By The Minutes' estimation, there are 11 teams still in the running to land the four No. 1 NCAA tournament seeds, which should make the jockeying for position intense and interesting down the stretch.
In an attempt to prioritize the contenders, The Minutes combined the 11 teams' rankings in the AP Top 25, RPI, Sagarin Ratings and Ken Pomeroy's numbers. The lower the number, the better:
The case for: The nation's best offensive team is the sole leader in the nation's best conference. That's a good place to start. In a season defined by parity and unpredictability, Indiana gained some separation from the national pack the last couple of weeks with four straight victories, including road triumphs at Ohio State and Michigan State. The Hoosiers are 4-0 against other teams on this list. Their three losses are by a total of nine points.
The case against: There isn't much of one. But if you insist, Pomeroy rates Indiana's conference strength of schedule 12th in the 12-team Big Ten. It certainly is easier than Michigan State's (second hardest, per Pomeroy).
The stretch run: at Minnesota on Tuesday, Iowa on Saturday, Ohio State on March 5, at Michigan on March 10. Certainly no cakewalk, but it would probably take three losses in that stretch to loosen the Hoosiers' grasp on a No. 1 seed heading into the Big Ten tournament.