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Bracketology: Is Kentucky the only lock for a #1 seed?

Strange brew. Duke and Virginia go down, yet ESPN’s Joe Lunardi still, as of 3/14/15, has both as #1 seeds. Duke didn’t win the regular season conference title and they’ve lost in the ACC Tournament semi-finals. How does that qualify the Blue Devils for a one seed?

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Since Virginia won the regular ACC season title, most could understand a one seed for the Cavaliers, but I think it is a stretch for Duke. Virginia's 7th placing in the RPI might prevent them from gaining a #1 seed. You can bet Wisconsin fans were cheering Notre Dame and North Carolina yesterday. Lunardi has projected the Badgers as a two seed in Kentucky's bracket. I think it is legitimate for Wisconsin to replace Duke as a one seed and move Duke as a two seed in our bracket.

Duke's 29-4 record and #5 RPI ranking is certainly worthy of a two seed, but I would think either Wisconsin or Villanova would move to a one seed after Duke's 74-64 loss to Notre Dame yesterday. Virginia's loss to UNC hasn't helped their status either, but their body of work (29-3) over the season is better than Duke's and the regular season conference title helps their case for a one seed.

Who are the candidates for a #1 bracket seed besides Kentucky, Virginia and Duke? For me, any more than three losses should eliminate a team for a one seed. Here's the list without Duke and their 4 losses:

The case for 31-2 Villanova:

I know, the Big East isn't what it used to be since Syracuse's and Louisville's departure, but it is still a decent conference. The Villanova version of Wildcats haven't lost since January when they lost to Seton Hall and Georgetown on the road. They play Xavier for the third time in the Big East title game. They beat Xavier 88-75 at home and 78-66 on the road. They are likely going to beat Xavier again. Villanova's RPI is good for 3rd.

The case for 29-3 Wisconsin:

Wisconsin won the regular season conference title and will likely beat Purdue in the B1G title game. The Badgers lost to Duke80-70 at home way back in December and they've lost to Rutgers 67-62 on the road and 59-53 on the road to Maryland. Wisconsin comes in at 4th in the RPI rankings.

The case for 30-3 Arizona:

These Wildcats are # 6 in the RPI and haven't lost since the 81-78 February loss at Arizona State. The problem for Arizona is the weakness of the PAC12.

The case for 32-2 Gonzaga:

Gonzaga sits at #8 in the RPI rankings. They lost to Arizona and BYU. I just don't see a case where they would deserve a one seed because of the weakness of their schedule.

There just isn't a case that can be made for Northern Iowa and their 30-3 record since there are 12 teams ranked high in the RPI.