Sunday, March 14, 2010

Initial Thoughts On The Bracket

The bracket is out, and here are my immediate thoughts on it:

Did they get the correct 65 teams? I think they actually did a really good job here. I said that the two teams in my BP65 I thought I might have missed on were Minnesota and Virginia Tech, and that the only team I left out that I thought had a good shot of getting in was Florida. It turned out that the one I missed was Florida in for Virginia Tech. So I don't have a problem with that at all. That said... Florida as a 10? That's one of the more inexplicable seedings in this bracket.

Did they get the correct 1 and 2 seeds? I think so. I nailed all four 1 seeds, and in order. And I got all of the 2 seeds. So I'm happy with that.

What about inexplicable seedings? There are enough that I feel the need to list them one by one:

Florida as a 10: This doesn't make sense to me. Florida had to be either the last or second to last team in the field. Now we did have a bunch of auto bids taking up 11 or 12 spots, but I'd still have given Florida a 12. My guess is that Florida was an 11 that was moved to a 10 for logistical reasons.

UNLV three lines ahead of San Diego State: I was only half joking in the comments to my final BP65 when I asked if the Selection Committee knew that San Diego State won the Mountain West title game. UNLV was probably a bit ahead of San Diego State going into that game, but shouldn't SDSU move ahead with the win? I can rationalize still having UNLV one or two spots ahead, but three whole seed lines? It's hard to think of another school that has been screwed more by the Selection Committee over the last half decade than San Diego State.

Tennessee as a 6: I can see how Tennessee's resume might look weak with only two RPI Top 50 wins, but those two wins came over the top two ranked teams in the nation. And they had a ton of other quality wins and finished with an ELO_CHESS of 17th. And while I'm not going to get into individual draws until another post later tonight, not only was Tennessee dropped to a six, but they were given by far the the toughest draw of any six seed. In fact, I can't recall any 6 seed ever getting a tougher draw. If I was a Tennessee fan I'd be very mad.

Northern Iowa as a 9: You have to wonder what else Northern Iowa had to do. I know that they had a soft schedule, and I had dropped them all the way to a 7 seed, but a 9 is really rough. And what makes it stick out even further is that the 8 seed that they're playing is UNLV, a team that basically everybody had thought would be seeded several lines behind Northern Iowa.

Notre Dame as a 6: This might have been the most inexplicable decision of all. I know that everybody jokes about how no matter how bad the Notre Dame football team is, somebody in the polls throws them in the Top 25, but basketball is not football. The Irish finished well over the last two weeks, but it wasn't until the last win or two that they even got in the Tournament. The Selection Committee is basically saying that Notre Dame's last two wins moved them from the bubble all the way up to a 6 seed?

The Big East overrated in general: I pointed out last year that the Big East was way over-seeded, while the Big Ten was screwed. This year I think that every conference got a fair treatment (I certainly don't think any Big Ten team can have a complaint this year)... except the Big East again. When putting together my bracket I took into account a little bit of pro-Big East bias, but obviously not nearly enough. I'm fine with where Syracuse, West Virginia, Georgetown and Villanova were all seeded, but Pitt, Marquette and Notre Dame are all out of position. I correctly nailed Pitt as a 3, but that's because I anticipated the Big East bias: Pomeroy rates them 30th, and Sagarin has them 32nd. They're the weakest 3 team in the draw. And both Marquette and Notre Dame are outrageous 6 seeds. Both teams, with two fewer wins, would have been left out. So the Selection Commitee thinks that two Big East tournament wins moves a team from an 11/12 up to a 6? Only in the warped world of ESPN Big East bias is that the case.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Here's a way of looking at the Notre Dame nonsense. Compare them to Minnesota. Notre Dame(should) have come into the conference tournaments as an 11 or 12 seed, and Minnesota presumably came in about nine spots out. Then they both come up with two big wins in the conference tournament. What happens?

Minnesota jumps about 10 bubble or worse teams and lands on an 11 seed.

Notre Dame jumps about 20 bubble, weak tournament, and decent tournament teams, and lands on a 6 seed.

(Just to be clear, I'm absolutely not saying that the mistake here was the Minnesota seeding, but the Notre Dame one)