Are you filling out your brackets yet? If you are, put your pencils down for a moment.
Bracketology isn’t exact science. It’s “fun” science. The inner Bob Knight, Digger Phelps, and Bill Raftery in us revel at this time of the year. Selection Sunday is one of those sports “holidays” on the calendar. The world around us stops when the Super Bowl, the start of the football season, baseball Opening Day, and Selection Sunday rolls around.
I find it amusing to listen to the reaction from coaches and pundits about who “deserved” to be in, who got left out, who was seeding, and where they were going.
With that said, let’s get to the big details. UNI did not get “screwed” with a #9 seed (vs. #8 UNLV, Thursday, 6:20pm, Oklahoma City). They were “punished” with a #9 seed because of who they lost to (DePaul, Bradley, and Evansville. Wichita State was a “good” loss). I commented on Twitter that even though the Panthers were going to make it to the tournament, the committee was going to stick it to them for the Bradley and Evansville loss.
The fans may not like it, but Ben Jacobson and his boys don’t care. When the selection show was over, they had an impromptu practice last night. They’re not complaining about seedings, like Bob Huggins of West Virginia is. Here’s an interesting fact about Huggins, courtesy of ESPN’s Colin Cowherd. Huggins’ teams, Cincinnati and now WVU, have bowed in the first two rounds of the Big Dance 10 out of the last 12 times. Why? Because Huggins is too busy whining and his teams see that, and in turn, they play like a team who doesn’t want to be there.
Memo to Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg: shut up. For the second year in a row, the committee decided that your team wasn’t going to be in the tournament because you don’t schedule good teams. Playing the Sisters of the poor isn’t going to cut. UNI’s strength of schedule was 168. VaTech? 317. UNI plays in a mid-major league. VaTech’s in the ACC.
Stop scheduling Longwood, Maryland-Baltimore County, and N.C. Central.
Initial thoughts of the brackets, since today is Monday…
The knockout region: Midwest. Kansas, Sparty, Ohio St., and Georgetown headline this region. The toughest region overall.
Who got a Christmas gift: Duke. Though Villanova and Louisville could pose problems, Duke has three starters who can score. Name another team in the South region that has more than one scorer. This could be a walk in the park, unless Texas A&M or Baylor get to the regional.
Watch your back, ’cause you may not last: Butler, Xavier, BYU, Clemson, and Marquette.
Trends: With the exception of George Mason (#13 seed), teams that make it to the Final Four are seeded #6 or higher. 9.5 out of 10 times, teams seeded #13 or lower will be done in the 1st round.
Prediction: who you got as the new Iowa coach?
Who is on your “wish” list? Let everyone know and why.