Without much change at the top, the regular season’s final top 25 is upon us. This week, we’ll compare it to each team’s seed in the NCAA Tournament (spoiler alert: they’re roughly in line!)
- Virginia Cavaliers (LW: 1, NCAAT: 1 overall)
- Villanova Wildcast (LW:2, NCAAT: 1)
- Xavier Musketeers (LW: 3, NCAAT: 1)
- Kansas Jayhawks (LW: 9, NCAAT: 1) — turns out winning your conference, sham though the Big XII is, is worthy of a jump to justify a tournament seeding.
- Michigan State Spartans (LW: 5, NCAAT: 3)
- Cincinnati Bearcats (LW: 8, NCAAT: 2)
- Michigan Wolverines (LW: 7, NCAAT: 3)
- Gonzaga Bulldogs (LW: 6, NCAAT: 4)
- Duke Blue Devils (LW: 5, NCAAT: 2)
- North Carolina Tar Heels (LW: 12, NCAAT: 2)
- Purdue Boilermakers (LW: 10, NCAAT: 2)
- Arizona Wildcats (LW: 15, NCAAT: 4)
- Tennessee Volunteers (LW: 13, NCAAT: 3)
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (LW: 14, NCAAT: 3)
- West Virginia Mountaineers (LW: 18, NCAAT: 5)— the most criminal underseeding to this point.
- Wichita State Shockers (LW: 11, NCAAT: 4)— speaking of West Virginia, here is their potential second-round matchup.
- Ohio State Buckeyes (LW: 17, NCAAT: 5)
- Kentucky Wildcats (LW: NR, NCAAT: 5)— the SEC tournament champions are peaking at the right time, and made the biggest jump in this week’s poll.
- Auburn Tigers (LW: 16, NCAAT: 4)
- Clemson Tigers (LW: 19, NCAAT: 5)
- Houston Cougars (LW: 21, NCAAT: 6)
- Miami Hurricanes (LW: 24, NCAAT: 6)
- Florida Gators (LW: 23, NCAAT: 6)
- Nevada Wolf Pack (LW: 22, NCAAT: 7)
- St. Mary’s Gaels (LW: 20, NCAAT: oops)— the most glaring omission from the NCAA Tournament field, in a year where there were a good 5 or 6 spots up for debate.
Where is UNC?
The Heels bounced back into the top-10 with a 3-1 effort in the ACC Tournament— three impressive wins over tournament teams in Syracuse, Miami, and Duke will do that. They weren’t penalized much for the loss to unanimous #1 Virginia, though many will argue a top seed was in play for Carolina with a win.
Kentucky made the leap from the outside looking in to #18, and are going to be a tough out in the NCAAT.
With the strength of an easy Big XII Tournament, Kansas rose five spots— from #9 to #4.
West Virginia and Arizona rose three spots each, to #15 and #12, respectively. Arizona has seen its stock skyrocket in the past two weeks, as they were the high-riser last week. At this point, they can only blame a horrendous Pac-12 for their 4-seed (and potential first-weekend matchup with Kentucky).
Wichita State took a dive from #11 to #16 after a 77-74 loss to Houston in the AAC Tournament.
Despite not playing this week, St. Mary’s took a 5-spot drop— and more importantly, was snubbed from the NCAA Tournament. Overall, it was a bad week to not play. Michigan State, Gonzaga, and Purdue all fell without playing basketball.
Top Games this Week
Here are the potential ranked-vs.-ranked games for the second round of the NCAAT, if you’re trying to schedule your Saturday/Sunday viewing appointments:
#12 Arizona vs. #18 Kentucky— definitely the ‘made-for-TV’ matchup of the weekend.
#13 Tennessee vs. #22 Miami
#24 Nevada vs. #6 Cincinnati
#15 West Virginia vs. #16 Wichita State
#14 Texas Tech vs. #23 Florida
#8 Gonzaga vs. #17 Ohio State
#7 Michigan vs. #21 Houston
(FWIW, Providence’s hot finish led them to #30 in the polls, and could be a tricky #10-seed matchup for UNC)
#19 Auburn vs. #20 Clemson
...that’s it. The Duke bracket only boast five ranked teams. Get your pitchforks out now, y’all.