Top 100 update: KU leads race for top seed
Note: The purpose of our weekly Top 100 is to mimic the full slate of teams that might receive consideration at any point by the NCAA men's basketball committee. The full at-large nomination board would almost never include that many teams, but we use 100, as it matches the aggregate composition of the NCAA (68 teams) and NIT (32) fields in a given season.
The latest string of upsets to top-ranked teams has caused some changes to our S-curve, including at the top, with the Louisville Cardinals and Duke Blue Devils both dropping off the top line since last Friday's update. The biggest beneficiary is Kansas (more on that in soon), but there are several other teams making moves up and down the S-curve, shifts that could have a significant impact on how the NCAA tournament plays out in March. In particular, there are several second-tier contenders threatening to jump into the top two lines of the bracket.
As a reminder, here's how our Top 100 arithmetic works:
• 31 teams are included as current conference leaders (ALL CAPS), representing the automatic bids in the field
• the next best 37 teams make up the projected NCAA tournament at-large pool
• the next 28 teams take us to 96 altogether, or what the NCAA tournament might one day look like
• add four more teams to reach an even 100, the combined total of NCAA and NIT teams for 2013
Let's take a look at how the latest S-curve stacks up.
We start with the current NCAA top seeds (in order). This includes the teams' S-curve number, conference and ranking within the conference.
1. KANSAS (Big 12/1)
2. Michigan (Big Ten/2)
3. SYRACUSE (Big East/1)
4. Indiana (Big Ten/2)
BRACKET BYTES: The Kansas Jayhawks are suddenly the big winner at the top of the new S-curve. Not only do the Jayhawks find themselves No. 1 overall, they have an excellent chance to hold that spot far longer than recent entries Duke and Louisville. As noted a week ago, the Jayhawks will be favored in every game the rest of the season. In fact, the only thing close to a 50/50 contest for KU is a trip to Oklahoma State on Feb. 20.
To read Joe Lunardi's complete top 100 S-curve, and get a look at the teams rising and falling, you must be an ESPN Insider.