By ROY CRAWFORD
Now that the first weekend of play is finished, we can take a fresh look at the lowest seeded teams surviving and top ranked teams gone home.
Number Ten seed Gonzaga and Number Eleven seed Syracuse will be arriving to play each other carpooling in a golden carriage and wearing glass slippers. So, it is guaranteed that a ten or eleven seed will make it to the Elite Eight.
All the Number One seeds survived although it was a close thing for Oregon. Two Number Two seeds, two Number Three seeds, and two Number Four seeds will be watching the rest of the tournament on television.
Six of the original seven Atlantic Coast Conference teams made it to the Sweet Sixteen. Texas A&M will carry the banner for the Southeastern Conference.
The teams most likely to make the Final Four are now North Carolina 59%, Kansas 48%, Virginia 43%, and Oklahoma 35%. Note that only North Carolina has positive odds to make it. This is due to the spread of talent among this year’s field; seven more teams have chances of 15 to 30%, so odds are excellent that at least one of them will break into the Final Four.
The current top teams as ranked by Nate Silver have the following chances to win it all: Kansas 21%, North Carolina 19%, Virginia 13%, and Villanova, who have moved up to the fourth spot at 9%. Oklahoma is close behind at 7% and Texas A&M 4%. Fourth Number One seed Oregon is down to tenth most likely at only 3%; Duke is also at 3%. It is very interesting that the top favored team only has about a one in five chance of persevering and there is less than a 2/3 chance that any of the top four favored teams will make it. Again, the title will go to whoever is hot for the next two weekends. Who will that be?