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Mar
02
2014

Virginia’s path to a number 1 NCAA seed.

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If you read this blog, as early as mid January I was saying Virginia was turning into a very dangerous team.  The signs were there you just had to be paying attention. A month and half later Virginia clinched the regular season ACC title by dismantling a very good Syracuse team.

The Cavaliers have won their last three games by an average of 22 points. They play defense, they have balanced scoring, they have a good mixture of upper classmen and talented freshman. Oh yea they are well coached by Tony Bennett.

With Kansas losing to Oklahoma St, can Virginia earn a number 1 seed? If they had knocked off Wisconsin or VCU at home, they would be right in the thick of that chase, but the Hoos need a little help. There is hope for Virginia fans though.

Here are the 1 seed scenarios…

Wichita St. and Florida are 1 seeds if they win out. Both play in weak basketball conferences. Neither plays in a conference with 2nd team will be ranked or should be ranked in next week’s top 25. Sorry Kentucky… Anybody who watched the Wildcats play recently knows that’s not a top 25 team. They are big, young, and talented, but their guard play is a problem. You get the idea Wichita St. and Florida should cruise.

Arizona is by far the best team in the Pac 12, and is virtually assured of a 1 seed in the West. That leaves one more 1 seed up for grabs.

This week these teams were ranked in the AP poll ahead of Virginia and lost… Syracuse, Creighton, Kansas, Iowa State, Louisville, and Cincinnati. Virginia should be ranked somewhere around 7 or 8 on Monday, and their RPI should in the top 10.

Who’s in play for this for this fourth 1 seed, which looks like the 1 seed in the East.

Here are the contenders:

Kansas, Syracuse, Duke, Villanova and further down the list Michigan and Wisconsin.

Let’s start with the simple part. If Virginia beats Maryland, and then wins the ACC Tournament that will move them ahead of Duke and Syracuse. At the very least they will have to beat one if not both to win the ACCT.

Villanova definitely needs to lose 1 more game. With Kansas it’s tougher to say. The Jayhwaks have a better overall resume, but may win the Big 12 without playing another top 10 team. Virginia likely won’t have that luxury.

I think a Virginia team that wins out stays ahead of Michigan and Wisconsin no matter what they do.

So basically the Hoos path to a number 1 seed is not that complicated, because two of their competitors for that spot reside in the ACC.

1) Beat Maryland and win ACC Tournament.

2) Villanova must lose another game.

3) May need Kansas to lose another game.

It’s not out of the question for Virginia to end up with a number 1 seed… With their recent great play, Virginia has earned the right to be in the discussion for a number 1 seed.

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