We are getting close to Selection Sunday, which means the group of one seed contenders is shrinking.
Here are the one seed odds of the realistic contenders:
VIRGINIA – 99% – The Hoos have two losses and eight Quadrant 1 wins. They’re basically a shoe in for the one line.
VILLANOVA – 93% – This isn’t a guarantee, but Jay Wright’s guys have eight Quadrant 1 wins, seven Quadrant 2 wins, and a sweep of Xavier. It will be a real surprise if they don’t end up as the one seed in the East.
XAVIER – 67% – The closing stretch is more than manageable, but it also means any loss before the Big East final could be very costly. Winning out through the Big East final will get them on the one line, but it might be a tough sell if Villanova beats them for a third time.
KANSAS – 66% – Bill Self’s guys are focused on winning a 14th straight Big XII Championship. If they do, they’ll likely get a third straight one seed. In their way, though, is a very hard trip to Lubbock to play Texas Tech and a trip to Stillwater, which has been close to an automatic loss for KU in recent years.
AUBURN – 41% – If Auburn can win both the SEC regular season and tournament, it will be very hard to keep them from being, at worst, fifth overall. Whether they rise above that may depend on how Xavier and Kansas do. More likely, Auburn isn’t going to make it to Selection Sunday with only four losses.
TEXAS TECH – 27% – The Red Raiders are currently on the three line, but their closing stretch includes Kansas at home and West Virginia on the road. In other words, there is ample time to significantly beef up the profile. Even with a potential regular season Big XII Championship, though, a tourney title is likely necessary to get all the way up to the one line.
DUKE – 26% – Coach K’s team is lurking just close enough to the one line to get there. But without an ACC tournament title, it’s hard to see that happening. Even with a tournament championship, they might need to win out.
MICHIGAN STATE – 25% – The Big Ten Champions are still suffering from a lack of quality wins. They must win out through the Big Ten tournament or it won’t happen. Even then, they still might only be looking at four Quadrant 1 wins, which would be historically low for a one seed. This could easily be one of the most griped about seeds in years if Michigan State enters the NCAAs as a two seed with only three losses.
PURDUE – 25% – The Boilermakers are far from out of this, despite a recent tough patch. What could help Purdue is drawing both a strong Big Ten semis and final opponent to bolster an already strong resume. Without a Big Ten tournament title, though, the one seed dream appears remote.
NORTH CAROLINA – 17% – Nobody is talking about UNC as a one seed, but it’s not as crazy as it sounds. They already own nine Quadrant 1 wins and their closing stretch is very tough. That means they can really add to an already nice resume. It probably won’t happen, but it could still happen for the reigning champs.
ALL OTHERS – 14% combined