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Wednesday, February 22, 2012
VBDI's top seeds for March Madness

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

With less than a month before selection Sunday, there are great debates raging on about the top four seeds and which clubs belong in the field of 68.

I know that Bracketology has been going on for a while and our Joe Lunardi does a great job of breaking things down. He has been making adjustments to his brackets, and I am sure he will make changes several more times before Jeff Hathaway and his committee give us the complete draw.

There will be a lot of mid-majors making noise when the bracket is released. There is more talent in that area then I have seen in over 30 years of calling games at ESPN. It will be fun to see how the Davids and Golaiths match up!

I think it will be intriguing to see which teams are given higher seeds. There is a lot of parity in college hoops, and there will be lots of competition for those coveted number one seeds. Let's remember, a No. 1 has never lost its first game in the big dance since seeding began. The bad news for those on the top line -- last year, none of the No. 1 seeds made it to Houston.

According to my VBDI, two of the four number ones are locked up, etched in stone, baby! I think the committee will reward Kentucky and Syracuse for its marvelous play all season long. The Wildcats proved a lot last night at Mississippi State, coming back from a 13-point halftime deficit.

Then it comes down to two other schools securing No. 1 slots. Right now, if the brackets were released, I feel that Kansas and Duke would edge out the likes of Michigan State and Missouri for the other top berths.
Krzyzewski
Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Duke could be in line for another No. 1 seed in March.

I know that people are screaming about Duke over Michigan State. Oh really. Let's break it down. The Blue Devils beat the Spartans head-to-head on a neutral court. You may remember that one, it was played at Madison Square Garden and Coach K passed The General, Robert Montgomery Knight on the all-time wins list. Duke also won at North Carolina and beat Kansas. I do not want to take anything away from the masterful job done by Tom Izzo, but I am simply stating facts.

Missouri's home loss to Kansas State on Tuesday changed my thinking as well. That defeat led me to put the Jayhawks on the top line.

There is plenty of time for this to change dramatically. Missouri vs. Kansas in Lawrence will have an impact. The Blue Devils could lose at Florida State or at home to North Carolina.

That is just part of the fun of college athletics. Debate and discussion is healthy and you can speculate on a lot of things. It creates interest and drives ratings for sports talk radio and other media.

Then there is the field of 68. Every year, there are people going at it over teams that should be in and others that should be left out.

One team which I feel deserves more credit is South Florida. This school is in the hunt for a double-bye in the Big East. When you can go 10-4 in the conference, and win at Pittsburgh (I know the Panthers have struggled), that is a quality team. You cannot tell me that a team which is well over .500 in a conference that is rated third in the RPI doesn't belong in the field of 68.

Stan Heath has done a solid job and his program deserves more big-time consideration for an invite.

This is a fun time of season. March Madness is approaching and I cannot wait, baby! It will be awesome with a capital A!