I’ll be updating this post throughout as Day 3 at the NCAA tournament comes to a close, but the first 2 rounds have really provided some revealing results. The results have led me to list some winner and losers from the first 3 days.
Winner – The Big 10 conference.
I don’t think anyone would argue that the Big 10 was this year’s best basketball conference, but an 8-1 start with Michigan and Michigan St. dismantling VCU and Memphis to get into the sweet 16 is still impressive.
Winner – The A-10 conference.
The growing basketball power conference went 6 for 6 in the first round.
Loser – The A-10 conference
The growing basketball power conference will lose Temple, Xavier, and Butler over the next couple of years and again the A-10 will relegated to a nice little basketball conference. Don’t you just love expansion? They will look back at 2013 as what could have been.
Winner – NCAA committee in regard to bubble teams
Great job by the committee on the bubble selections. Kentucky was left out and exited the NIT in their first game. Play in game teams St. Mary’s represented in 2 point loss to Memphis and LaSalle is in the round on the 32. When I think of other bubble teams ala Virginia, Tennessee, etc I really can’t argue that they should have been in the field.
Loser – NCAA committee in regard to team placement
The Midwest region looked loaded with Lousiville, Duke, and Michigan St, but given some of the results, you have to wonder what these guys were thinking in the board room. 3 potential final 4 teams and the only region with their top 3 seeds in the top 10. The regional semis and finals of this bracket could be better than than the final 4. That’s not a balanced region when you consider Louisville is the top overall seed.
Also given the struggles on Gonzaga and Kansas in their first round games, were they really deserving 1 seed? While I do think the Zags are overseeded by 2 to 4 spots, I’m ok with them as a 1. They simply didn’t lose the last few weeks. Kansas played poorly in their game 1st round game against Western Kentucky, and as we said here it never made sense that the Jayhawks were selected over Duke or Miami as a 1 seed. The Big 12 was not strong this year, and had 3 of their 5 representatives knocked out in the first round.
Oregon as a 12 seed was as bizarre on selection Sunday as it was when they routed 5 seed Oklahoma St. Thursday night. It was the easiest 12-5 upset pick in the history of college basketball. This made absolutely no sense. The Pac 12 had California another 12 seed win their first round game too. Upsets are great, they are the core of the NCAA tournament, but when teams are just seeded wrong it makes some of these upsets look hollow.
The committee’s mis-seeding continues to be apparent with Saturday night’s results. Gonzaga loss in the West to Wichita State leaves the West without the 1,3,4, and 5 seeds before the first Sunday of the tournament. That’s not college basketball parity that’s poor seeding and placement of teams.
Loser – Georgetown Hoyas
Death, Taxes, and Georgetown bowing out way to early in the NCAA tournament.
Winner – Harvard\Florida Gulf Coast
Harvard and Florida Gulf Coast winning their first ever NCAA games over highly ranked New Mexico and mighty Georgetown. This were legitimate shock the world upsets, that make the tourney great.
Loser – The public listening to Charles Barkley
I like Charles Barkley. I think he does a great job covering the NBA. He’s opinionated and brash. That’s make for great TV, but not when you cover something you obviously haven’t watched all year. Barkley’s college basketball analysis borders on non-existent. He doesn’t know the players and he doesn’t know the teams. Sweeping generalizations like you need to shoot a high percentage are something I can get from the neighbor’s kid. It’s too bad the actual college analysts are covering the games, because the primary CBS analysis has been “turrible”
Loser – Mid-Majors
Remember when recent tournament runs by George Mason, Butler, and VCU made it seem like college basketball parity was upon us? That mid-majors deserved more respect, more bids, and higher seedings? Last year mid-majors had 1 team Xavier in the Sweet 16, and none past that round.This Saturday the mid-majors took a beating. VCU, Butler, St. Louis, Memphis, Harvard, and Colorado St. all went down. Most of the games weren’t even competitive. Of course the class of the mid-major group Gonzaga went down in a whimper to the only mid-major, Wichita St. to advance.
In the future the committee may look with a closer eye at how many bids mid-majors get and where they are seeded. It’s clear the last 2 years they were given too much credit.
Winner – Gregg Marshall head coach Wichita State
Hey Greg that’s the UCLA AD on the phone. Marshall has joined Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens as names that will appear on the short list of every major head coaching job in the country.
We like to cover the ACC here. It’s been a respectable start for the conference as they went 3-1 in the first round. NC State continued to underachieve as again momentarily brilliance was marred by inconsistent and unfocused play against Temple. It’s been the story of their season. With the Duke, Miami, and UNC playing tomorrow we will take a look at them following their games Sunday.