Here’s what I project the top seeds of the March Madness bracket to be as things stand. In terms of which teams to put in which region, I tried to stick to last year’s bracket.
No 1. Seed Tennessee
Virginia drops out of the top spot after losing its first game. Tennessee’s only loss was in overtime to a healthy Kansas. The Vols have beaten Gonzaga.
No 2. Seed: Virginia
Virginia’s only loss was by two points at Duke. The Blue Devils were coming off a loss and were seeking revenge for last year’s home loss to Virginia.
No 1. Seed: Michigan
Michigan lost its first game at Madison, which can be a very tough place to play. I still put them ahead of Gonzaga because the Zags should get zero credit for being Loyola Marymount and Portland this week.
No 2. Seed: Gonzaga
The Bulldogs lost a close one to Tennessee. But they also lost by 13 points to a North Carolina team that Michigan handled easily (albeit in Ann Arbor).
No 1. Seed: Duke
The Blue Devils lost to Syracuse. The game was shaping to be a blowout early until they lost point guard Tre Jones. I don’t want to punish a team for being clueless on both sides of the ball after unexpectedly losing its floor general. Duke rebounded on Saturday by handing Virginia its first loss.
No 2. Seed: Virginia Tech
Kansas drops out of the two seed after losing at West Virginia. Virginia Tech is a two-loss team after getting blown out at Virginia.
No 1. Seed: Michigan State
The Spartans are still undefeated in Big Ten play after beating Penn State and Nebraska on the road.
No 2. Seed: Kentucky
Nevada hasn’t looked convincing after nearly losing to Boise State, Texas Tech lost soundly at Baylor, Florida State lost by 13 at Pittsburgh, and I still don’t forgive North Carolina for getting blown out at home by Louisville. Kentucky won a tough game at ranked Auburn.
Upcoming Big Games
Maryland is very young. But, led by one of the conference’s top point guards in Anthony Cowan, the Terps are quietly 7-1 in Big Ten play. On Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET, they play at Michigan State, in a game that will say a lot about them.
Also on Monday, Virginia Tech will get a chance to prove itself at North Carolina. Later in the same evening, Kansas is in a very bet-worthy spot because they will be motivated to avenge an earlier loss at Iowa State and to bounce back after losing at West Virginia.
Virginia hosts Wake Forest, which is projected to be an easy opponent. This game is interesting because Virginia could suffer a let-down after two very big games during the week–a blowout win against rival Virginia Tech and a loss at highly-ranked Duke. If the game does turn out to be a blowout, bettors will have an excellent live betting opportunity on Wake Forest. Late in games–when up by 20+ with a couple minutes left, UVA’s coach has been putting in his walk-ons, who have been getting decimated by ACC-level competition like Florida State and Boston College, which have easily and quickly turned them over and scored.
Also on Tuesday evening, Duke faces Pittsburgh, which is led by former Duke assistant Jeff Capel.
On Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, Kentucky hosts Kansas in the SEC/Big 12 challenge.
- On Saturday, Georgia Tech missed floor general Jose Alvarado, Brandon Alston, and Abdoulaye Gueye. They scored 16 points in the first half and didn’t come close to covering the spread at home against Louisville. Keep an eye on those players’ status when the Jackets host Notre Dame on Tuesday.
- Without point guard Markell Johnson, NC State failed to cover against Pitt and Wake Forest and narrowly covered against Notre Dame, which is itself injury-ridden and recently lost top interior defender Juwan Durham for an indefinite amount of time. Keep an eye on his status for Thursday’s game at Louisville.
- Oklahoma State had three players dismissed, most notably point guard Michael Weathers. His replacement, Isaac Likekele, has mostly struggled in Big 12 play.
- TCU missed power forward Kouat Noi in its 10-point loss at Kansas State. His status is worth monitoring for Wednesday’s home game against Texas.