NBC NEWS- This probably isn't a surprise: Indiana and Duke are one-two on the s-curve and are the strongest No. 1 seed candidatesas we move towardMarch. Since a last-second loss at Illinois, the Hoosiers have reclaimed the outright Big Ten lead by winning at both Ohio State and Michigan State. A victory at Minnesota tonight puts IU in the driver's seat for theleague's regular season crown and top seed in the Big Ten tournament.That scenario would also give the Hoosiers the inside track toward the top spot in the Midwest Region - which flows through Indianapolis. Duke has steadily worked its way through the absence of Ryan Kelly. The Blue Devils are No. 1 in the RPI and have played the nation's second toughest schedule.
Miami-FL and Florida are the final No. 1 seeds. It's hard to know if either will hold those positions in two weeks. A second Big Team is likely to grab a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday. And if Gonzaga closes out a perfect West Coast Conferenceseason and wins its conference tournament, it might be hard for the Committee to deny the Bulldogs a top seed. Regardless, there's enough parity among the top three or four seed lines to make the Sweet 16 very entertaining.
Every Selection Committee member has his or her own personal views on which resume items are most important. Just take a look at some oftoday's bubble teams. Arizona State, Mississippi, Baylor, and Kentucky allhave obvious flaws. If RPI and schedule strength - particularly out of conference - are sticking points, than the Sun Devils are probably out. At the same time, ASU has two wins over Colorado to go along with victories over UCLA and California. That's four wins against three teams currently projected in the Field of 68 - which is more than any of the other three.Safe to say, the next two weeks will be critical for all of the above.