Thoughts on the Final Tournament Bracket
Despite the fact this was one of my worst years ever (64/65 teams; only 50/65 within one line), Guerrero’s Committee did a perfectly fine job of selecting the field. As I wrote in my Bubble Breakdown earlier this morning, I have no problem with the Gators being selected over Illinois. I don’t think the Illini, or Bulldogs, or Hokies, or anyone else has any legitimate complaint about being snubbed.
However, I found a number of seedings completely bizarre.
Temple: There is no way the Owls are a 5-seed. This team won the A-10 regular season AND postseason Tournament and beat Villanova and Siena in the non-conference season. And to put them against a very dangerous #12 seed in Cornell, when Michigan State gets overseeded New Mexico State in another region, adds insult to injury.
California: I thought the Bears would get plenty of lobby from Dan Guerrero, but an 8 seed? When teams with comparable resumes like UTEP and Utah State are seeded as 12s (which I don’t have a problem with), how do you look at the Bears as four spots better? Let alone a spot ahead of Northern Iowa!
San Diego State / UNLV: These teams basically had the same wins, and SDSU won the tie-breaker on UNLV’s home court last night. The only possible explanation is that the Committee seeded the Rebels and Aztecs on Saturday morning, before the Mountain West Final. But if that was the case, why not swap them based on the outcome?
Wake Forest: How does a 9-8 team in a very down ACC get into an 8-9 game? Only if they’d finished strongly…had they lost to Clemson the last game of the year, they might have missed the Tournament entirely!
A few final thoughts:
- The Committee broke its own seeding rules TWICE in placing West Virginia and Marquette, and Villanova and Notre Dame in the same subregionals. I understand the Big East was very good this year, but surely Notre Dame and Marquette were not natural #6 seeds. Oh, wait. Apparently they were. Part of this was caused by putting Villanova at a 2, which was also bizarre.
- Purdue was seeded appropriately as 4 after the injury to Robbie Hummel. But why not put them in Kansas’ region as the weakest overall #4? Instead, Kansas has to run a possible gamut of Maryland/Mich State, Georgetown, and possibly Syracuse to make the national championship game.
- There’s no way Duke had a better resume than Syracuse. I actually would have been fine with West Virginia as the #1 in the South and Syracuse in the West. But not Duke.
- Duke may have to go through both Texas A&M and Baylor in Houston to make the Final Four, not exactly an easy road for a supposed #1 seed.
Would love to hear your comments below.