Michigan State and Kentucky remain top seeds despite losses

Monday December 9th, 2013

Could Villanova become a 1 or 2 seed? JayVaughn Pinkston's 18 points per game and the Wildcats' undefeated record are hard to ignore.
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

It was a tough week for half of the top seeds -- Michigan State lost at home to UNC, and Kentucky couldn't keep up with Baylor in Arlington, Texas. But it's too early to knock them off from No. 1 seeds. Here's a look at the top four seeds in the rest of the field:

West Region

1. Arizona

The Wildcats remain undefeated with recent wins over Texas Tech and UNLV and are now the No. 1 overall seed after Michigan State fell to North Carolina.

2. Oklahoma State

Le'Bryan Nash scored 16 points and Marcus Smart had 13 as the Cowboys bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 79-52 win over South Carolina.

3. Wisconsin

The Badgers are 10-0 for the first time in school history and are coming off an impressive week with wins over Virginia (on the road) and in-state rival Marquette. Super sophomore Sam Dekker had 20 points and 10 boards against the Golden Eagles.

4. Memphis

The Tigers have one test looming before we turn the calendar to 2014, against Florida in Madison Square Garden. They'll move up in this column if they win that game.

Midwest Region

1. Michigan State

It was borderline shocking to see North Carolina take down the Spartans in East Lansing last week. One loss isn't enough to knock them off the top line, though.

2. Duke

Let's not overreact to the fact that Duke has two losses already. There's no shame in falling to Kansas and Arizona. When Quinn Cook is clicking, as he was against Michigan, this is a completely different team.

3. Baylor

Baylor earns a 3-seed thanks to an impressive win over Kentucky. Kenny Chery led the way with 18 points.

4. Connecticut

What does Shabazz Napier do when a team holds him to seven points, as Maine did last week? He dishes out eight assists, grabs five boards, and racks up four steals. He's on the early season Wooden Award watch list.

East Region

1. Syracuse

Other than a scare against St. Francis and an impressive showing against Baylor, the Orange have yet to be challenged this season. Four players are averaging double-digits, with C.J. Fair topping the list at 17.8 points per game.

2. Kansas

Colorado stunned the Jayhawks over the weekend, but don't lose sight of the fact that Andrew Wiggins had his best shooting night of the young season. He scored 22 points on just 11 field goal attempts.

3. Louisville

Their competition wasn't the greatest last week, but it was comforting to see the Cardinals play their brand of basketball in wins over UMKC and Louisiana-Lafayette. A team that needs to find offense outside Russ Smith and Chris Jones had to be encouraged by Montrezl Harrell's 20-point night against the Ragin' Cajuns.

4. Oregon

The Ducks survived Ole Miss in overtime on Sunday night thanks in large part to Johnathan Loyd's 23 points and 15 assists.

South Region

1. Ohio State

The Buckeyes have earned a 1-seed on the strength of their defense for now, but they'll need to improve on the other side of the court before Big Ten play begins. They're 71st in the country in field goal percentage and 157th in scoring.

2. Kentucky

The Wildcats shot just 42 percent from the floor in their loss to Baylor on Friday. They'll have no time to lick their wounds, as they head to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels on Saturday.

3. Villanova

We're being careful about potentially overreacting to early season developments, but it's going to be hard to keep the Wildcats this low for long. Their December 28 game at Syracuse will be a fulcrum. JayVaughn Pinkston is averaging 17.8 PPG, just a touch ahead of James Ball's 17.6.

4. Wichita State

After trailing Oral Roberts by eight at halftime on Saturday, the Shockers outscored the Golden Eagles 49-28 in the second half behind Cleanthony Early and Chadrack Lufile.

On The Cusp

North Carolina: The Tar Heels 79-65 drubbing of the Spartans in East Lansing may stand as the single most impressive performance by any team this season. They'll be in the section above next week if they beat Kentucky on Saturday.

Florida: Scottie Wilbekin is back from an ankle injury that sidelined him for a week. The Gators will find out exactly where they are with games against Kansas and Memphis on back-to-back Tuesdays.

Iowa State: The Cyclones boast one of the most impressive stat lines of any team in the country. Behind Melvin Ejim, DeAndre Kane and Dustin Hogue, they are second in the country in points per game, third in assists and fourth in rebounds.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.