ricardo Ratliffe brings down the rebounds.

    Their undefeated record and strong victories over Cal and Villanova make Mizzou an extremely dangerous team to mess around with. A possible Big 12 Champion, this squad could steal a No. 1 seed this March.  

Louisville

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    The Cardinals are bigger than ever this season as they come out the gate with an undefeated 9-0 record. Their big wins over Vanderbilt and Butler will make them once again a giant threat to anyone in the Big East.

    After losing last year's Big East tournament to UConn, they will be looking for some revenge. A top seed in the Big Dance is exactly what they need to prove they are a serious danger. 

Duke

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    The Blue Devils have the winningest coach in college basketball history. In the season where that huge milestone was achieved, watch for Duke to make some fireworks. Having only lost a single game this season to highly ranked Ohio State, this team has all the potential to once again own a No. 1 seed.

    Led by a prolific freshman guard in Austin Rivers, this squad will once again be a huge ACC threat. Winning the ACC this season will only be incentive to retake the title and grab another No. 1 seed for Coach K.  

Kansas

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    Here's the deal with the Jayhawks. They're Kansas. Kansas can never be counted out of the possible No. 1 seeds and this season is no different. Their 7-2 record is deceiving to the eye as both losses have come to highly ranked opponents Kentucky and Duke. 

    Junior forward Thomas Robinson and senior guard Tyshawn Taylor lead the team in points and have just as much talent as ever. Kansas could own the Big 12 and slide into a No. 1 seed the Jayhawks have taken so many times in the past. 

Syracuse

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    The 10-0 record of the Syracuse speaks volumes as the Orange once again show that they are a team to be reckoned with. After the scandal with assistant coach Bernie Fine, Jim Boeheim and company have continued to win. Taking down a top 10 Florida squad has been the highlight of their season so far, but watch out for the Orange to once again survive the Big East meat-grinder. 

    Two big men lead Syracuse this season as senior forward Kris Joseph and sophomore forward C.J. Fair own the points and rebounding categories, respectively. Their post play will be huge as the season progresses, but the consistency so far makes them look more than formidable. 

Kentucky

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    The 8-1 Kentucky Wildcats are, for now, my example of some amazing squad that fall to the worst of them. Indiana defeated UK earlier this past weekend on a last-second buzzer beater, taking head coach Calipari and crew down a notch.

    Even with the Indiana loss, their strong wins over Kansas and UNC helps them look more than just good. This team is loaded with talent and expect that to keep them easily on top of the SEC. A No. 1 seed should be their future if they perform admirably the rest of the year. 

Ohio State

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    One name for you—Jared Sullinger. The sophomore phenomenon is just a pleasure to watch but a danger to play. His talent alone could propel this strong Ohio State squad into a No. 1 slot in the Big Dance and watch for the Buckeyes to do just that.

    Their reliance on Sullinger as a superstar won't be healthy in the long run, but for now will work just fine. Their recent loss to Kansas will be tough to swallow, but as long as OSU continues to exemplify brilliance with wins against strong teams like Florida and Duke, the No. 1 seed will be theirs.