Wichita State, the first team to enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated since 1991, has the hardest road to the Final Four of any 1-seed.
Here are their likely opponents for each round:
- Round of 32: Kentucky (ranked 17th in Pomeroy ratings)
- Sweet 16: Louisville (2nd in Pomeroy ratings)
- Elite 8: Michigan (14th in Pomeroy ratings) or Duke (7th in Pomeroy ratings)
When the brackets were announced everyone thought Kentucky and Louisville were grossly under-seeded. Kentucky is the best 8-seed in the tournament. Louisville could have been a 1-seed, but ended up as the scariest 4-seed in recent tournament history because of a lackluster schedule.
Wichita State played the 129th-hardest schedule in the country during the regular season. To make the Final Four, they will have to survive a brutal gauntlet of college basketball’s blue-blood teams. The NCAA selection committee basically gave them the most difficult road they could have possibly given a 1-seed.
For comparison, here are the potential opponents for the other #1 seeds (with KenPom ratings in parenthesis).
Florida: Colorado (64), UCLA (16), Kansas (9)
Arizona: Gonzaga (20), San Diego State (21), Wisconsin (11)
Virginia: Memphis (45), Michigan State (10), Villanova (6)
Wichita State: Kentucky (17), Louisville (2), Michigan (14)
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