Seed shuffling Saturday, and a new team in the bracket
Indiana is the top overall seed -- for now.
The final Saturday of the regular season saw a shuffling of seeds at the top as well as some movement at the bottom of the bracket.
Wisconsin Badgers knocked off Indiana Hoosiers in the Big Ten tournament, which, coupled with Louisville Cardinals ’s come-from-behind win over Syracuse Orange in the Big East final, has put the overall No. 1 seed up for grabs. I still have the Hoosiers there based on the higher quality of their wins, but there is a case for the Cards as well.
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There is a change on the top line, though, as Kansas Jayhawks ’ win over rival Kansas State propelled the Jayhawks up, replacing Duke Blue Devils , which lost to Maryland Terrapins on Friday. The Blue Devils' loss Friday set the table for the Jayhawks' emergence.
The Big Ten tournament has caused some other seed shuffling, as well. The Badgers have moved up to a five, while Ohio State Buckeyes , which beat Michigan State Spartans , is now a two-seed and both Michigan schools find themselves on the three line.
New Mexico Lobos is also a two seed after beating UNLV to win the Mountain West tournament title.
Oregon Ducks and UCLA Bruins swapped seeds -- with the Ducks moving up to a seven and the Bruins falling to a nine -- after the Ducks won the Pac-12 title game Saturday night. Part of that move has to do with the fact that UCLA is now without Jordan Adams for the remainder of the season after his injury Friday night.
Note that while UCLA appears to have dropped two seeds, the move is really only one. In order to make the 8-9 matchups fit within bracketing rules, UCLA had to be swapped down. The committee views 8s and 9s as being equals, anyway. The only difference is what color uniform is needed for game one.
At the bottom of the bracket, Ole Miss Rebels replaced Massachusetts Minutemen as the last team in following the Minutemen’s loss to VCU. The Rebels beat Vanderbilt in the SEC semis, but that switch was more about UMass than Ole Miss.
Maryland’s hopes for an at-large bid faded away with a loss to North Carolina in the ACC semifinals.
Among the one-bid leagues, Stephen F. Austin was probably going to be among those teams that people would think could pull an upset in the NCAA tournament, but the Lumberjacks won’t get the chance after losing to Northwestern State Demons in the Southland championship.
Sunday, the most important game is the SEC final between Florida Gators and Ole Miss. The Rebels can make for a much more relaxed Selection Sunday by taking the automatic bid. The Gators are hoping to improve their seed.
If the Gators win and Ole Miss, Alabama Crimson Tide and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders miss the tournament, then Florida will not have an away-from-home win against any team in the field. Only a few other teams of at-large quality will be able to say that.
Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes hopes to improve its seed in the championship game of the ACC tournament against North Carolina. If the North Carolina Tar Heels win, it would be their best win of the season and could improve their seed as well.
The Big Ten game likely won’t have an impact on seeding, which makes for a very happy committee since the game ends right around the time selections are announced.
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