A lot can change in one month, and my latest bracket shows that. Pittsburgh was in the Top 25 a month ago, now the Panthers aren’t even in the field. Louisville and Xavier were 2-seeds in December, and now are opponents in an 8-9 game. Seton Hall went from the First Four to just missing a 4-seed, and Dayton was out a month ago, but now the Flyers lead the A-10.
This bracket shows a whopping nine Big Ten teams. It's the top-rated league in the RPI by a huge margin. It's been eight years since a league dominated the RPI like this. Of course, teams get bids, not conferences, but that is still an indication that the Big Ten will likely be well represented in the field. That said, nine teams would be ridiculous come March. Minnesota in particular is in trouble. It doesn't seem likely the Gophers will be able to withstand the grind without Trevor Mbakwe, who is lost for the season with a knee injury. Looking long term, other teams that need to be concerned are Purdue, Northwestern, which is still looking for its first ever tournament appearance, and suddenly, Wisconsin, which has lost its Kohl Center mojo.
Ohio State started out among the top three teams in the country, but an inability to win on the road against better teams (best away from home win: Iowa) has the Buckeyes now as a 3-seed. They blew another game last night at Illinois, after kicking away a late lead at Illinois. It's hard to imagine they won't come around and eventually win the league, but they need to figure out their road woes to make that happen.
Why is Florida in the top 25? Who is voting for them? I realize this isn't Poll Attacks (that's Gary Parrish's gig, bless his heart), but this team hasn't done a thing to anyone of substance, and especially outside of Florida. The Gators aren't in danger of missing the tournament yet or anything like that, but they're a lot closer to 35 than 25.
If they need someonie else to vote for, how about Seton Hall? The Hall has lost only to Syracuse (the overall No. 1) and Northwestern, while collecting wins over UConn, West Virginia and Dayton.
It's pretty easy to figure out what to do with two of the three remaining unbeaten teams. Syracuse and Baylor top the field, and will stay there as long as they keep winning.
But what about Murray State? The Racers have a few decent wins, but nothing that says they should compete for a very high seed. Now in Ohio Valley conference play, they are essentially done making their case, except for taking on a bad loss or two. Hard to see them much higher than a 3-seed, even in March, unless one of the teams they've already beaten starts to move up the charts.
With two more months to play, you can expect a lot more wild changes. Buckle up!