/Bracketology: Illinois strengthens grip on its No. 1 seed as loaded Big Ten Tournament approaches
Bracketology: Illinois strengthens grip on its No. 1 seed as loaded Big Ten Tournament approaches

Bracketology: Illinois strengthens grip on its No. 1 seed as loaded Big Ten Tournament approaches

The last big Saturday of the regular season brought about some shuffling throughout the bracket. Starting at the top, Illinois got Player of the Year candidate Ayo Dosunmu back and picked up a big win at Ohio State in the process. That gives the Illini a pretty good grip on that fourth No. 1 seed for now, but they will have to navigate a tough Big Ten tournament to keep it.

Ohio State, meanwhile, remains a 2-seed after the loss, as does West Virginia following its loss at home to Oklahoma State.

One of the weird things about the Mountaineers’ tournament resume is that they have been better away from home (10-3) than in Morgantown (8-5). Their five home losses have come by a combined 18 points, and two were overtime games.

Villanova lost its first full game without star guard Collin Gillespie on Saturday. Justin Moore, who was expected to pick up most of the slack for Gillespie, suffered a sprained ankle in the first half on Saturday that coach Jay Wright described as “pretty severe.” It remains to be seen how long Moore will be out.

Florida State got smoked at Notre Dame, costing the Seminoles the ACC regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. That now goes to Virginia, which won at Louisville on Saturday.

Six top seeds in conference tournaments lost on a chaotic Saturday — most notable among them was Belmont, which got crushed by Morehead State 86-71 in the championship game of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. The Bruins started the season 23-1 before losing at Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State at the end of February. There was some thought that a two-loss Belmont might merit at-large consideration, but that is gone now.

You don’t have to wait until the field of 68 is announced to fill out your brackets. Play Conference Bracket Challenge presented by Hertz and pick the tournaments for a $10,000 cash prize or start a pool and compete against friends. No purchase necessary, see Rules for details.

Among the strange things this pandemic season has given us is a conference with two undefeated teams in league play. Prairie View A&M and Jackson State each finished without a loss because the games between the two were unable to be played. The Panthers ended up the top seed in the SWAC Tournament, and maybe those two will eventually get to settle this on the court.

With the regular season ending on Sunday, I will do some seed and bubble-scrubbing in Monday’s bracket, so there may be some movement in the that does not necessarily relate to today’s games.

Bracketology top seeds

Check out Palm’s latest bracket, full field of 68 and all the teams on the bubble on the Bracketology hub.