Commentary

The wide-open race for No. 1

Missouri joins the top line, but five other teams have a legit chance at a No. 1 seed

Originally Published: February 6, 2012
By Joe Lunardi | ESPN Insider
Marcus DenmonDak Dillon-US PresswireMarcus Denmon and Mizzou joined the top line after beating Kansas this past weekend.

Welcome back to the expanded edition of Joe Lunardi's Rundown. Since the start of January, this series now features tournament odds, an element that will take you deeper into Bracketology. Bracketology provides a snapshot of how the bracket looks on a specific day, but, through the use of Lunardi's extensive database of previous seasons, tournament odds tell you how the bracket is likely to look come Selection Sunday.

Top line report

There should be absolutely no questioning the current No. 1 seeds. By outlasting Kansas on Saturday night, Missouri becomes the third Big 12 team in four weeks to land on the top line.

More important, having now beaten Kansas and Baylor, Mizzou is poised to last awhile in its current position. The Tigers do have a rematch with Baylor in a week, but that date is in Columbia. We can realistically expect Missouri to be favored in every game until its late-February trip to Kansas.

After Mizzou, five more teams still hold realistic hopes for a No. 1 seed. Their candidacies will be determined in several pivotal contests in the next month:

Joe Lunardi | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com