<sigh>. Why didn’t Alabama play Florida in the BCS Corporate Title Game this past season? Or Ohio State take on Michigan in the 2006 season’s version? What am I talking about? Three number one seeds from the Big East!? Are you kidding!?!? It seems as though the NCAA wants to see the Big East tournament again…along with ol’ reliable North Carolina. Essentially that is what is being stated; if all four #1’s win again, then it will be a Big East party.
And spare me with the Memphis being a number two is just as good as a number one (and that they are the fifth overall since Connecticut is the fourth overall). It is a slap in the face of Memphis to have them NOT ONLY be a number two, but to have a less deserving team be the number one in their own region! PLUS, Missouri was also slighted with a number three seed and will likely give Memphis their toughest test. In fact, I have Missouri knocking out Memphis. (My bracket was filled out by Matt Jones). Memphis is in the Region of Doom and this set-up proves the uselessness of the polls.
As for snubs, I am tired of hearing about St. Mary’s and the fact that they were not the same after the injury Patty Mills. First off, it proves that they are a one-dimensional team that relies to heavily on Mills (I know they had Diamon Simpson and Omar Samhan, but it was clear they were not the same team afterwards). Yet, people harp on that they are the biggest snub. But why is Davidson not receiving the same attention? They were in a similar situation as once Stephen Curry was injured; they just were not the same. Davidson played a tougher non-conference schedule (if you ask me). St. Mary’s was carried by a slighty stronger conference due primarily to Gonzaga. I do think that the struggles without Curry proves Davidson rely to heavily on Curry. But if people are going to argue for St. Mary’s because one should take Mills’ injury into account, then the same should be made for Davidson.
The biggest snubs to me were San Diego State and Auburn. San Diego State had an RPI of 34 — better than Marquette, Texas A&M, LSU, Cal, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland, Boston College, and Arizona. That’s eleven teams!!!!!!! Are you telling me that SDSU is not better than at least ONE of those teams!? Their strength of schedule was better than UCLA, Clemson, Wake Forest, Marquette, Texas A&M, LSU, California and Boston College…just to name a few. What likely doomed the Aztecs was the fact that they lacked a signature win, but yet again what is the point of having a strength ranking like RPI if it does not reward teams ranked highly in it!!! And Auburn was a hotter team down the stretch than certainly Wisconsin or Minnesota. And if there had to be another Big Ten team, it should have been Penn State who had a better conference record than Minnesota and Michigan and split the series with both teams.
Teams in that should not be there — Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. I think Arizona got in on name and early wins over teams that were not the same as those playing late in the season (Gonzaga and Kansas). In fact, I think that Michigan and Arizona were both rewarded for early season wins, whereas the same rubric was not used for a team like St. Mary’s. Wisconsin and Minnesota struggled down the stretch, which usually warrants punishment and a team not making the tourney. Yet, here they are with their really boring styles of basketball!
Last bit of bickering is the play-in game. First, stop calling it the “opening round”; it is a play-in game to go get slaughtered by the top seed overall. It basically says to the teams, “Neither of you are good enough to even be in the tournament, but since we have to accept you because of silly ‘automatic bids,’ we will have an opening round game.” I hate this concept of 65 teams and think that it is a huge slap in the face for those conferences and those two teams. And, except for the first play-in game, there has always been one HBCU team in this match-up. Alabama State is representing the SWAC this year in the “You’re Not Good Enough” game. Of course Morgan State, the other HBCU coming from the MEAC, is a 15th-seed. Good luck.
Overall, after perusing the brackets and seedings a couple of times, there is nothing really thrilling about this year’s tournament. A lot of ho-hum match-ups with some questionable seedings. But overall, in terms of the teams that are there and where they are seeded, I have no real qualms.
Breakdown of the regions and matchups later.