Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Fight for number one tournament seeds coming down to wire

With Selection Sunday less than three weeks away, it’s time to start studying up for college basketball’s bracket season. The end-of-year conference tournaments always give us a surprise or two (who predicted UConn defeating five Big East teams in five days last year?), but the top seeds are nearly set in stone by now. With that being said, let’s take a look at a few of the teams vying for one of the four #1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament:

Team: Kentucky Wildcats (27-1)

Bio: They’re a buzzer-beating three-point shot in Bloomington, Indiana away from a perfect season, and you could argue this is John Calipari’s most talented team he’s ever had. Led by freshman Anthony Davis and his remarkable defense, the Wildcats have dispatched each of their four ranked opponents. However, it must be noted they are very young, as is usually the case with Coach Cal’s teams. Youth almost always causes problems during March Madness, so watch out.

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Title Chances: 3 to 1

Team: Syracuse Orange (27-1)

Bio: If Kentucky is the unquestioned best team in the nation, then Syracuse is definitely number two. So far they’ve withstood the rigors of the Big East conference, and that tough schedule has prepared them well for the Big Dance. Surprising as it may be, the Orange are without a true “star” player, but they make up for it with a very deep bench–10 players average at least 10 minutes per game. As with the rest of the top teams, ‘Cuse’ has a top-notch coach leading the way. Jim Boeheim already has one championship (2003) under his belt, and this Orange team gives him a good chance at another.

Title Chances: 6 to 1

Team: Duke Blue Devils (23-4)

Bio: After the NBA snatched up Kyrie Irving, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith, it seemed this Duke team would be very different from previous seasons. Coach K typically relies on veteran leadership to make deep runs in the Tournament, but big man Miles Plumlee is the only senior on the roster. A lot of young talent has filled the empty slots, none more impressive than freshman Austin Rivers. If Rivers and Co. can deliver another win over UNC in a couple weeks, Duke should all but lock up a #1 seed.

Title Chances: 10 to 1

Team: Michigan State Spartans (22-5)

Bio: MSU has pretty much come out of nowhere, never cracking the top 10 in the polls until their big win over Ohio State two weeks ago. But now they have some serious momentum, after winning at No. 3 OSU, at home against No. 15 Wisconsin and at Purdue in consecutive games. MSU currently leads the nation in victories over ranked opponents with six, a stat that is obviously of great significance for the later rounds of the Tournament. Head coach Tom Izzo always seems to have relevant teams in March, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see another unflashy, yet solid, Spartans squad in the Final Four.

Title Chances: 12 to 1

Team: Kansas Jayhawks (22-5)

Bio: Player of the Year candidate Thomas Robinson has the Jayhawks rolling down the stretch, but they have one of their biggest tests this Saturday against Missouri. KU fell to Mizzou just three weeks ago, and the Jayhawks will have their hands full as the Tigers look to bounce back from a rough loss to unranked Kansas State.

Title Chances: 15 to 1

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