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Mar
18
2017

What does the early lack of upsets and draw mean about the NCAA Field?

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By NCAA tournament standards, let’s be honest this has been a kind of dull tournament. Has their been a signature moment yet? An epic upset? No and no…

What is this telling us about the field? Coming in we knew the bubble was really weak. Those 7-11 seeds at large bids, were a lot of meh basketball teams. Rhode Island and Wichita State won as double digit seeds, but those are hardly classic Cinderella teams. Wichita State was a 30 win team, and both teams played fellow mid-majors Creighton and Dayton. Matching quality mid-majors against each other reduces the potential for those drama filled upsets in round 1.

Xavier did knock off Maryland, but probably the only true Cinderella team was Middle Tennessee over Minnesota. Oh wait that actually wasn’t an upset either as Middle Tennessee was a slight favorite in the game.

Also the prevailing thought is the mid-majors are catching up with the high-majors. Well maybe not… Not a single 13+ seed won a game in this tournament. The under-seeded at 12 Middle Tennessee was the highest winning seed. I have to agree with this tweet.

While the committee did an excellent of who to include in the field, the mis-seedings have helped reduce some drama.

For that matter how did South Carolina end up with basically 2 homes games as a 7 seed? Are there any round 2 potential upsets or classic games – I’m eyeing Wichita State vs Kentucky, Notre Dame vs West Virginia, Florida vs Virginia, UCLA vs Cincinnati

Sometimes it’s just sports though… It’s just random luck we didn’t see a single buzzer beating win. I expect the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 to be much better. There isn’t really an elite tier of basketball teams. There are probably 10-15 teams capable of winning the national title. Once they start playing each other you’ll see better games. Already in round 2 are several good looking games.

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