The 2020-21 college basketball season is unique. All involved - coaches, players, administrators, media, fans - can expect postponements, cancellations and adjustments to the normal cycle of games and the postseason.
This includes the NCAA tournament, which is under the largest microscope after the abrupt end to the 2019-20 season. The 2021 tourney is on schedule, albeit at a single site, but it would be foolish to proceed without pandemic contingencies.
In addition to the standard 68-team NCAA projections, Bracketology now includes 48-team and 16-team versions. The truth is there is no way to know at this point what Selection Sunday will bring, so all bases must be covered .
It takes a lot more than one loss to knock an otherwise spotless team off the top line. Those questioning Michigan's placement after the Wolverines stumbled at Minnesota need to look at the whole board. For Michigan to fall, there would have to be at least four teams that have done more -- or, for the eye test crowd, "been better" -- than the Wolverines. Gonzaga and Baylor are superior, yes, but that still leaves two openings. Villanova's lengthy pause has finally cost the Wildcats, so why not give the remaining No. 1 seeds to the co-leaders of the nation's best conference?
On the Bubble
It is officially time to worry about Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights still have a great chance to end their three-decade NCAA tournament drought, but the road to Selection Sunday has gotten bumpy. The Knights (7-5 overall, 3-5 conference) have lost five of their last six, including four at home, where they had been invincible. They can probably survive a sub-.500 Big Ten record, but with only five games remaining at the RAC, even a 9-11 or 8-12 league mark is no given. Anything below that would have to give the committee pause.
On the Bubble
The erstwhile defending champions are back. All it took for Virginia was a stunning 35-point blowout win at Clemson, who had been the ACC's most consistent team through the season's first two months. The Cavaliers now lead the league and should be favored in all but one or two games for the remainder of the regular season. That sounds like a path to a protected seed and at least the NCAA's second weekend. The Cavs should have used some of those 85 points against UMBC.