Bracketology: Michigan State and Kentucky are Now Battling for a #1 Seed


The Michigan State Spartans shook off the loss of Nick Ward and went on the road to rival Michigan and scored a big victory. A week ago, the Kentucky Wildcats surged past Tennessee, and in the process moved to the top of the SEC pecking order when it comes to the NCAA Tournament. Now, the two are locked in a virtual dead heat for the final #1 seed, and whichever one can win the conference tournament might be the decisive factor (though, it should be pointed out, that both conferences play their finals on Selection Sunday just a few hours before the reveal). The two look targeted for the Midwest Regional in Kansas City in whatever order they fall.

Tiers of teams seem to be clearing up. There are realistically eight teams that have a chance to claim a top seed. Duke and Virginia are near-locks and just need not collapse. Gonzaga, who has utterly dominated the West Coast Conference, needs to win out. Michigan State and Kentucky are now in the driver’s seat over Michigan and Tennessee, but each of the latter have a chance. North Carolina still has a chance as well by winning out.

I would put Houston as an outside shot as the ninth team that could get in that mix, if they also win all remaining games. At minimum, winning out should launch them into 2 seed territory.

Then, there is a large group of teams from the 3 to middle of the 6 seed range and you could still see plenty of movement. Then there is another tier for the 7 to 9 seeds, and a couple of the 10 seeds. Finally, there are about 8 teams in very tenuous position as 11 seeds or 12 seeds.

Reminder that my bracket projections are based on projecting the rest of the season including conference tournament odds, and how the committee will view teams on Selection Sunday. Here is my projected brackets with records:

And here are my seed lists, and resume info including Quadrant 1 projected record on Selection Sunday: