Right now, the Florida Gators are a #2 seed in the Crotistics bracket. Of the other 92 brackets in The Bracket Matrix, only a single bracket other than Crotistics has the Gators as a 2. Clearly, an extreme majority of people view the Gators as a 1 seed. Let’s take a deeper look at why the Gators appear on the 2 line.
Arizona Wildcats: The current overall #1 seed in the tournament, Arizona, like Florida has only 2 losses. While the Gators are 4-2 against the Crotistics top 50, the Wildcats are 9-2. That fact alone has Arizona a decent amount ahead of Florida.
Wichita St. Shockers: No matter what you think of the Shockers, if they are undefeated when the season ends they will be a #1 seed. That is a fact. The Shockers were a #1 seed when the Mock Bracketing process was done weeks ago. If they do finish undefeated, they’re a 1.
Syracuse Orange: Differentiating between the Orange and the Gators is extremely tough. My numbers have them virtually identical. They have pretty much the exact same record. They have pretty much the exact same Strength of Schedule. Syracuse has 10 wins away from home while Florida has 9. Syracuse has 8 top 50 wins while Florida has 5. Obviously, Syracuse has the loss to Boston College, which is the sole reason why Syracuse isn’t surely ahead of Florida. How much does that loss hurt? Is it worth way more than the big wins? To me, it’s a virtual toss up between these two teams at this point.
Seemingly, these 3 teams and Florida would be your #1 seeds. But that’s not necessarily the case.
The Kansas Jayhawks have a resume unlike any other in recent memory. Is it unthinkable that a 6 loss team could grab a #1 seed from one of these other teams? To date, Kansas has played a total of 10 games against teams outside of the Top 50. They’ve played 28 games in total. Take a minute to let that sink in. It is still February, and Kansas has played 18 games against the Top 50 teams. They’re 12-6 in those games. 12 wins against the Top 50 teams is insane. 7 of them are against the Top 25. Their worst loss is at #43 Kansas St. by 3 points. Kansas is #1 in the RPI, #1 in Conference RPI, and #4 in Non-Conference RPI.
There is a very legitimate case for Kansas being a #1 seed, and with the results against that ridiculous schedule, they probably should be. The committee has a track record of rewarding teams that play a tough schedule, and nobody has been challenged more than Kansas. To come away with the results they have is extremely impressive.
So, there is a dilemma. Right now, there are 5 teams that have a legitimate case for being a #1 seed. If the tournament started today, Arizona would be the #1 overall seed. Wichita St., if undefeated, will not be denied. And Kansas could very well be rewarded for their work. If that’s the case, which isn’t all that unlikely, one of Syracuse and Florida has to be knocked off the top line. It remains to be seen whether a single loss after a 25-0 start is enough to knock Syracuse off. If it isn’t Florida could be the odd man out.