Wichita State got the #1 seed in the Midwest Region, as the reward for an undefeated season. Congratulations, Shockers. Your reward is a region loaded with talent and top teams. Quick, can you ask the committee to send you East as the 2 seed?
Here’s how ridiculous the seeding is, and it’s pretty clear that the committee doesn’t actually look up from their Top 50 RPI breakdown to watch basketball.
Wichita State is probably going to end the season ranked 2nd or 3rd, depending on if the voters jump them over Arizona. Expect the Louisville Cardinals to finish ranked 4th overall, rolling through people, blowing out Connecticut by over 30 in the season finale, before beating Rutgers by 61 (!!) on the way to the title. Is Louisville the 2 seed? No, they are the 4 seed. The region has 3 of the top 7 teams in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, and 5 of the top 17.
In order to advance, Wichita State, themselves a top 5 caliber team, may have to beat a team rated in Pomeroy’s top 20 in every game on the way to the Final Four.
- Kentucky got an 8 seed. This is baffling. Sure, the Wildcats went 0-3 against Florida, but pretty much everyone lost to Florida. They are in the top 20 in Pomeroy, the RPI, and could be ranked. (I thought they would get a 6). Kentucky still has to beat Kansas State, who played plenty of good competition, but if they advance, Wichita State gets a preseaon top 4 team with young talent.
- Louisville as a 4 seed. Covered above, but Louisville is #2 in Pomeroy’s ratings. Oh, and they won the title last year, and are coached by Rick Pitino, and they are probably pissed about their seeding and ready to lay a beat down on some teams.
- Michigan as a 2 seed or Duke as a 3 seed. Michigan won the Big Ten title before losing in the championship game. Earlier today, most people had them as the final 1 seed. Duke was considered a 2 until the loss to Virginia. Basically, there are three 2 seeds in this bracket.
So congratulations, Wichita State. The committee rewarded you with a 1 seed. Be careful what you wish for, and don’t dare embarrass us again.
[UPDATE: Las Vegas agrees. One sports book director told the Las Vegas Sun that six of the Top 20 teams in the country are stuffed in the Midwest.]