Come this time of year, and especially a few hours from now, there will be two topics of conversation:
- Who got left out and who shouldn’t have gotten in.
- Who the #1 seed are.
A lot of times we more or less know who the four #1 seeds will be heading into The Selection Show, but today there will be definite drama.
Related: See the latest bracket predictions from Andy Bottoms.
Kentucky and Syracuse seem to have #1 seeds locked and sealed. North Carolina also seems like a look regardless of what happens in today’s ACC Tournament Championship Game.
That leaves one #1 seed up for grabs, with a number of teams seeming to have solid cases for it.
Potential 4th #1 Seeds
- Record: 25-7
- Strength of Schedule: #1
- RPI Ranking: #4
- KenPom Rank: #3
- Record versus top 25: 8-5
- Notes: Tied for Big Ten regular season title; split season series with Ohio State; playing Buckeyes today in Big Ten Championship game.
Ohio State Buckeyes
- Record: 27-6
- Strength of Schedule: #16
- RPI Ranking: #6
- KenPom Rank: #2
- Record versus top 25: 7-5
- Notes: Tied for Big Ten regular season title; split season series with Michigan State; playing Buckeyes today in Big Ten Championship game.
- Record: 30-4
- Strength of Schedule: #106
- RPI Ranking: #10
- KenPom Rank: #8
- Record versus top 25: 4-1
- Notes: Won Big 12 Tournament title; beat Kansas at home; lost to Kansas in Lawrence.
- Record: 27-6
- Strength of Schedule: #18
- RPI Ranking: #7
- KenPom Rank: #4
- Record versus top 25: 5-4
- Notes: Won Big 12 regular season title; beat Missouri at home; last to Missouri on the road.
Who Should Be The 4th #1 Seed?
As far as I’m concerned, the winner of today’s Big Ten Tournament Championship Game should receive the 4th #1 seed. My reasoning is as follows:
- The Big Ten has been the best and deepest conference in the country this season. That Michigan State and Ohio State both have tougher strengths of schedule rankings than Kansas and Missouri helps to prove that.
- Coming into today, Ohio State and Michigan State both have at least two more top-25 wins than Kansas and three more than Missouri.
- The Buckeyes and Spartans tied for the Big Ten regular season title (with Michigan), and they split their season series. Whoever wins today’s game can truly lay claim to being the better of the two and thus deserving of a higher seed. Missouri is the Big 12 Tournament champion, but Kansas won the regular season title; they split their two meetings. Though I think Kansas’ resume is more impressive, there is not clear line of difference between the two, making them perfect to be on the same seed line.
- In terms of the eye test, both Michigan State and Ohio State are playing terrific basketball right now, each having dispatched top-15 teams as recently as yesterday. Missouri is obviously peaking as well, but no more so than either MSU or OSU, and thus not enough to compensate for their comparative dearth of quality wins.
So that’s my pick: the winner of the Michigan State-Ohio State game should be the 4th #1 seed; and I think that’s who will get it as well.
For the record, Joe Lunardi has Michigan State on the #1 line right now and Ohio State as a #2, leading me to believe that he’s swap the two if Ohio State wins. Our Andy Bottoms also has Michigan State on the #1 line, so I think he’d do the same.
But what I really care about is what you think. Chime in below: