Meet the teams still competing for the fourth No. 1 seed


With Arizona, Florida and Wichita State all but locking up three out of the four No. 1 seeds, we decided to take a look at some of the remaining contenders for the fourth No. 1. Here’s a look at some key information for those contending for a No. 1 seed as we move closer to Selection Sunday.


RPI: 8, SOS: 34, KenPom: 6

Key wins: Villanova (2), Xavier (2), Nebraska, at Saint Joseph’s, Arizona State

Key losses: at St. John’s, at Georgetown, San Diego State, George Washington

While Creighton lacks the strength of schedule of some of the other No. 1 seed contenders, Doug McDermott and the Bluejays do own two key wins over Villanova — another contender for a No. 1 seed — and Creighton is also the one still playing for the Big East title against Providence on Saturday. If the Bluejays knock off Providence and have some other teams fall early, could they sneak into a No. 1 seed?


RPI: 7, SOS: 8, KenPom: 8

Key wins: Michigan, Syracuse, North Carolina, Virginia, UCLA, at Pittsburgh

Key losses: at Clemson, at Notre Dame, at Wake Forest, Kansas, Arizona

The Blue Devils are still vying for the final No. 1 seed as they face N.C. State in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Saturday with another potential game against fellow No. 1 seed contender Virginia in the title game. If the Blue Devils can win out, they have a chance at a No. 1 seed.


RPI: 10, SOS: 11, KenPom: 11

Key wins: Nebraska (2), Michigan State (2), Minnesota (2), at Wisconsin

Key losses: Charlotte, at Indiana, at Iowa

Michigan would help itself out quite a bit if they could beat No. 24 Ohio State for the second time this season in the Big Ten semifinals on Saturday and a potential shot at Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game could act as a play-in game for a No. 1  seed, depending on how some of these other teams fare the rest of the way.


RPI: 6, SOS: 50, KenPom: 7

Key wins: Kansas, Providence (2), Xavier, at Saint Joseph’s

Key losses: Seton Hall, Creighton (2), at Syracuse

The Wildcats are holding their breath after falling to Seton Hall in their opening game of the Big East Tournament earlier in the week and they’ll have to hope that the favorites in the Big Ten and the ACC keep losing.


RPI: 11, SOS: 43, KenPom: 5

Key wins: North Carolina, at Pittsburgh, Syracuse

Key losses: at Green Bay, at Maryland, at Duke, VCU

The Cavaliers are still fighting for an ACC title and if they win out against Pitt and a potential game for the championship against Duke, Tony Bennett’s ballclub could find itself in position for a potential No. 1 seed. Virginia’s resume is damaged by only three wins against top-50 opponents — two of them at home — and the bad losses on the road at Green Bay and Maryland are an eye-sore on the resume.


RPI: 5, SOS: 3, KenPom: 10

Key wins: Florida, Saint Louis, at Virginia, at Michigan, Michigan State

Key losses: at Indiana, Northwestern

The Badgers have certainly played a tough non-conference schedule with wins over No. 1 seed Florida and potential No. 1 seeds — on the road — in Virginia and Michigan. Can Wisconsin win another against No. 22 Michigan State on Saturday in the Big Ten semifinals and win the Big Ten Tournament title on Sunday to secure the final No. 1 seed? It’s certainly possible.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.