- Despite Michigan's recent losses, their wins have been impressive along with their style of play. I'm totally comfortable keeping them on the 1 line.
- I wrote in January about how the time may come for Gonzaga to get strong consideration for a 1 seed. Well, the time has come. Every team above them has lost (sometimes more than once) while the Zags have continued to win impressively. With their brutal "play anyone-anywhere" motto, they went 5-0 vs the Big 12 and racked up other big non-conference wins. Gonzaga has earned a spot on the top line after Arizona's loss to Cal. The Zags move to the 1 seed in the West Region, while Arizona moves to the 2 seed in the West.
- Speaking of beating Michigan, the Badger wins against the Wolverines shot them up several seed lines. Even though they lack quality out of conference wins, Wisconsin's Big Ten wins give them an extremely impressive resume. They've earned a 5 seed to this point.
- I said I wouldn't include or consider Illinois for the bracket unless they could beat Minnesota and get to three games within .500 in Big Ten play. They did just that, knocking off two very highly regarded teams in a row. They jump all the way up to a 9 seed and certainly deserve it.
- After moving Illinois in, someone had to go, and that team was Arizona State. The home loss to Stanford was a huge blow, but the Sun Devils have enough wins to date that they can earn their back in the field by beating teams they're supposed to beat through early March.
- The tailspin virus has spread fast at the top of the Missouri Valley, first to Wichita State and then to Creighton. Both teams have managed to fall on very difficult times of late. They're both ok for at-larges as of now, but they need to be careful. More than one additional bad loss could take them out of the at-large field.
- Kansas falls from a 1 to a 3 seed within a week after three straight losses. Mean while, cross-state rival Kansas State continued to look impressive since their first loss to the Jayhawks earlier in the New Year. Make no mistake about it, Kansas MUST win this game if it wants to get back in consideration for a top seed and a Big 12 regular season title. I would even go so far to say that this is their biggest regular season game in years. The Wildcats, on the other hand can take control of the Big 12 with a win in Lawrence. A victory on Monday would put them easily in the conversation for a 2 seed.
- Even though Memphis and Belmont play in typical one-bid leagues and have relatively weak resumes, their play in conference has been quite impressive, going a combined 20-1. If they can avoid bad (read: any) regular season losses, they have a solid shot at an at-large if they don't win their conference tournament.
- Fastest risers this week: Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Miami
- Quickest drops this week: Wichita State, Creighton, Ole Miss, Kansas
What happened this weekend? Is there anyone out there who can claim that this wasn't the most upside down week in college basketball over the past decade? After all, every top five team lost during the week, the first time that has happened since 1992. There is no question that the top of college basketball is down compared to most years, but what's creating a lot of upsets is that there are very strong teams outside the top 30 that can beat the teams in the top tier. Here are some notes on how the past week affected Monday's new bracket.
The first bracket of the season has been posted now that non-conference play has wrapped up and the conference slate is now in full swing. Here are some important notes from the first projection.
Is there a case for a Gonzaga 1 seed?
Illinois needs to correct itself before it wrecks itself
Creighton is more than a one man show
Growing up outside of Richmond, Virginia in the heart of ACC Country, college hoops was set into the fabric of Rusty Tutton at an early age. A 2008 graduate of VCU, he lives in the Fan District of Richmond and works full-time in higher education.