Bracketology: Iowa moves up to a No. 1 seed after Villanova’s loss

It seems like it wouldn’t be a day ending in “Y” if there wasn’t a shakeup at the top of the bracket.

Bracketology

Jerry Palm’s projected bracket

This weekend, that shakeup came from Providence winning at Villanova, knocking the Wildcats from the top line for now. Villanova has been replaced by Iowa, which wasn’t even in the AP Top 25 one month ago. Since then, the Hawkeyes have completed season sweeps of Michigan State and Purdue and have rocketed up the bracket. Iowa beat the Boilermakers on Sunday for its fourth Top 25 win this month.

For a more detailed comparison between the resumes of the Hawkeyes and Wildcats – or any two teams you would like to compare head-to-head for that matter – check out our nifty team comparison tool.

Here’s a quick look at some of the other notable teams in the latest bracket projection.

  • Connecticut: UConnis probably the team I get asked most about. The Huskies have been in and out of the rankings this season, but I haven’t had them in a bracket before putting them in the First Four today. They have a couple of nice wins over Texas and Michigan, which are middle of the bracket level teams at the moment, but they have an unfortunate collection of losses. Four of the five teams that have beaten UConn are either not likely to be tournament teams or teams that the Huskies would be competing with for a spot in the field. They have losses to Gonzaga, which is also one of the last four teams in the bracket, Tulsa, which is in the field as the American Athletic Conference leader, and to Syracuse and Temple, which are out for now.

    UConn fans point out that the team has been without C Amida Brimah for the last ten games. That’s not really much of a factor. The Huskies beat Texas without Brimah, but also lost to Temple and Tulsa. They beat Michigan before he broke his finger, but also lost to Syracuse and Gonzaga. They are who they are. Brimah is expected back before too terribly long and if he’s that big of a factor, they’ll have the stretch run of the season to show it.

  • Maryland: Another team I get asked about often is the Terrapins, which is a No. 5 seed in the bracket following a very difficult to watch loss to Michigan State over the weekend. Did you see the Spartans’ unis? Can you still see today? But, I digress.

    Maryland has been higher in the polls than in my bracket pretty much all season, and the reason for that is that they have a gaudy record, but no quality wins behind it. Maryland’s best win – and its only win against an at-large level team in the bracket – came against UConn (Brimah played in that game too). The Terps don’t have a bad loss of any kind, but until they start to beat some better teams, it’s hard to justify a higher seed than this. If anything, you could argue that they are overseeded. Maryland’s ranking in the polls is based more on preseason expectation than actual accomplishment.

Iowa's Peter Jok helped lead the Hawkeyes to a victory vs. Purdue on Sunday. (USATSI)
Iowa’s Peter Jok helped lead the Hawkeyes to a victory vs. Purdue on Sunday. (USATSI)

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