There has been a bit of movement on the bottom of the Top 16 in the latest bracketology.
The NCAA’s Top 16 seed reveal over the weekend confirmed much of what bracketology reports confirmed last week. 15 of the 16 teams matched what appeared in this space a week ago, but weekend results have led to some shifting off of the NCAA’s official list. Let’s break down the latest Top 16 projections, starting on the top line.
Bracketology – No. 1 seeds
Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, Ohio State
The top four haven’t changed as Gonzaga continued its frog march towards perfection with an effortless 39-point win against San Francisco. Matchups against Saint Mary’s and San Diego await the Bulldogs this week, both of which will come at home, so the odds of a loss are nearly non-existent.
Baylor didn’t play last week as it continues to remain paused after a COVID-19 outbreak in the program. Tuesday’s game against West Virginia was postponed as the target for a return is Saturday against Oklahoma State.
Michigan came back from its own COVID pause last weekend and made a dramatic statement by rallying from a huge deficit to stun Wisconsin at the Kohl Center. Next up is a home date with Rutgers before a big matchup against Ohio State on Sunday.
Speaking of the Buckeyes, it was another easy week for them as they went 2-0 against Maryland and Indiana. A sneaky road game at Penn State could pose a potential trap for Ohio State as they get ready for the matchup with Michigan on Sunday.
Bracketology – No. 2 seeds
Alabama, Illinois, Villanova, Houston
The team closest to the one-line is still Alabama, which had a tidy 2-0 week against South Carolina and Georgia. Dates with Texas A&M and Vanderbilt this week should lead to two more wins and a shot at the top line next week at the expense of the Michigan-Ohio State loser.
The third Big Ten team with a top-two seed is Illinois, which needed overtime to survive league doormat Nebraska last week. The Fighting Illini have Northwestern at home this week before a tough weekend trip to Minnesota, where the Golden Gophers are 13-1 at home this season.
Losing by 16 at Creighton isn’t ideal for Villanova but it is an acceptable loss in the grand scheme of things. There isn’t a ton on the Wildcats’ resume outside of a road win at Texas but a home game against UConn offers an opportunity to take down a Big East bubble team this week.
It feels like Houston will yo-yo between the two and three lines for a while because there aren’t many opportunities to add quality wins in the AAC but plenty of opportunities for bad losses. The Cougars have a tough road trip to Wichita State this week before a home date with Cincinnati.
Bracketology – No. 3 seeds
West Virginia, Oklahoma, Iowa, Florida State
The Mountaineers have been surging but shouldn’t be dinged too badly for a loss to Oklahoma in overtime. A clear contender in the Big 12, West Virginia is off until Saturday when they take on Texas.
That overtime win in Morgantown was huge for Oklahoma, which had lost a bit of momentum after falling to Texas Tech a week ago. Next up for the Sooners is the Red River showdown, hoops edition, against Texas which is a big showcase game for both schools.
Concerns over another Iowa fade have diminished after the Hawkeyes recovered from a slump by beating Rutgers and drilling Michigan State in East Lansing last week. Picking up a win at the Kohl Center against Wisconsin would give Iowa a serious argument to move up a seed line next week.
The biggest mover of the week is Florida State, which blew out Virginia by 21 to close in on the Cavaliers for first place in the ACC. A date with Virginia Tech later this week provides another opportunity for the Seminoles to make a statement to the selection committee.
Bracketology – No. 4 seeds
Texas, Texas Tech, Virginia, USC
The Longhorns stabilized things with a 2-0 week, but both wins came against teams that won’t make the field. Showdowns with Oklahoma and West Virginia are tough, but a split should ensure that Texas doesn’t lose any ground.
Texas Tech suffered a double-whammy last week by losing to West Virginia by 11 and seeing an opportunity to play Baylor wiped out when the Bears were put on pause for COVID-19 concerns. This week offers a road trip to TCU, which the Red Raiders really need to grab since Saturday’s visit to Allen Fieldhouse is never easy even with a down Kansas team.
Virginia is the biggest loser of the week after getting blown out by the Seminoles, dropping them a full seed line. A closer look at the Cavaliers’ resume reveals there isn’t a ton of substance on it and losses down the stretch could drop them closer to a 5-seed.
The newest addition to the top 16 is USC, which has mostly taken care of business in the Pac-12 and swept the Washington trip last week. Home dates against both Arizona schools are on tap this week as the Trojans look to keep bolstering the Pac-12’s reputation.
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