ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi stated that if the Badgers beat the Boilermakers on Saturday, they would overtake one of these ACC powerhouses and their spot on the top line. With Selection Sunday this evening, now is the proper time to look at the teams in the picture for a No. 1 seed.
The 33-0 Wildcats are unanimously top team in the nation, prompting the NCAA to announce that Kentucky will be the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament regardless of the result of the SEC championship game against Arkansas. They have depth like no other college squad that I have ever seen, and the fact that the bench is talented enough to compete with most other Power 5 conference teams is incredible. The duo of Karl Anthony-Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein has become the most dangerous frontcourt pairing in the country, and they don't even have a lethal offensive game. Enough's been said about Kentucky.
Duke Blue Devils
Even with the loss to Notre Dame on Friday, Duke still possesses one of the most talented lineups in the nation, led by center Jahlil Okafor, who is all but a lock to be a top-three pick in the upcoming NBA draft this summer. Justice Winslow and veteran Quinn Cook keep defenses honest on the perimeter while freshman point guard Tyus Jones uses his smart playmaking ability to slash toward the hoop. Coach K can use his squad in so many different ways, as the versatile group can beat you any way it wants and can match up with any offense on the other end of the court. The Blue Devils definitely deserve a top seed.
The leaders of the West are head, shoulders and waist over every team west of the state of Kansas in terms of pure talent. Freshman wing Stanley Johnson is as good as it gets at the small forward position, and Brandon Ashley and 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski have been terrorizing paint defenders all year long. It doesn't seem like they will stop any time soon. Sean Miller has never gotten to a Final Four, even after several of his multi-faceted and talented squads have won their conference. He finally has the chance to reach that new height this season, as Arizona will without a doubt be considered for a No. 1 seed.
Virginia has endured the struggle of playing without its top player in Justin Anderson, who has played at an All-American level in his senior season with the Cavaliers. The gunner was lost for six weeks with an injury and the Cavs haven't been the same since, on either side of the court. Virginia has a lot of talent around Anderson, however, as Malcolm Brogdon has provided coach Tony Bennett, a former Badgers assistant, an offensive spark around the perimeter and in the paint. Mike Tobey and London Perrantes have proven to be great defenders with the ability to nail a few shots from behind the arc. With the loss to the Tar Heels, however, the Cavaliers are in danger of losing their position as a No. 1 seed, a spot they have possessed since early in the season.
Ryan Arcidiacono has given this team a great veteran presence and a safety blanket when the shot clock winds down. Darrun Hilliard II is the top scorer on this team, and really one of the best gunners in the country. JayVaughn Pinkston and Daniel Ochefu supply the Cats with great interior offensive and solid work on the glass. With Josh Hart coming off the bench, Villanova doesn't stop scoring once the starting wings come off the floor, and Hart is shooting an astounding 46.7 percent from behind the arc, a trait that Jay Wright and the rest of the Villanova nation will covet come the tournament. In regard to their chances at a No. 1 seed, with only two losses on the year and Big East regular-season and conference-tournament titles under their belt, the Cats definitely have the qualities needed to be considered one of the four best squads in the nation.
Last, but most certainly not least, the Wisconsin Badgers. We all love this team, and its not just for each player's sparkling personalities or Bo Ryan's unwavering humility -- Bucky's basketball squad has some serious talent. You all know what the Badgers bring to the table. They still possess the most efficient offense in the country. They are top-three in the nation in turnovers and no other team commits fewer fouls. They are a veteran, talented club in an ever-evolving college basketball landscape where youth rules the game.