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Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 23: Power 16

I've been slacking lately and haven't posted a Power 16 yet. Remember, this is not who I necessarily feel the top sixteen teams are but instead these are the sixteen teams that currently hold an inside track to receiving a protected seed (1-4) on Selection Sunday.

1's Record vs. RPI top 25
Ohio St. 20-0 (7-0) 2-0
Duke 18-1 (5-1) 1-0
Pittsburgh 19-1 (7-0) 4-1
Kansas 18-1 (3-1) 1-1

Ohio St. continues to roll along, putting up the most impressive undefeated record thus far. Their big road win in Champaign over the weekend cements their spot as the #1 overall seed.  Duke is clearly the class of the ACC this season and shouldn't expect many difficult matchups along the way. They've edged their way back to #2 overall.  Pitt is possibly the best team in the Big East and is a serious National Title contender.  Kansas home loss to Texas drops them down two spots but they're still clinging to a number one seed.

2's Record vs. RPI top 25
BYU 19-1 (5-0) 1-0
Villanova 17-2 (5-1) 1-2
San Diego St. 20-0 (5-0) 0-0
Texas 16-3 (4-0) 4-2

BYU and San Diego St. have a huge game coming up in Utah this week.  The winner of this game will be seen as "for real" whereas the loser may lose a lot of respect with the committee.  Villanova still has a chance to claim a number one seed. Their win at Syracuse was huge.  Texas shocked America with their win in Lawrence when really it shouldn't have come as one.  This team is on a serious roll and has a decent shot at running the gauntlet in the Big 12.

3's Record vs. RPI top 25
Purdue 17-3 (6-1) 1-2
Connecticut 16-2 (4-2) 5-2
Syracuse 18-2 (5-2) 3-2
Kentucky 15-4 (3-2) 2-2

Two weeks ago Purdue was just outside of one seed consideration. Two losses and a narrow win vs. Penn St. have dropped them down to a number three. They can still get a two but have home and away games against Illinois, Ohio St., and Wisconsin left on the schedule. It's going to be tough. Likewise, Syracuse was a one a week ago but two straight losses--one at home--has dropped them down to a three.  Granted, these were against Pitt and 'Nova but to date their best win is at home vs. Notre Dame.  UConn appears to have recovered from a couple of early conference losses but is 1-2 on the road in conference (that one win was @ DePaul). They'll have to fix that to succeed in the Big East. Kentucky is an enigma.  Some nights they look very very good and others appear to be lost. It will be hard to judge this team come March but right now they're the last three seed.

4's Record vs. RPI top 25
Washington 15-4 (7-1) 1-3
Texas A&M 17-2 (4-1) 1-1
Missouri 17-3 (3-2) 1-2
Wisconsin 15-4 (5-2) 1-2

Washington played a very difficult schedule to start the year and didn't fare well. Apparently that's what they needed because with the exception of a two point loss at Stanford, they're tearing through the Pac 10 like a hot knife through butter.  Texas A&M has played great so far but their real test still lies ahead with Kansas, Texas, and Baylor still on the schedule.  Luckily they beat Missouri in their lone contest.  Missouri is in a similar predicament as A&M but has proven less and has a tougher road to climb in the future. The last game of the year is home against Kansas. A win there and they may keep a protected seed.  Wisconsin is doing what they do every year: win boring games.  They've beaten everyone in conference you'd expect but need a signature win to cement themselves as a legitimate top-tier team.

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