College Basketball: Who Will Be Number One By Seasons End?
This year, college basketball has seen 4 different #1 teams. Those teams are Indiana, Duke, Louisville and Michigan. In week 16 Indiana is #1 in the polls for the third straight week. However, with their remaining schedule including a match-up with #4 Michigan State, I don’t think they will be the overall number one when March Madness comes around.
I also don’t think the teams behind them: Miami (FL), Gonzaga, Michigan State or Florida will be the #1 seed either. To find the #1 seed you have to go to the current #6 seed which is the Duke Blue Devils.
Duke has a fairly easy schedule coming up with games against Virginia Tech (twice), Boston College both that are teams with losing records. After those two games, Duke goes against a 17 win Virginia team #2 Miami and ends the season against North Carolina before heading into the ACC tourney.
I do believe Indiana will lose a game before Miami meets Duke, which means Miami will be the fifth #1 team this season (unless they lose a game before that). I also do remember the 27 point mauling the Hurricanes gave to Duke in late January however, Duke will be at home. With that said, I don’t think Miami will be able to handle the Cameron Crazies pressure and will let the game slip away from them.
You’re probably saying to yourself “what about teams like Gonzaga, Michigan State and Florida? How will Duke jump them?”
I have predictions based off a schedule.
Gonzaga out of all of those teams listed does not play in a “power conference”. Very surprised they have made it to #3 in the country, but I can never see the coaches voting them to be #1. The highest I could see is a #2 by the Bulldogs name, even if they win out. They play against some top talent, but not consistent top talent like an Indiana, Duke or Michigan State.
For Michigan State their next four games are against ranked opponents (Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin). If they don’t lose any of those games and can win the Big Ten tournament then they should be the overall #1 seed, but that is a big “if” and I don’t think the Spartans have it in them.
As for Florida, they have maybe the easiest schedule out of all five teams in the top five. They also play in a “power conference” however, it’s a down conference with teams like Kentucky and Tennessee not ranked up to this point. However, I think they fall before their SEC tournament in their final game against one of the top “bubble” teams in the country in Kentucky, which will drop their position in the poll. If they can beat Kentucky, I still think the weakness of the SEC conference comes back and burns them where they aren’t the overall #1, but still get a #1 ranking in the NCAA Tournament.
That brings in Duke who I think wins-out the rest of their games (including against newly ranked #1 Miami) and wins the ACC tournament.
If that happens, they will be the overall number one seed heading into the tournament, followed by Indiana, Florida and Michigan State who will also be number one seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
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