NCAA Tournament Quick Thoughts


Duke caught a major break in this season’s NCAA Tournament. Let’s just be honest about it.The Blue Devils not only landed a No 1 seed in the South, but they are locked into the easiest regional.

The first shock came when it was announced that Duke was the third No 1 team, over Syracuse. Obviously, this allowed Duke to go South instead of West. Personally though, I don’t see much of a difference. It’s not like Houston benefits Duke more or less than it would Syracuse.

Having said that, I’m not sure how Duke got pushed ahead of Syracuse. The committee says that it only looks at the full-body of work (i.e. the full season). If that’s the case, then Syracuse, who lost only three times all season in the toughest conference should be ahead of a five-loss Duke team.

Now someone might say that the Orange have lost two-straight, but it shouldn’t matter. Again, the committee says it doesn’t judge teams based on how they did at the end.

On top of that, the big argument is whether Duke or West Virginia should have gotten a No 1 seed. Both teams have impressive seasons, excellent RPI’s and SOS’s. Both teams have solid arguments. In the end, I’m guessing the committee took into account that Duke won both the regular season (shared it) and conference championship. West Virginia won the Big East Tournament, finishing third in the Big East. Again, that’s my guess.

My question is, if their resumes are so close, then why weren’t they placed in the same region? Why was West Virginia shipped to the East with Kentucky, the second best team in the country?

A reader pointed out this week that the committee doesn’t snake the teams, meaning if the No 4 team gets the final No 1 seed, then the No 5 team would get the two seed in the same conference, while the lowest No 2 seed would end up with the top team. Instead, they use regions to decide. Obviously this is insane.

It doesn’t make any sense that the two best teams (Kansas & Kentucky) have the two toughest No 2 seeds (Ohio State & West Virginia).

Although, I love knowing that everyone is crying their eyes out over this, especially Jason Mcintyre, who seems a bit focused on it tonight.

So what do we have in the south (other than Duke)? I’m just going to look at the top-nine.

No 2 VILLANOVA – They were No 1 once, for a brief moment, but they have dropped 6 of 10 games. Because of the recent slide, they’re clearly the worst of the No 2 seeds.

No 3 BAYLOR – Look for Bears to be a popular pick to reach the Final Four. Coach Drew has done an amazing job turning this program around (remember when one player shot and killed the other). The fact is, if the Bears reach the second weekend, they’ll have a home-field advantage.

No 4 PURDUE – I was actually praying that the Boilermakers stole a No 2 seed, but that was asking too much. With Hummell gone for the season, little scares me about Purdue.

No 5 TEXAS A&M – Like Baylor, you’re looking at a home field advantage for the Aggies. I completely think A&M takes care of business against Purdue, so the pro-Texas crowd will be begging for a Texas A&M and Baylor Elite Eight.

No 6 NOTRE DAME –   One of two Big East teams. They’ve gotten hot at the end and are capable of beating Baylor and Villanova and getting to the Elite Eight.

No 7 RICHMOND – A loss to St. Mary’s should be a popular first-round upset.

No 8 CALIFORNIA – I’d much rather face the Golden Bears in round two, so you know who I’m cheering for.

No 9 LOUISVILLE – Yep, a scary second-round match up. The Cardinals finished one-game ahead of Georgetown in the Big East and we all know what the Hoyas did to Duke in the regular season.