As an unprecedented college basketball season approaches its climax, there's still plenty that needs to be settled ahead of Selection Sunday.
Here are 10 storylines to watch in the final month before the Madness begins.
Gonzaga pursuing perfection
Typically, the AP Poll's No. 1 team changes frequently. Last season, six different squads held the top spot, with none doing so for longer than five weeks. This year, however, the No. 1 spot has been held solely by Gonzaga. Led by a dominant seven-man rotation, the Bulldogs pace the country in both points per game and field-goal percentage, and they sit at a perfect 15-0.
That shiny record hasn't come against poor competition either. They've played against four ranked teams and won all but one of their games over the entire season by double digits. At this point, there is virtually no debate on whether Gonzaga will enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated. The real question is: Can the Bulldogs run the table in March and win their first-ever national championship?
Duke, Kentucky could miss NCAA tourney
The last time both Duke and Kentucky failed to make the Big Dance was the 1975-76 campaign. The Blue Devils' season was always going to hinge on their freshmen, and that doesn't appear to be changing.
Second-year forward Matthew Hurt has been the only consistent performer on a team that's still searching for an identity. However, Duke could turn things around if DJ Steward continues his recent stretch of strong play and fellow freshman Jalen Johnsonplays to his potential.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats find themselves in a much tougher spot. John Calipari's squad sits five games under .500 with a daunting SEC schedule ahead. Kentucky ranks 15th in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency but has loads of trouble scoring. Five-star recruit Brandon Boston Jr. has been out of sync all season while Terrence Clarke didn't fare much better before going on the shelf.
Baylor eyes 1st regular-season conference title since 1950
Baylor nearly snapped its 71-year drought last season, finishing second in the Big 12 with a 15-3 mark. While the Bears look poised to accomplish bigger things in 2020-21, a regular-season conference title would formally validate the program's transformation under head coach Scott Drew.
Once known solely for its offense, Baylor is equally impressive on the defensive end. Guards Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell generate turnovers with their on-ball pressure, forward Mark Vital imposes his physicality on bigs and guards, and players on most of the team's five-man lineups can switch seamlessly with one another.
Baylor absolutely deserves to be considered a national championship favorite alongside Gonzaga. The Bears' lowest margin of victory is eight points, and they're currently the only school ranked in the nation's top three in KenPom's adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency.