We begin the Road to the Final Four here on 7pound by introducing our own version or opinion on how we see the brackets being seeded. David, Zach and Archie all give their version of how they see things for the upcoming Men’s Basketball Road to the Final Four.
We might not finish the whole darn thing prior to the actual bracket being released, because, let’s face it, some of the seeding is conference tourney dependent and those are another issue.
However, the first two seeds in each bracket should not be too hard to predict; but then a bad loss changes everything. Here is how our staff currently sees things unfolding.
Currently we are looking at the regions as, East, South, West and Mid-West.
Number 1 overall Seed: Syracuse. First off, F’ Syracuse. Now. I have to give it to them, I could see them losing in the ACC Semi-Final and still making a one seed. But I’ll give them the ACC Title game at least and the top draw.
1. Wichita State – Unless they get upset by Northern Idaho Tech, I think they take a top seed. I can also see 10K words by certain media members whining about them being disrespected and not getting top billing after going undefeated.
1. Arizona. Number 2 presently in the RPI, and 5-0 vs Ranked Teams? Yup.
1. Florida/Kentucky winner in the SEC gets this, and takes the final #1 seed. Loser gets the second best 2 seed. However, if Kentucky loses before the SEC Finals, they are looking at a 3 seed.
2 Michigan St. A bit high, but I expect them to take down the Big 10.
2. Kansas. The Jayhawks could push Florida if they falter to a 1, but I’m not expecting them to lose.
2. Duke. F’Duke as well.
Watch Virginia and San Diego St as well. Virginia has a high RPI, and if they can avoid Cuse/Duke until the ACC Final, they could be the final 2 seed.
I can’t come close to filling in all the slots yet, especially all the AQ slots filled by Conference Tourney winners.
And with Syracuse’s 2nd loss in a row this past weekend, things are not quite jelled in the top portion. However, I still believe they are good enough and will finish strong enough earning a #1 seed.
Let’s start in the East:
I see Syracuse STILL seeded #1 in the East with possibly Kansas or Wisconsin taking the #2 Seed but ONLY if they win the rest of the way out. IF ‘Cuse loses to Virginia this coming weekend all bets are off on them maintaining a #1 seed.
In the West It will be Arizona #1 and either Kansas, Creighton or Duke as the #2
In the Midwest it will be Wichita State #1, and this is where it could get interesting for this bracket, IF Kansas is seeded #2 in this bracket. There would be a really, really good chance that Kansas and Wichita State could battle for the Regional. Talking about a cross state rival.
In the South, Florida will claim the #1 seed and you will see Louisville as the #2.
So the #2’s will include Duke, Kansas, Louisville and one of the three in Wisconsin, Creighton or Virginia.
IF Virginia does not get a #2 seed they are definitely a solid #3. Same goes for Wisconsin.
I am not sure how the committee picks where each team seeds as far as the regions go. It makes no sense sometimes; however these are my top 8 or 9 teams for #1 and #2 in each.
What needs to happen? This is arguably the best team in the nation right now. The SEC may not be what it was a few years ago, but Billy Donavan and Florida are still clinging to the top of the pole. The schedule is still full of wildcards that can chomp at the Gators’ bit (Vandy, Ole Miss, Kentucky), pending a total collapse and a good SEC tournament standing, Florida should be looking good going into this tournament with a one seed in hand.
What WILL Happen? Winning against a gritty Ole Miss team, Vandy, a scrappy LSU squad, AND THEN coming back to the swamp for a rematch v.s. UK? I don’t see Florida escaping this mud wrestle without at least one loss. At this point, it’s not a matter of how well they do…it’s how well everyone else does.
What needs to happen? ‘Zona had that hot start earlier that was shocked with a freak ending from Cal. Since that run, Arizona hasn’t looked like their previously dominating self. With a re-match against Cal, Colorado, Stanford, Oregon State, and a doozy closer at Oregon, Arizona NEEDS to bring their “A” game, not only to close the season, but in the PAC-12 tourney to get this.
What WILL Happen? I’m really giving Arizona the benefit of the doubt, here. This is a game that’s theirs to lose. I think losses to Oregon and Cal are pending, with a potential loss to Colorado hanging in the mix. With that said, I could see Arizona playing for the PAC-12 championship, earning them a one seed regardless of the outcome.
