After a wild weekend of college hoops, with upsets everywhere and top teams including Oklahoma, Iowa, Virginia, Oregon, and Maryland losing, there is about as much movement in the bracket as I can imagine over 4 days. After completing a season sweep of Oklahoma, adding to an impressive resume that already included wins over Kentucky, West Virginia, Texas, and Baylor, Kansas is my new overall number 1 seed. And, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that one of the teams moving up is Michigan State, who always comes together around this time of the season. The Spartans bounced back from a 1-point loss at Purdue last Tuesday with a blowout win over Indiana yesterday, backed by the strong performance of National Player of the Year Candidate Denzel Valentine. The team seems to be coming together at the right time and they are poised for another deep run in March.
Elsewhere in Michigan, the Wolverines picked up a much-needed quality win at home against Purdue on Saturday, at a game I had the pleasure of attending with my dad. Somehow, with nothing even resembling an inside game, Michigan was able to slow down AJ Hammons and Purdue’s other big men. Then, Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton, Jr. carried the team down the stretch. Michigan has been a tough team to figure out this season but the team should be solidly in the tournament with another quality win.
And with that, here are my new rankings, with moves up or down in parentheses.
1s – Kansas (+1), Villanova, Oklahoma, North Carolina (+1)
2s – Xavier, Iowa (-1), Virginia (-1), Michigan State (+1)
3s – Miami, Iowa State, Oregon (-1), Kentucky (+1)
4s – Dayton, West Virginia, Maryland (-1), Utah (+1)
5s – Purdue (-1), Notre Dame (+1), Duke (+2), Arizona (+1)
6s – Texas (-1), Colorado (+1), Providence (+1), Texas A & M (-1)
7s – California (+2), Baylor (-1), Michigan (+1), South Carolina (-2)
8s – Wisconsin (+1), Southern California (-2), Syracuse (+1), Indiana
9s – Florida (-2), San Diego State, Wichita State (-1), Saint Joe’s (+1)
10s – Monmouth, Vanderbilt (+1), Pittsburgh (-2), Temple (+2)
11s – Louisiana State (NEW), Cincinnati (+1), Seton Hall, Gonzaga (+1)
12s – Saint Mary’s (-2), Virginia Commonwealth (-1), Alabama (NEW), Connecticut (NEW), Valparaiso, South Dakota State (+1)
13s – Yale, Arkansas-Little Rock, Chattanooga (-1), Stony Brook (+1)
14s – Hawaii (NEW), North Carolina-Wilmington (+1), Akron (-1), New Mexico State
15s – Belmont (-1), Middle Tennessee (NEW), Stephen F. Austin, Montana
16s – Winthrop (NEW), Navy (NEW), Hampton (NEW), Wagner (NEW), North Florida, Texas Southern
FIRST FOUR OUT: Texas Tech (+2), Saint Bonaventure (+1), George Washington, Washington
NEXT FOUR OUT: Butler, Tulsa (-1), Florida State (-1), Oregon State (+1)
THIRD FOUR OUT: Stanford (-1), Clemson, UCLA, Georgetown (-1)
In since 2/11 update: Louisiana State, Alabama, Connecticut, Hawaii, Middle Tennessee, Winthrop, Navy, Hampton, Wagner
Out since 2/11 update: George Washington, Washington, Butler, Cal-Irvine, UNC-Asheville, Alabama-Birmingham, South Carolina State, Fairleigh-Dickinson, Bucknell
As always, check out the Bracket Matrix for more, and look for another update from me later this week.