In a simple twist of common sense, the polls did one thing right this week, at least. The #11 University of Cincinnati (#7) and the #7 University of Lousville (#11) switched spots following a thrilling, though tough-to-watch contest in Clifton on Saturday. Each of these teams is very good and each is probably deserving of a #2 seed. The winner of the AAC will get it. The loser may get a #3 or 4.
If you've been following the last month or so, you know that once UC got ranked higher than Ohio State I have included them in the discussion. Ok, on to the B1G.
We know that the only thing that really matters in college basketball happens in March. What most don't pay attention to is how a team progresses from November until March. I think it is fair to say that there has been precious little progress in teams from B1G. Overall, I think that is a true statement. But when I look at these teams, the teams that are tournament bound, at least, I'd say one will not want to play any of them.
Two weeks to go and Nebraska is holding on to hope of a fourth seed. Minnesota completely played themselves out of it by losing twice this week. So there are six teams battling for those four spots and first round bye.
- Michigan State
- Ohio State
Before I get to these teams, let me suggest that these are also going to be the B1G reps in the NCAA tournament, unless Nebraska closes the season poorly. Minnesota was the only other unranked team that had a shot, but that shot is now over.
As for the first round byes in the B1G tournament, Michigan has one for sure, as does Michigan State, probably. Two losses to close the season in Iowa and in Columbus may put them in danger, but if they win one of the two, they get the bye.
I think a loss by either Ohio State or Nebraska may be a killer to their chances which means tough wins is required by each in the final game of the season. The Nebraska at Wisconsin game at the end of the season may very well be for that fourth seed, as might that MSU at OSU game.
Games of note this week: none. None of these six teams play any of the other five this week. Therefore, if teams hold serve, we should be having this exact same discussion as we head into the final week of the season next week.
Here is recently discovered (by me) Lake Street Dive.