What needs to happen? The love affair with Kansas is going to continue into March. Kansas currently has the number one RPI schedule in the bunch. All six losses for KU have been against quality teams. Say what you want, but this young team has played the best of ‘em this year. BUT they needn’t get too ahead of themselves. This young squad has a lot to learn before heading into March and no time like the present to start. With every single game in the Big Twelve (regular season and tournament) on the line, Kansas NEEDS to win out to keep this spot. Should they not? I could see my seed ranking changing.
What WILL Happen? This squad is too young and too inexperienced to go head to head with a willing and experienced Texas, Oklahoma, or Texas Tech. With OU and UT less than 48 hours away from each other, I tally a loss to at least one of those teams. I look for KU to “squeak” into the one spot, with much controversy coming from Syracuse, Wichita State, and Creighton.
4. Wichita State.
What needs to happen? There’s no doubt this Shocker club is impressive. They are just a bunch of kids out there having fun, living for no tomorrow. No doubt Wichita State has posted some good teams over the years, but this club is excellent. They just need to keep doing what they’re doing and they will ride off into a number one seed. Keep their eye on the prize of winning the rest of the season, and there will be no way a selection board can overlook an undefeated team. Should they lose, then a three seed is the likely situation for WSU.
What WILL Happen? It is REALLY hard to win against teams, and even harder to beat a good team twice. Do the Shockers have enough gas to win out? I personally don’t see a rare undefeated season for them, but this club has proven wrong before. At this point (like their entire season has been), anything is on the table.
What needs to happen? Syracuse has played a fantastic first year in the ACC. With a fluke loss to Boston College, look for the Orange to rebound against a gritty lineup. With five tough games against Duke, Maryland, Virginia, Tech, and Florida State coming, I don’t see this ‘Cuse squad making it through the night. They obviously need to take this last portion of the schedule very seriously. Should another loss or early exit from the ACC tourney plague, they could put themselves in a position to miss the one seed cut.
What WILL Happen? So with that said, I don’t think this young Syracuse team has the legs to finish out this season strong. Even before the cataclysmic loss to Boston College, Syracuse had only won the previous six games by more than five (Notre Dame), AND only scored about 60 points once (again, Notre Dame). This tells me they are already tired against good teams. I think another loss or two and an early exit from the ACC tourney look likely.
What needs to happen? So the one and done fad has REALLY caught up to Duke now. Ponder this for a moment; had there been no one and done rule, Duke could be looking at Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers, and Jabari Parker, and Rodney Hood all on the same team. But since nothing is meant to last anymore, Duke will need to stay away from the offensive meltdowns their famous for this season, and get back to good, arc stretching offense. Should they slide, so will their two seed.
What WILL Happen? Duke will likely slide into a comfortable two spot (pending any other meltdowns via UNC), where they post a dismal March Madness record as. I can’t see Coach K letting his team dip that low, so a moderate two seed seems about right for this youthful bunch.
7. Villanova. What needs to happen?
What can you say about ‘Nova this year? They won the games they should’ve, but also lost embarrassingly to Creighton, wait for it, twice. I think if Nova is going to win out versus St. Johns, Butler, Marquette, Xavier, AND Georgetown, they could be in the conversation for a one seed placement. As it stands, they had better hope Creighton loses early in the Big East tourney.
What WILL Happen? Nova looks good, but cannot seem to beat Creighton outside of the first half. Is it crazy that one team can do that to a team’s one seed potential? Given the year the Jays are having, I deem it necessary. Nova might win out the rest of the regular season, but Creighton will be waiting.
What needs to happen? This Creighton team looks good. There is simply no comparison to past teams. Not even back to the days of Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver. Creighton is playing about the rim this year and needs to keep that momentum going to even get a two seed. Oh, and make sure to pummel Villanova for a third time if you get the chance. That might get you into talking about the fifth or sixth ranking.
What WILL Happen? Still, I cannot see Creighton getting anything short of the last two seed slot. Why? The road is a long one to March, and I’m not sure if Creighton has the means necessary to keep the winning streak going. If they do, then Creighton deserves a one seed. Will they get it? Probably not. More like a low-two, high-three seed slot. And that’s with winning the Big East tournament.
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