While Gonzaga get to be the number one team in the country for the first time according to the polls, losing this week didn’t stop Indiana from being regarded as the favorite to win the NCAA tournament at the end of the road, or drop from a place promising them a #1 seed in the tournament.
The Bulldogs are the team with the best record in College Basketball with 29-2, but they play in the WCC, and in their meetings with teams like Illinois and Butler they lost, which means that there’s a reason quite a few haven’t ranked them as their number one team on the most recent bracket rankings and seeding. Their BPI is fifth in the nation, behind Louisville who are slightly ahead of Indiana, with Duke and Florida following. Those four seem to be, at the moment, more likely to receive a number one seeding for the NCAA tournament.
When you look at how Indiana are handling themselves in the toughest conference, it’s hard not to agree with them being, still, the top team in the country, about to win the Big Ten with two games left. They lead the Big Ten in overall efficiency, effective field goal percentage, free throw rate, and both free throw and 3-point shooting percentage.
Louisville are highly regarded because that even when they lose (and they’ve lost four times in the Big East this season), they’re awful close, losing three of their four Big East losses by three points or less. They’re not perfect, but their rebounding and defense make them one of the favorites to reach the final four in Atlanta, even if they finish behind Georgetown in the regular season.
Duke should be taken more seriously now that Ryan Kelly is back. With him and the full lineup, they’re 15-0 and have a 94.6 BPI, both best in the nation. Their problems begin with bigger teams that can keep them away from the basket, although with Kelly that problem isn’t as profound. Beating Miami (and it wasn’t easy) certainly puts them back on the radar, but it’s hard to call them favorites for the tournament at this point.
Who Makes it in, according to the BPI?
#1 Seeds – Louisville, Indiana, Duke, Florida.
#2 Seeds – Gonzaga, Kansas, Syracuse, Michigan.
#3 Seeds – Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Ohio State.
#4 Seeds – New Mexico, Miami, Arizona, Georgetown.
#5 Seeds – Creighton, Marquette, North Carolina State, Minnesota.
#6 Seeds – VCU, Saint Louis, Memphis, Wisconsin.
#7 Seeds – UNLV, Missouri, San Diego State, Oregon.
#8 Seeds – Wichita State, UCLA, Kansas State, Colorado State.
#9 Seeds – North Carolina, Saint Mary’s, Cincinnati, Oklahoma.
#10 Seeds – Colorado, Notre Dame, Virginia, Middle Tennessee.
#11 Seeds – Iowa State, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Stanford.
#12 Seeds – California, La Salle, Boise State, Akron, Baylor, Maryland.
#13 Seeds – Belmont, Bucknell, Louisiana Tech, Valparaiso.
#14 Seeds – Davidson, Stony Brook, SF Austin, Princeton.
#15 Seeds – Mercer, South Dakota State, Robert Morris, Niagra.
#16 Seeds – CSU, Montana, Long Beach State, Northeastern, Southern.