– Butler: A strong overtime victory on the road against the ranked Pirates bodes well for everyone’s favorite former Cinderella.
– Indiana: After a demoralizing road loss in East Lansing, the Hoosiers have bounced back to hold home court and take down both Penn State and Ohio State in the past week at Assembly Hall.
– Dayton: Seriously – how are the Flyers NOT ranked? A 14-2 record and they’re sitting on top of the better-than-you-think Atlantic-10. Okay, so maybe the SOS doesn’t blow you away, but Jordan Sibert can lead this team and BALL when he’s on his game.
– VCU: They continue to win all the games they should. What teams have they lost to, you ask? Virginia, Villanova, and Old Dominion; combined record of those teams: 46-3.
– Kansas: This team is light years ahead of where they were during that debacle against Kentucky early in the season.
– Colorado State: I thought the Rams were a fluke as one of the last remaining unbeatens. Back-to-back losses to New Mexico and Wyoming early in January did nothing to alter my belief, but they’ve recovered to win back-to-back conference games this past week.
– Miami (FL): They won at Cameron Indoor earlier this week, and by a wide margin. It’s wins like this that catapult a team from First Four Out to firmly in the field as a 10-seed.
– Tulsa: Wins at Temple and against Connecticut have propelled the Golden Hurricanes into an unlikely position as the sole leader of the AAC.
– Oklahoma: In a game I was really looking forward to, Huggy Bear’s Mountaineers really laid a beat-down on the boys from Norman. The Sooners looked lost on the court, getting killed on the offensive glass and in the turnover department.
– Duke: The Blue Devils have lost back-to-back games to conference foes that were squarely on the bubble. Despite the fantastically promising start, these two losses have more than likely pushed Krzyzewski’s squad off the one-seed line for the time being.
– Texas: The Longhorns are 2-3 in their last five games and I’ve not seen anything from any of Rick Barnes’ past squads to lead me to believe they will get significantly better as the season progresses.
– Xavier: It’s hard to really get on a team for two road losses to teams that are sure to be in the tournament come March, but the Musketeers loss both games by double digits.
– Washington: Despite winning last night against Oregon State, the Huskies are at 1-3 in conference, after a very promising 11-1 start to the season. Even so, Nigel Williams-Goss might be one of the best all-around players in the country that nobody on the East Coast knows about.
– Illinois: The Illini might be the Big Ten’s only best bet to get a seventh team into the field from the conference. They just need to gain their footing and stop playing so inconsistently if they want that to come to fruition.