Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The NCAA tournament committee is really messing with me

The men's college basketball rankings (AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll) come out every Monday all season long.  But when the tournament bracket is announced on Sunday night, most people tend to forget/not care about the final regular season polls that are released the next day.

It's interesting to see how much the rankings can differ from the tournament seeding.  For example, Louisville is #3 in the Coaches Poll, but received a #4 seed in the tourney; meaning the committee thought they are somewhere between the 13th and 16th best team in the country.

Similarly Duke is ranked #6, but was handed a #3 seed that would put them in the 9-12 range.  On the other hand UMass somehow earned a #6 seed (teams 21-24), despite being well outside of the top 25 at season's end.

So why does all this bother me?  There are exactly two schools in this tournament I'm rooting for, UMass and Michigan.  The committee created a draw that gives them both a very good chance of being eliminated by Duke, the New York Yankees of college basketball.

Remember how much more it fun it was to fill out paper brackets?  From March of 2012:
The internet has kinda ruined tourney pools
NCAA Bracket advice: Nobody really knows anything


  1. As you know the committee's seedings are based on a year's resume. The rankings are based on where they are right now. Considering Umass tickled the top ten early and have since flamed out... a six is about right. Louisville didn't play anybody out of conference (well they lost to UNC and probably played one or two other tournament teams) and only had two or three worthwhile opponents in conference. They may be the third best team in the country but if you don't play anybody and your conference is down apparently the committee will punish you. As much as we've heard how underseeded Louisville and Michigan State (for entirely different reasons) are... their resumes don't deserve much better. Anyway, Umass won't get past TN and Michigan is better than Duke. For your sake, I hope Duke doesn't smash both your teams.

    1. You make a very good argument. Agree that Tennessee probably beat UMass. I think Michigan and Duke are about even, and considering Iowa St.and Creighton are also #3s, I think the Wolverines and Blue Devils both got the raw end of the deal by being in the same bracket.


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