Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bracket Reaction

After a Championship Week that included upsets and surprises galore, why would Selection Sunday be any different? The Selection Committee has been prone to some interesting selections over the past few years, and this year’s bracket joined that group.

- Chief among those picks is Oregon as a No. 9 seed – many bracketologists did not even have the Ducks in the NCAA Tournament. Some of the biggest snubs were Illinois State, Virginia Tech and Arizona State; three teams who all had better conference tournament performances than Oregon.

- In terms of seeding, there were a lot of surprising decisions. Duke as a No. 2 over Wisconsin shouldn’t have happened, in my opinion. The Badgers have lost two games in the past three months, while Duke didn’t win its regular-season or conference tournament title.

- Butler, who seemingly had a profile worthy of top-four consideration, was relegated to a No. 7 seed – playing against South Alabama in Birmingham. Seems fair…

- Kansas State and Baylor were both dropped to No. 11 seeds after their less-than-impressive finishes. That Michael Beasley vs. O.J. Mayo match-up in round one should be outstanding.

- Pittsburgh went from a team struggling down the stretch to a No. 4 seed after its Big East Tournament run. The Committee obviously weighs conference tournament performance very strongly.

- How did Vanderbilt get a four seed? The Commodores have lost three of their last five, are just 4-6 on the road and lost in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.

- Indiana dropped all the way to a No. 8 seed – looking at resumes, I’m not sure how the Hoosiers had a worse resume than Miami (Fl.), West Virginia, Gonzaga and Oklahoma. I wonder if this would have happened if Kelvin Sampson was still around.

Even with all the surprises, though, I think that the Committee did a good job, as the only really questionable inclusion was Oregon and only a few teams had seeds entirely different than most people projected. With the brackets finally released, it’s time to take the focus off “Who’s In, Who’s Out?” and put it on the actual match-ups. The NCAA Tournament has finally begun.


  1. You ask how VANDY got a four seed, and not Washington State?

    Vandy's RPI (12), SOS (41), and 13 wins vs. the top 100 all warrant the seed.

    A lot of people are bad on the road, not just Vandy. I think people overblow our road performance ONLY because our home dominance was so well documented.

  2. Washington State had an RPI of 21, SOS of 46, 12 wins vs. the top-100...but here's the reason that WSU is fine as a four-seed: the Cougs were 15-4 away from home. Vandy was 7-7.

  3. Yes, that's the ONE advantage WSU has over Vanderbilt. (and by the way, 4 of those "away from home" games were "semi-home" games played in the state of Washington against out of state opponents).

    That record is very good, but Vandy seems to have an advantage in every other category that the NCAA committee looks at, such as:

    Last 12 games (VU 9-3 WSU 7-5)
    wins vs. top 100

    Where's that REAL marquee win for WSU?

    People really overblow this road record thing...Vandy had a worse road record last year and were a blown travel call away from the elite 8.