Bracketology: Carnage at top, Kentucky fading at 4-seed, Syracuse last team in
This season just keeps getting wilder
The major upsets at the top of the bracket on Saturday -- a record six top-10 teams went down -- also had a significant impact at the bottom of the bracket.
Iowa State ended Kansas' 54-game home winning streak, which ended up not affecting the Jayhawks' seed. However, it had a big impact on the Cyclones. The win over Kansas Jayhawks was the first for ISU over a team that is a lock to make the NCAA Tournament. That will be important when the Cyclones are evaluated by the selection committee.
ISU cannot rest easy though. The Cyclones are no lock themselves. They have four difficult road games left, as well as a visit from Baylor Bears . And that comes before the Big 12 tournament.
Kansas State Wildcats 's win at Baylor was huge for the Wildcats because it was just their third top-100 RPI win. Those three wins are all pretty good, but KSU did not play a good non-conference schedule and is still trying to make up for that. As good as their top wins are, the Wildcats will likely need more than just those three top-100 wins to make the field.
Oklahoma State Cowboys is the hottest team in the Big 12, but the Cowboys were still lacking that marquee win. Problem solved! OSU went into West Virginia Mountaineers and beat the Mountaineers on Saturday, giving the Cowboys their best win of the season and first over a likely tournament team.
Like the others, Oklahoma State still has work to do. The Cowboys have road games remaining with TCU Horned Frogs , Kansas State and Iowa State Cyclones , all teams they are competing with on the bubble. They also have home games left with Kansas and Baylor.
Meanwhile, Kentucky's slump continued with an ugly home loss to Florida Gators , which is looking way ahead of schedule under Mike White. Kentucky Wildcats sits at a 4-seed with all their momentum heading the wrong direction, while the Gators, on the other hand, are rising fast and and looking pretty firmly in the bracket at a 6-seed right now.
Syracuse Orange pulled another big upset at home, this time over Virginia Cavaliers . That, along with last week's victory over Florida State Seminoles , has the Orange in the last spot on the bracket, and perhaps in position to make another March run. Syracuse has a lot of negatives on its tournament resume though. They have been awful away from home. The Orange's win at North Carolina Tar Heels State last week was their first of the season outside the Carrier Dome. Four of their next six games are on the road, all against bubble teams or better. There really is almost no margin for error for Syracuse. The Orange are probably not going to make the tournament if they only win their home games, despite the fact that those would be against pretty good teams.
Maryland let a golden chance slip through its fingers today in a 73-72 loss at home to Purdue Boilermakers . The Terrapins had, and still have, a gaudy record, but there isn't much behind it. Respect from poll voters has been slow to come as has its climb up the bracket. Maryland Terrapins 's best win is at Minnesota Golden Gophers . That was also the best team it had played prior to Saturday.
The Terrapins led Purdue by as many as 12 in the second half, but the Boilers roared back for the win, leaving Maryland still wanting for a big win to validate its record. Unfortunately for the Terps, those chances are few and far between in the Big Ten this year. Maryland will travel to Wisconsin Badgers on Feb. 19 for its only other chance before the conference tournament. If the Terrapins don't win that, the ceiling for their seed will be relatively low.
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