Maybe little has changed when we look at the best teams remaining in the NCAA tournament. After all, in our new top five, there are two No. 1 seeds, two No. 2s and a No. 4. The thing is, the rest of the field isn't so far behind as two of these five -- maybe more -- could lose their next game.
One team not yet in the top five but still could emerge: Kansas. But in four halves of play, the Jayhawks have played just one good one. They will need to play better starting now. And, yes, they're capable of doing so.
Louisville » It helps that the NCAA allows the Cardinals to play with six defenders at all times. OK, that's not true. But it certainly seems like there's always an extra defender because of the pressure they apply. How will that play vs. some better teams that don't get rattled? We'll see. But for now the Cardinals are scary.
Indiana » The Hoosiers don't have a great point guard, but they do have 3-point shooters, a big man and one of the most athletic players in the country in DeMatha grad Victor Oladipo. The Hoosiers can play fast and, as they showed vs. Temple, slow.
Duke » The Blue Devils with Ryan Kelly are a different team, though they haven't necessarily played the way many thought through two games. But they've won, and the deeper they go, the less you can bet against them. So says history. But to advance further they must beat a physical Michigan State team. That's tough.
Ohio State » The Buckeyes squeaked out a win over Iowa State -- like Indiana they weathered a storm -- but they now have won 10 straight and hail from the best conference. They do have a tough game vs. Arizona, whose size could doom them.
Michigan » The problem for Michigan is that it plays Kansas, a team with an excellent big man in Jeff Withey. But the Wolverines hope that freshman center Mitch McGary is starting to blossom. They're definitely on a roll, but they're also prone to big lapses. Has that changed?
- John Keim