Sunday, March 11, 2007

Top seed turvy (men)

After a weekend where only Ohio State, Florida, and Memphis managed to win without a struggle, the parity of college basketball is readily apparent. Anyone filling out their brackets this week can't feel all that confident about their choices.

I was too busy today to formulate my own final seedings in a timely fashion, but I have much to say about the slipshod job done in the official brackets. Generally, the ACC was vastly overrated -- Maryland and Virginia don't deserve 4 seeds, and Duke should be lower than a 6 -- and the Mountain West got jobbed. UNLV a 7? BYU an 8? Air Force out? I'm not a bubble expert, so someone explain to me why iffy teams like Purdue and Arkansas are in.

Also, Ohio State's favorable and well-earned Midwest Regional draw inexplicably went to Florida. Say what you will about the Big Ten this year, but it's still better than the SEC.

One thing the Selection Committee did right: my year-in-advance Final Four picks are all in different regions. Will I stick with Ohio State, UCLA, North Carolina, and 10-seed Georgia Tech? I have a few days to think about that.

The top 4 seeds of each regional in the official bracket, with my comments.

Midwest (St. Louis) Regional
01. Florida: What have they done lately against real teams?
08. Wisconsin: They need to find a scoring flow, and soon.
09. Oregon: A little high, but a favorable draw.
16. Maryland: A 6 seed at best. This is ridiculous.

East (Rutherford) Regional
02. North Carolina: Twice as many losses as Ohio State.
07. Georgetown: A trendy (and sensible) Final Four pick.
10. Washington State: You'll learn their names soon.
15. Texas: A trendy (and sensible) Elite Eight pick.

South (San Antonio) Regional
03. Ohio State: One year later, still my pick to win it all.
06. Memphis: Really deserve to be in a better conference.
11. Texas A&M: May face Louisville in Lexington.
14. Virginia: Committee's trying to justify ACC hype.

West (San Jose) Regional
04. Kansas: Deserve the 1, but still a little mysterious.
05. UCLA: So they wear blue jerseys when they cut the nets.
12. Pittsburgh: Good for them, but Louisville's a 6?
13. Southern Illinois: A fair 4, but should have been in St. Louis.


K-Lyn said...

"Maryland is a 6 seed at best. This is ridiculous"

Thank you for the quote. I've used this at work already with great sucess. As with learning another language I think it is finding the inflection and tone that is important. It's not what you say but how you say it.

Quinn said...

Try these also:

"Oregon is peaking at the right time."

"You can't stop Oden. You can only hope to contain him."

"Duke sucks."

K-Lyn said...

"Duke sucks"? THAT bad? I have them penciled in to beat VCU and Pittsburg. Do they suck so bad I should not?

Quinn said...

No, Duke doesn't suck. But they are overranked. Pick them over VCU, think twice about picking them over Pitt.

That said, it is still a phrase that will win you points with lots of people.

Neel Mehta said...

You could go for local flavor and say:

"I wish Duke and Oregon were in the same region so they could play each other in the second round. The Ducks would crush them. Who's with me?"

Express your frustration with making your picks; others will identify:

UNLV vs. Georgia Tech in the first round? What do they want me to do, flip a coin?"

If you're really daring, you could try the following in case people are talking about Georgetown:

"They've got Patrick Ewing playing and John Thompson coaching. What is this, 1984?"

Absent-minded Secretary said...

Okay, I am going to show my ignorance... How does BYU qualify as South; Oregon, Midwest; Indiana, West; and Texas, East?

Neel Mehta said...

How does BYU qualify as South; Oregon, Midwest; Indiana, West; and Texas, East?

That's a fair question. When they assign teams to brackets, they're supposed to keep teams from the same conference as far apart as possible.

So, in the Pac-10, UCLA is considered the best team and stayed in the West, where they'll play in San Jose if they survive the first two rounds. That means Oregon CAN'T play in San Jose, so the Ducks have to be shipped elsewhere. Should they win their first two games, Oregon goes Midwest (St. Louis).

Similarly, Indiana plays in the West because better Big Ten teams got assigned to closer regions: Wisconsin in Midwest (St. Louis), Ohio State in South (San Antonio). And Texas goes East because Kansas (West, San Jose) and Texas A&M (South, San Antonio) had better seasons.

BYU is tricky because it's against religious beliefs to play on Sunday. That eliminates the Midwest and the East, which would play their 4th round games on Sunday of next week. So why the South instead of the West? No idea. Fellow Mountain West Conference team UNLV got shipped Midwest, so it's not that.

Neel Mehta said...

Oh, and in case you're wondering, these four cities (San Jose; St. Louis; San Antonio; East Rutherford, NJ) win bids to host these regionals 2 or so years in advance. Atlanta was probably selected as the Final Four location even earlier.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

Thanks. I feel better now that I understand. I was having a hard time dealing with idea of Oregon moving to the Midwest. Without the mountains or beaches, Oregon would loose it's perfectness.

Quinn said...

Plus, this way, Oregon plays its first two rounds in Spokane, WA. And my folks can ponder making the trip.