Monday, March 13, 2006


My reaction to the bracket

I was pretty much in shock after watching the Selection Show Sunday for three reasons: 1) The selections themselves (two in particular), 2) the seedings, and 3) for the shabby treatment given to Selection Committee Chair Craig Littlepage by Jim Nantz and Billy Packer. While I don't agree with much of what the committee did this year, the reaction of the top announcing team wasn't very graceful. One suggestion in particular drives me batty. Packer suggested that the committee use a five-year chart to evaluate teams. To me, this can lead to only one thing...setting the number of bids per conference based on money/drawing power (bowl games) or some goofy, mathematical coefficient system (UEFA Champions League). Each season must be taken independently. This is NOT the NBA. Players only have four years to play and often transfer. You'll mix freshmen, juco transfers, and upperclassmen every year. Coaches are hired and fired. In other words, this isn't the answer. Perhaps the committee following its own rules would be a start.

To me, one of those rules was blatently violated in terms of seeding this year. Past results played entirely too much of a role in seeding teams this year, particularly from some of the one-bid leagues. My second alma mater, Milwaukee, was a beneficiary of an 11 seed, when they should've gotten a 13. This team isn't as good as they were last season. Granted, there isn't a 12 or a 13 I'd necessarily move up to an 11 (except for Bradley, who I projected as a 10). Certainly not Montana, who didn't win the Big Sky regular season title, nor Utah State, who shouldn't even be in the field. (It's kind of funny that I'm trashing these teams, considering I think two of them will win their first round games...but they got good matchups.) Pacific got a 13 seed, which was a shock, since both they and the Big West are down this year. They're another team who could fortuitously spring an upset, thanks to the committee shipping Boston College to play on a Thursday in Salt Lake City after a knock-down, drag-out run through the ACC tournament.

But that gets me into picks...which will be coming tomorrow night.

I also will argue with Tennessee as a 2. That's really the only huge argument with the top four lines. You could quibble with Kansas' 4 and Iowa's 3, but I didn't think either one of those was too outlandish. As for the Vols, while they should be ahead of UF, since they did beat the Gators twice, they haven't finished well. Therefore, UNC should really be ahead of them. Jay Bilas mentioned on ESPN's Bracketology show that he thought they had been moved up a line for bracketing purposes. Are you telling me they didn't have another way to correct an issue like that?

If you want some real insight (including how Western Kentucky, not Cincinnati or Michigan or Florida State, was the next team up), read Andy Katz's column on today. I recommend this if you have a cold and need your head to explode.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?