Louisville lost at Wake Forest on Wednesday night, essentially ending any hope the Cardinals had of becoming a No. 1 seed. There is too much competition at the top of the bracket, especially with three teams from the Pac-12 in top-line range, for a seven-loss team -- even one from the ACC -- to get up there.
The Cardinals dropped down to a No. 3 seed and were replaced on the second line by Kentucky. I can hear the Louisville fans screaming already: “BUT WE BEAT KENTUCKY!!!” Yes, you did, but teams are judged on their entire seasons, not just one game, and right now, Kentucky has a better tournament résumé despite the head-to-head result.
Both teams have played strong schedules, with Louisville’s slightly better, but the Wildcats have a better record against the top 25, top 50 and top 100 and Kentucky has also beaten a high quality team away from home (North Carolina). That is something Louisville is still lacking.
Northwestern beat Michigan in dramatic fashion when Nathan Taphorn threw a 31-yard pass right into the hands of Dererk Pardon for a winning two-point conversion at the buzzer. It was a pass that would have made Drew Brees jealous. Everyone said that clinched the Wildcats’ first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. I didn’t agree with that. I thought they were in anyway, but their way of making sure was a lot more fun to watch.
Most of the rest of the action was at the bottom of the bracket, where all four of my final four teams in the bracket played, including Wake Forest. Marquette and Rhode Island also won, but TCU lost for the sixth straight time. The Horned Frogs are out of the bracket and off the bubble. There is no longer any reason to believe TCU can do what it takes to get an at-large bid. Illinois, which beat fellow bubbler Michigan State, replaced the Frogs in the bracket.