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Miscellany

NCAA Tournament Bracket Analysis: East & West Loaded; Southwest & Southeast Not So Much

The NCAA Tournament field is set. Your #1 seeds are Ohio State, Kansas, Pittsburgh, and Duke. In looking over the regions, I would rate the West as the toughest, and the East close behind. Those two regions happen to be on the same side of the bracket.

The committee seeded Texas as a #4 in the West, opposite Duke in a potential Sweet 16 matchup. I had them as a #2, recognizing it was possible that they drop to a #3. I thought they should have been in the discussion for a #1 if they had managed to beat Kansas in the title game for a second time this year. Boy, was I wrong.

San Diego State is also in that region. They may not have the sexy name or reputation, but what San Diego State has, along with the other top teams in that region (Connecticut, Texas and Duke), is legitimate NBA talent.  Three of the top 6 teams in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings are in this region, plus the Big East tourney champ, who already did something harder than winning the NCAA tournament.

The East, meanwhile, has several teams capable of making a run to the Final Four. Congratulations, Ohio State, for getting the #1 overall seed. You get North Carolina, Syracuse, and Kentucky as a #4 seed, who just destroyed the #2 seed in Pittsburgh’s region, Florida, in the SEC Championship game. Washington, who just won the Pac-10 and has rated higher in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings than public perception, is also a #7 in this region.

Meanwhile, Kansas should have a relatively easy path to the Final Four and title game.

I’ll have more thoughts later, but the committee’s choices seemed to follow no rhyme or reason. Texas, a team that is ranked highly in all rankings I have seen, even the RPI, dropping to a 4. Utah State is in the top 20 in RPI, but they made them a 12 seed, while UAB got in exclusively on a lower, but still in the top 40, RPI, and seeded higher than Utah State, when the actual resume lacked anything resembling quality.

[photo via Getty]

 

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