Bracketology: Baylor is the new No. 1 overall seed and Kansas takes Duke's place on the top line
A week of upsets has caused lots of shuffling in Jerry Palm's latest NCAA Tournament bracket projection
Geez, you take one week off and look what happens. Four teams ranked in the top five of the AP rankings teams lose and one of them ends up a No. 1 seed in this week's bracket anyway. Someone has to be, I guess.
Baylor's first ever win at then-No. 3 Kansas on Saturday propelled the Bears to the overall No. 1 seed in this week's bracket projection, jumping over previous No. 1 Gonzaga based on the overall strength of their schedule and wins. Still undefeated San Diego State remains on the top line as well. The Jayhawks are the fourth No. 1 despite that loss to Baylor.
That was able to happen because Duke and Butler lost as well. The Blue Devils lost to Clemson on Tuesday night, which followed the Tigers first ever win at North Carolina on Saturday. That's a nice consolation prize for Clemson fans after the football Tigers fell to LSU in the College Football Playoff Championship.
Butler lost at home to Seton Hall on Wednesday, which gave us a few more upsets (more on those later).
If these four teams end up as No. 1 seeds in the final bracket in March, it would be a unique occurrence. It would be the first time ever that all four No. 1 seeds would go to schools west of the Mississippi River. Only once has there been three such schools on the top line. That was in 2003 when Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona were No. 1 seeds.
From a bracketing perspective, that means that at least one of the play-in game winners has a three time zone trip to its first round destination. That is something the selection committee would normally like to avoid.
Bracketology top seeds
Upsets loom large: Auburn took its first loss of the season that night at Alabama and is a No. 4 seed. Duke and Auburn's losses are the 11th and 12th by teams ranked in the AP top five at the time of the game to unranked opponents this season.
Kentucky took its third loss this season to an unranked team when a Jermaine Couisnard 3-pointer at the buzzer gave South Carolina a 81-78 win. The Wildcats dropped from a No. 6 seed last week to a No. 7 seed this week.
American Athletic Conference co-leader Wichita State fell at Temple to drop into a tie for the league lead with Memphis and Houston. All three teams are in this week's bracket with the Shockers now a No. 4 seed after being a No. 2 seed last week.
Big Ten is boss: The Big Ten is up to a whopping ten teams in the field. However, the league is doing a fine job of beating each other up and teams are having an especially difficult time finding road wins. Big Ten teams are just 6-35 on the road in conference play. The league-wide rock fight means that while there are a lot of teams in the field, only Michigan State is seeded as high as a No. 3 seed and No. 5 seeded Maryland is the only other team better than a No. 6 seed. That sort of thing could hold true in the end as well unless a team or two finds a way to separate itself from the pack.
Stat of the week: Houston Baptist's defense is always at rest. The Huskies have allowed at least 95 points in 13 of the 14 games they have played and over 100 points nine times, including the last five games. With a stat like that and a 1-13 record, you might think HBU would be last in Net Efficiency, but it isn't. That honor goes to Chicago State, but HBU does come in at No. 344.
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