San Diego State making case for No. 1 seed; Big 12 full of surprises
If bracket life were 100 percent objective, San Diego State would be
Yes, the Aztecs are tied for the best top-50 mark, have by far the best road/neutral record and have the best average RPI for its wins. So why did they end up fifth on
As for the two one-loss teams that ended up on the 1-seed line, Pitt and Syracuse both have three top-25 wins and Syracuse gets an asterisk for its loss Monday, having played tough without Kris Joseph.
I think this is fair enough, for now. That said, I thought about it. Hard. Other bracket projections do have the Aztecs as a No. 1 seed this week, and you definitely could make an argument for them. They have earned consideration with their scheduling and play. Given the greater strength and depth of several of the BCS leagues, it will be difficult for SDSU to end up as a 1, but it's not impossible. For now, consider them the TCU of the basketball world and enjoy the ride.
Records listed are Division I only, per NCAA Tournament selection guidelines. All RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) and SOS (Strength of Schedule) data are from Monday's collegerpi.com RPI report.
GW = good wins
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The Blue Devils suffered their first loss of the season at Florida State, the third time in the past decade Duke has lost there when ranked No. 1. The home win over Virginia wasn't terribly impressive, either. The result of this week is Duke is no longer a No. 1 seed.
The Jayhawks were tested twice more but won both, and then went on national TV and ripped Baylor in Waco. Amazingly in a deep Big 12, the Jayhawks may only have one road game all season against a ranked team: the season-finale at Missouri, a team Kansas traditionally handles very well. Texas and Texas A&M both come to Lawrence. Were we looking at the wrong part of the country for an undefeated season?
The top four teams in the league spent MLK Day squaring off, although the absence of Kris Joseph took some oomph out of the Pitt-'Cuse nightcap. Two solid contests, one great ending and four teams that look to have the quality to make the second weekend of the NCAAs ... and in a couple of cases, maybe beyond.
Yes, the Buckeyes are struggling to close out games, but they should be commended for the end of the Penn State game. They went inside to Jared Sullinger and he was called for a charge. After Penn State tied the game, they went back to Sullinger and he converted a three-point play. After Penn State tied it a second time, they yet again went inside to Sullinger, who kicked it out, quickly reposted, got the ball back and again scored and was fouled, providing the final margin of victory. Thank you, Ohio State, for knowing your strengths and for executing properly under pressure.
Washington repaid Arizona's Oregon State gift with a surprising loss at Stanford, throwing the league race back into some semblance of openness. The top couple of teams need to be careful. There's not a ton in their resumes that will help should they finish a distant second (or worse) in the league.
For lack of better options in the league and around the country, the Gators remain very safe at this point for NCAA selection, despite a home loss to South Carolina. The increased parity around the league, though, could result in suppressed seeding for the SEC come March. Worth noting: No one in the SEC West is currently a viable at-large candidate, although if Mississippi State keeps winning now that Dee Bost and Renardo Sidney are available, it will be an interesting case to discuss.
Amazing. With all the injuries and struggles and sturm und drang concerning Xavier all season, we look at the A-10 standings on Jan. 18 and they're in a tie for first at 3-0. They're like the Michigan State of the conference. Overall, though, this wasn't a great week for the league as top teams keep getting beat.
SDSU slugged its way past UNLV to stay perfect and is locked in on a trip to Provo a week from Wednesday. It very well could be a matchup between teams that are 36-1 combined in D-I games.
Several of the top teams in this category continue to drop games in league play, which may be a tribute to the quality in those leagues but isn't helping anyone's at-large chances.