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And then there were eight.
The second straight weekend of NCAA Tournament action is now in the books. The Sweet Sixteen has come and gone, and now we move on to the Elite Eight. Those four games will take place on Monday and Tuesday, but how should the remaining teams be seeded?
OutKick founder Clay Travis has a pretty good idea. During OutKick the Coverage on Monday morning, Clay shared how he would re-seed the remaining eight teams. It’s an order that may surprise you too.
Before getting into his current rankings, Clay clarified that the original seeding of teams doesn’t matter as much now as it did in the first couple of rounds.
“One of the things I like to do is toss all the seeding out of the picture here,” Clay said. “I know it’s hard not to think about the number beside all of the teams, but by the time you get to the Sweet Sixteen or the Elite Eight, it starts to matter less.”
Of course, Clay still believes Gonzaga is going to go undefeated and win it all. And after this incredible winning streak, it’s hard to argue against that selection. From there, things get really interesting.
After calling Oregon State a “scrub team” following their opening round win against Tennessee, the Beavers have been on an impressive run. The latest is a solid victory over Loyola Chicago, which had been one of the hottest teams in the Tournament.
That run has earned Clay’s respect, and they now check in at the No. 2 spot of his re-seeding rankings.
“I got to give credit, credit where credit is due,” Clay said. “Oregon State, who I called a scrub team after they beat Tennessee, I think has been the second-best team so far in the NCAA Tournament. Doesn’t mean I necessarily think they’re going to beat Houston tonight or that they’re the second-best team left of the eight.
“I’m saying if you were judging the teams entirely based on what you have seen so far in the NCAA Tournament, while also assessing the quality of the competition with which they have done it against, I think you would have to say Gonzaga is No. 1, Beavers are No. 2. I really do.”
Whoa, talk about changing someone’s mind. Based off the body of work, it’s also hard to argue against that statement. But where do things go from here? How do the other six teams rank for Clay? Well, here you go.
- Oregon State
Now, there’s an argument to be made for USC landing ahead of Oregon State, as Clay and producer mention. Clay even believes the Trojans could be the biggest threat to the Zags. There’s some debate to be had in the middle of the rankings, but Clay is confident in his list.
Do you agree or disagree? How would you rank them?
You’ll be able to get more in-depth analysis on how Clay reached his reseeding order when the latest OutKick the Coverage show hits podcast form later today.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.