Special to Outkick from SBR:
There is no longer a dispute as to which team is tops in the nation. The Virginia Cavaliers continued their season-long assault with a thrilling win over Louisville followed by a victory over Notre Dame. Let’s check out our Fab Five in college hoops for the week of March 5th.
1. Virginia (28-2 SU, 18-9 ATS) – The Cavaliers refuse to lose. If you are reading this then you know exactly what I am talking about and are still marveling over the reversal of fortune that smiled on Virginia in their mind-boggling 67-66 victory over host Louisville last Thursday. Virginia followed that win up with another over Notre Dame on Saturday, although in less heart-palpitating fashion and emerges as the undisputed king of the ACC. Now that the regular season is a wrap, the Cavaliers will await the winner of the Florida State/Louisville second-round ACC tournament matchup. The hope here is that we will see a rematch with the Cardinals but regardless, the Cavaliers, unranked to start the season, are a virtual lock for a No. 1 seed at the Big Dance.
2. Gonzaga (29-4 SU, 13-17 ATS) – All the Bulldogs do is win yet they are no better than No. 6 in the nation in most of the major polls. Well, I’m here to tell you that outside of Virginia, I’d put my money on them any day of the week. As a matter of fact, I did just that after checking out SBR odds before they took on San Francisco in the semifinals of the WCC tournament. The Zags crushed as 13-point favorites, courtesy of an 88-60 win, and I smiled all the way to the bank. Once they polish off BYU in the conference finals can we give this team a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday?
3. Xavier (27-4 SU, 20-11 ATS) – Yes, the X-Men deserve this spot ahead of their Big East rivals Villanova because all they did this year was set a school record for regular-season wins and locked up the top seed in the Big East with a 65-62 win over DePaul on Saturday. Was that win over lowly DePaul closer than it should have been? Hell yeah, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to put the plunger to them and topple the Musketeers from their rightful place at No. 3 in the country. Make sure you check out all the pregame write-ups at SBR picks before you pull the trigger on making a bet on Xavier or any other team for that matter.
4. Michigan State (29-4 SU, 15-17 ATS) – The Spartans have been battling Virginia for the top spot in the nation for much of the season. But their 75-64 loss to crosstown rival Michigan put an end to that debate as well as their dreams of becoming Big Ten Conference champions. Okay, so get over it. Michigan State will most likely be a No. 1 seed when March Madness gets underway and they deserve that respect. However, that sobering loss to the Wolverines will either wake them up or get them down. This is where a team’s character comes into question but we believe in the Spartans and so should you. Before you back the Spartans with your cold hard cash, make sure you check out the best online sportsbooks that the industry has to offer. After all, if you’re gonna play you better get paid when your teams covers the number. These books guarantee that happens so check’em out.
5. Villanova (27-4 SU, 20-11 ATS) – You think I’d be a bit kinder to the Wildcats but there’s always a very good team that seems to impress everyone else but you. To a certain extent that applies to Villanova this season and their narrow overtime victory over Seton Hall as 7 ½ point road chalk bears out my reticence regarding this Cat crew. However, they annihilated Georgetown in the last game of the regular season by the score of 97-73 and they deserve a spot in our Fab Five. That said…I’ve got my eye on your Villanova.