Bracketology 2021: Duke, Missouri and Xavier among week’s winners and losers

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Bracketology Missouri Tigers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Which teams from this past week had the biggest Bracketology impact from both a positive and negative perspective?

This past NCAA Basketball week gave us a lot of great games and results. There was the ACC/Big Ten Challenge among some leagues already starting conference games in the middle of December. The Bracketology implications are already there and with just a couple of weeks left of non-conference games, there’s now an urgency for some teams to start getting resume-building results.

Here are the five biggest winners and losers based on past results.

Winner – Missouri Tigers

The Tigers got next to no buzz coming into this season, despite bringing back a large portion of their production from the previous year. They did get a win over a ranked Oregon team to start off the season but that could’ve been a blimp. That proved not to be true, getting three crucial wins this week that included over No. 5 Illinois in the annual Braggin Rights rivalry game.

Add other solid wins such as Wichita State and Liberty and you have not only a team that will be ranked in the next set of polls but currently comfortable in the projected NCAA Tournament field. 5-0 Missouri has a pair of very winnable home games before the start of SEC and considering how vulnerable the preseason top-tier looks, it wouldn’t be a shock now if the Tigers competed for a spot of their own in the top-4.

Loser – Kentcuky Wildcats (and everyone who has played them so far)

While the second-half comeback was impressive and hopefully a sign of things to come for the team, Kentucky is now 1-4 so far with just a win over Morehead State. They’re nowhere near the top-25 polls or even any Bracketology projected fields. They still have games over UCLA and Louisville coming up but they need those just to get back to the surface.

And while this win helps make up for Notre Dame letting Ohio State slip from them in the second half, this win over Kentucky isn’t that impressive for them either right now. And the same would go towards Georgia Tech, Richmond, and Kansas, the other previous victors over the Wildcats. All of these teams are now rooting for Kentucky to go on a major run to make their own win look better but that won’t happen as long as the SEC juggernaut can’t get in the win column.

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