Saturday, March 14, 2009

Selection Sunday eve thoughts

Wow! Has there been a year with more upsets in post-season tournaments? This year, we saw North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Michigan State, UCLA, Kansas, Oklahoma, and LSU among those who lost to lower seeded teams.

The question is "what does this mean for tomorrow's seeding?" Carolina was considered a one seed--will they now lose that status to Duke if the Blue Devils win the ACC Tournament? If so, it's a crime since the Tarheels won both meetings between the two schools this year. How about Oklahoma? Still a one...or slip to a two? Pitt? They could lose their status to Louisville if the Cardinals win tonight against Syracuse. Or, the Committee might give Pitt and the Ville both one seeds.

Memphis is the most consistent team in the nation right now but everyone knocks their competition in Conference USA.

What about a team like Missouri? The Tigers were the only one of the top four seeds in the Big 12 to advance in the post-season tournament, and ended up beating Baylor to win the conference's tourney championship. Does the Committee reward MU by elevating them to a 3 seed and even a possible appearance in the Sprint Center in Kansas City?

Unlike last year, when the four one seeds were pretty well-known prior to the Selection Show, tomorrow's final decisions should be much more dramatic.

My prediction? Pittsburgh, Louisville, North Carolina and Memphis. I think that Michigan State's loss as well as Oklahoma's loss have put them on the two line. Duke's RPI is high but how can you give them the one when UNC has beat them twice in the regular season and then also won the regular season championship? And, it will be hard to not place Memphis on the one line again--weak conference or not--given their consecutive wins, regular season league crown and post-season tournament title in Conference USA.

Let the Madness begin...

Other Quick Hit hoop thoughts:
- Some are suggesting that the Big Ten may get seven or even eight teams in the Big Dance. Huh!? Consider Wisconsin--they have a record of 17-12, an RPI of 44, and are 4-10 against teams in the top 50. Why are they deserving of a bid?
- Get ready, hoops fans. If you plan to watch a lot of hoops this coming Thursday-Sunday, plus the following two weekends, then you are going to see the same commercials over and over and over again. Let's hope AT&T, an NCAA sponsor, finds new creative to air versus that inane rollover minutes spot featuring the bitchy Mom.
- One projection has Missouri and Kansas, both as three seeds, being sent to Minneapolis for first round games. Can you imagine the fan bases of those two shools in the same regional site?
- As I watch Syracuse-Louisville, you can see fatigue playing a part in Syracuse's second half performance. The same occurred in Missouri's win over Baylor earlier this evening. It is very, very hard for any team to survive four games in four days, or to play the seven overtimes of Syracuse over two nights, and not feel the impact. Plus, playing againsts pressure-defense, deep teams like Louisville and Missouri only makes the fatigue more of a factor as the game progresses.

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