As the nation heats up for college basketball conference tournaments and then one of sport’s greatest events, March Madness, the world of college basketball is struggling with a few stories that are giving the sport a black eye. The storied Duke basketball program is facing questions regarding guard Rasheed Sulaimon, who was dismissed from the team earlier in the season.
Allegedly, Sulaimon sexually assaulted two women during the 2013-14 academic year and the claims eventually made their way to the Duke coach staff and athletic administration in March of 2014. Sulaimon was removed from the program in late January by Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Another storied NCAAB program, Kansas, will be without one of its prized freshmen, Cliff Alexander, for what has been deemed an “NCAA matter.” There is no timetable on Alexander’s return, but the 6-foot-8 forward has been awful in the Jayhawks past ten games. He only played an average of 15 minutes a game and averaged just 3.8 points per contest.
At Louisville, head coach Rick Pitino had to remove point guard Chris Jones from the roster in late February. Jones was initially suspended from the Cardinals basketball team for sending a threatening text message to a female student. He was reinstated to the team only to break a 9 p.m. curfew. Pitino removed Jones, who averaged 13.7 points a game, from the team following the second incident. Jones has now been charged with rape.
Now that March has come, college basketball is now front and center among major sports. With the spotlight firmly on college basketball, it will be interesting to see if the sport continues to shine throughout March Madness.
Wisconsin, Not Gonzaga, Will Be No. 1 Seed In Upcoming NCAA Tournament
With just over two weeks remaining in the college basketball regular season, the No. 1 seeds in the upcoming NCAA tournament are beginning to take shape. Unbeaten Kentucky (25-0) is likely the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed, while fifth-ranked Wisconsin will sneak in and grab one of the three remaining No. 1s.
Second-ranked Virginia (23-1) is surely a No. 1 seed as is perennial NCAA title contender Duke, ranked No. 4 with a 22-3 record. The surprise will come when the Badgers, and not No. 3 Gonzaga, are rewarded with the final No. 1 seed.
Gonzaga, a mid-major power that has become such a household name in college basketball that the “mid” is virtually irrelevant, is currently 26-1 and is a sure bet to win both the regular season and post season titles in the West Coast Conference. And therein lies the problem.
The Zags strength of schedule is rated as 104 and the West Coast Conference, unfortunately, is full of teams ranked below 50 in the RPI. Other than an early season win over #22 SMU and a three-point overtime loss to then No. 3 Arizona, Gonzaga’s resume just isn’t as worth as that of Wisconsin.
The Badgers are off to the best start in school history at 23-2. One of their losses was to Duke, 80-70 back on Dec. 3. Head coach Bo Ryan’s squad is 12-1 in a very competitive Big Ten. Wisconsin is 6-1 versus teams ranked in the RPI top 50. Only four of the team’s win were against teams rated below 150 in the RPI.
With games at No. 16 Maryland and No. 24 Ohio State plus the Big Ten tournament, the Badgers still have time to pad their already deep resume. Don’t forget, the Badgers made it to last year’s Final Four as a No. 2 seed. When it’s all said and done, the tournament selection committee will have no choice but to reward Wisconsin with a No. 1 seed this year.