See the two posts below this one for a look at the Tournament Picture and the Friday bracket. But let’s talk one seeds.
The one seed competition is almost over. I am confident three of the one seeds are pretty much taken at this point: Villanova, Kansas, and North Carolina (even though I wouldn’t go as far as saying UNC is a lock).
That leaves just one spot on the top line between these teams:
OREGON – The Ducks are lacking victories over top competition (only Arizona and UCLA at home could be considered great wins). They do, however, have a lot of good wins (16 top 100 wins currently), a Dillon Brooks injury excuse, and just four losses. Odds are they will end up on the top line if they beat Cal and the Arizona/UCLA winner.
GONZAGA – The Bulldogs are knocking on the door for a one seed, and most bracketologists have them there. Unlike them, I do not. While the wins over Florida, Arizona, and Iowa State are great, it’s unlikely the committee gives the same deference to their wins over Saint Mary’s. And losing at home to BYU is a bad loss, regardless of what the RPI says. I can see a path to the one line, but I don’t expect the Zags to be there. It’s more likely that another power conference tournament champion bumps them from the one line.
ARIZONA – IF Arizona beats Oregon tonight, the Wildcats would enter the NCAAs with two wins over UCLA and one over Oregon. But Arizona would still only have six top 50 wins and an earlier ugly blowout at Oregon. They would have one other major obstacle; the committee would have to choose Arizona over one-loss Gonzaga, who beat them on a neutral court.
KENTUCKY – It doesn’t seem that many are talking about Kentucky for the one line, so I will. Coach Cal’s team has a strong nine top 50 wins and a chance to add three good wins to the resume. Because the SEC final is Sunday, the committee may not have time to consider the result of that one. That could potentially help or hurt them. The home loss to UCLA could be problematic if both teams are in position to get the last one seed. On the other hand, if UNC loses to Duke and the Cats win the SEC Tournament, Kentucky’s win over UNC in December could push UNC to the one out West. Kentucky could then get their favored South regional placement.
My prediction: Kentucky will get the one if they win the SEC final. If they lose, Oregon will get it if they win the PAC-12. If both lose, Gonzaga gets the one seed by virtue of their win over Arizona.