Sunday, March 14, 2010

Selection Sunday analysis

Posted by Rick Morris

UPDATED: Post-selection notes follow the analysis heading into the selection show.

FDH Chief NCAA Hoops Correspondent Nate Noy has been studying the brackets with greater fervor than any other analyst and he has released his thoughts heading into the final Sunday games.

^ The #1 seeds look to be awarded in the following order: Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and West Virginia. That would knock Ohio State to the top of the #2s, to be joined by Syracuse, Kansas State and Villanova. The #3s should be as follows: Purdue, Butler, Tennessee and Temple (or possibly Georgetown), leaving the either of those two to be joined in the #4s by New Mexico (also possibly a #3), Pittsburgh and Michigan State.

^ The last four in look to be Cal, Minnesota, Mississippi State and UNLV (with Oklahoma State having been the next team in line if Mississippi State had won the automatic bid from the SEC). The last four out look to be Utah State, Seton Hall, Illinois and Mississippi.

^ Out of the 31 conferences, 18 should be limited to a single seed.

^ Three non-major conferences should get two teams: Conference USA, the West Coast Conference and the WAC. The Atlantic 10 should get three and the Mountain West has three locks and should have four overall.

^ Out of the major conferences, the Pac 10 should have two bids, the ACC should have seven, the Big 12 should have seven, the Big East should have eight, the Big 10 should have four and the SEC should have four.


Here is a printable bracket.

Nate predicted 63 of the 65 teams successfully, with only the "trava-sham-mockeries" of Utah State and Florida making it in over Mississippi State and Virginia Tech. The Hokies suffered for not being a traditional hoops power and the Gators got the benefit of being a highly visible program that the committee no doubt feels will pull well on television. And inamuch as the official scorekeeper seemed to allow for an entire game's worth of action when Kentucky got the putback to send today's game into overtime, sending the Bulldogs to the NIT seems unduly harsh.

Other observations:

^ Kansas got a bracket entirely inconsistent with being the #1 overall seed with Ohio State and Georgetown lurking as potential Elite Eight matchups. Georgetown has a tough 3-14 game with underseeded and screwed-over Ohio, but the Hoyas have an overwhelming stylistic edge here.

^ Tennessee stands out as the major conference team that got the biggest shaft in terms of seeding. By and large, though, it was the mid-majors who saw their representatives get underseeded, with Temple and BYU standing out in particular. At least the Cougars will be playing a wildly overseeded Florida squad, so it evens out to a small extent. The Owls, however, draw a Cornell squad that is also woefully underseeded.

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