As the month of January comes to an end, crunch time is heating up in college basketball. Teams are scrambling to boost their chances to make the tournament. LWOS is back with Bracketology 2.0. Our first edition of bracketology can be found here, and we will be back with another edition in two weeks.
Here is the second version of the bracket.
LWOS Bracketology 2.0
Much has been made about the relative strength of the Big Ten this year. That is reflected in the bracket, with ten teams represented. The Big East and SEC follow with six teams apiece. Then, the Big 12, Pac 12 and ACC each have five teams in the bracket. The mid-major conferences with multiple teams include the WCC, AAC, and Atlantic 10, with three, three and two teams respectively.
The ACC appears to be having a down year. The lack of depth is opening the door for the Big Ten to get so many bids. If the Big Ten can lock up ten bids, it would be a new conference record.
Baylor takes over the top spot as the number one overall seed. The Bears won for the first time ever over Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse, propelling them to this spot. They have also become the seventh team to be ranked number one in the AP Poll.
Dayton is the second seed in this region. The Flyers continue to pass every test in the Atlantic Ten and are poised to land a protected seed at this point.
The most intriguing matchup in this region is the eight-nine game between Memphis and Ohio State. The Tigers and Buckeyes are both sliding hard, causing them to fall far down the bracket. James Wiseman’s departure has hurt Memphis, while Ohio State has not been fully healthy since December.
Gonzaga is the top seed in the West Region. The Bulldogs had some close calls in their WCC openers, but have dominated since. Even though their conference is better this year, the Bulldogs are on pace to potentially go undefeated in league play again.
This region finds a surprising two seed in the Duke Blue Devils. Mike Krzyzewski’s team had it rough a week ago, losing two straight to Clemson and Louisville. Duke should not be discounted though, as the Blue Devils always find a way to be there towards the end.
One of the more surprising teams in college basketball this season is Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are making noise in the Big Ten and sit in this region as a six seed. If Rutgers can keep this up, they may find themselves wearing white in their first tournament game.
Liberty is one mid-major that has been making a case for an at-large bid if they should fail to win their conference tournament. The Flames were going to end up as an 11 seed in the bracket until they fell to North Florida this week.
The Kansas Jayhawks are the third number one seed. The Jayhawks still have a strong profile even after their loss to Baylor. Most of the news coming out of Lawrence, Kansas this week has centered around the brawl between the Jayhawks and rival Kansas State. It will be interesting to see the impact of Silvio De Sousa’s 12-game suspension on Kansas the rest of the way.
Louisville is the second ACC team to corral a two seed in the bracket. The Cardinals rode their way to this ranking after beating Duke on the road. Jordan Nwora is still the catalyst for this team, though he continues to struggle in big games. That could be dangerous in March.
Seton Hall is one of the biggest risers in Bracketology 2.0. The Pirates are sitting at 7-0 in Big East play, including a big victory over Butler. There is a chance Seton Hall could be 10-0 in league play before a big game against Villanova in a few weeks.
Northern Iowa is arguably the best mid-major not named Gonzaga and San Diego State this season. The Panthers also have a good case for an at-large bid should they need it. They need to finish conference play strong though, as losses to Southern Illinois and Illinois State will not help their case.
The fourth and most surprising top seed is San Diego State. The Aztecs remain the last undefeated team in college basketball. If they can find a way to be undefeated on Selection Sunday, there is a good chance the Aztecs will find themselves still sitting here.
Florida State rounds out the two seeds, giving the ACC three teams in this slot. The Seminoles are making their case as the best team in the conference. They have already beaten Louisville and will get their shot at Duke in the coming weeks.
Auburn has fallen all the way to a six seed after their undefeated season ended last week. Those losses exposed a profile that does not have much meat on it. The SEC will give the Tigers plenty more opportunities, but they have some work to do to get back into the protected seed picture.
The bubble continues to be tough to gauge. There is a lot of good and bad that can be sorted through. The last four teams in are VCU, Purdue, Georgetown, and Alabama. Each of these teams has played well lately, finding their way into the bracket.
The first four teams out are Indiana, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, and DePaul. Indiana may have the best case to argue for being in with wins over Florida State and Michigan State. However, there is not much else there after that.
LWOS Bracketology 2.0
That concludes the second version of LWOS Bracketology. Please take a look at the bracket and fill out how you think this one would end. Let us know who should be in or out. Continuing to play with the bracket will bring you success in March.