Big Ten is off the top line
The best conference in the country is unlikely to have a No. 1 seed
Welcome back to the expanded edition of Joe Lunardi's Rundown. Since the start of January, this series has featured tournament odds, an element that takes 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
It's starting to look as if the Big Ten will draw the short straw when it comes to No. 1 seeds. The acclaimed top conference is now the most muddled of those hoping to put its champion on the top line of the bracket.
Kansas, as outright Big 12 champions, has earned its spot alongside Kentucky and Syracuse. The Duke-North Carolina ACC winner also will take a spot on the top line, but it's quite possible there will be no outright Big Ten champion.
Conference tournaments could, and probably should, alter the pecking order a bit for the third and fourth spots on the top line. Then again, as we have seen more frequently in recent years, those tourneys -- at least at the power conference level -- seem less and less important to the selection committee.
For Lunardi's in-depth report that goes beyond Bracketology, plus complete access to Insider's college hoops coverage, become an ESPN Insider.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Georgetown's Whittington has torn left ACL
- Ex-Alabama guard Lacey chooses NC State
- Drake F King transfers home to Minnesota
- Hornsby, son of musician, transfers to LSU
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider College Basketball
New on Insider
Lunardi: Pac-12 locked into 2 bids?
Player Rankings: Davis over Robinson for POY
Lunardi: Where UW, Northwestern fall
Hume: Bid thieves are few
Bilas: Sizing up the Big East
Gasaway: Pac-12 stronger than it seems
Hume: Best bets among bubble teams
Lunardi: VCU may be first bid thief
Ford: Time running out for 5 NBA prospects
Lunardi: How UConn, Texas, others earn bids
Lunardi: Latest look at the bubble
Fraschilla: Previewing Big 12 tournament
Bilas Index: UNC remains at No. 3
Pomeroy: Trends predict UNC-Duke clash
Lunardi: No No. 1 seed for Big Ten?
Player Rankings: Purdue's pivotal players
Ford: Will MKG, Cody Zeller stay in school?
Gasaway: Rebounding won't crush Orange
Telep: UCLA's top recruits remain committed
Bilas: How Michigan State can still improve
Bilas: Keys to the Hoyas' continued success
Lunardi: Watch out for NCAA bid thieves
Lunardi Rundown: Kentucky is No. 1 overall
Bilas Index: Kansas returns to the top five
Make smart bracket picks by spotting Cinderella early.
And don't forget these Insider mainstays:
Doug Gottlieb, Fran Fraschilla, Joe Lunardi and Jay Williams offer their opinions.
Insights from the mind of the College Gameday analyst.
The national recruiting analyst weighs in on news and rumors surrounding the top high school prospects.
Stay on top of all the latest recruiting buzz.
Every D-1 player's efficiency rating.