Down Goes Duke West – February 26 Bracket Projection

Great day of college hoops…and a GREAT result to end the night as BYU knocked off Gonzaga.  Some of the writers were immediately on the defensive, tweeting that people who don’t like Gonzaga are “insecure” and that they are undoubtedly still a #1 seed.

What happened to people being able to like who they like, and not like who they don’t like?  Why do writers get to tell fans that they are “stupid and stubborn” for having opinions on Gonzaga?  Writers can advance whatever narratives they want, and for whatever reason, this year it has been that people are idiots for questioning Gonzaga’s merits.

The opinions at this blog have been the same all season long on Duke West:

  1. They are a good basketball team led by an excellent player in NWG.
  2. They are not the best team in college basketball.
  3. They won’t make the Final Four.

Could they make the Final Four? Sure, with the right draw and some luck.  But, I can say the same thing about Notre Dame or Dayton.  Could each of those teams make the Final Four?  I certainly think so.

Here’s my current Top 16…of the fifteen teams other than Duke West, which teams would you be confident they would beat in an NCAA Tournament setting?

  1. Kansas
  2. Villanova
  3. UNC
  4. Oregon
  5. Gonzaga
  6. Louisville
  7. Arizona
  8. UCLA
  9. Florida State
  10. Kentucky
  11. Baylor
  12. Butler
  13. Florida
  14. Duke
  15. WVU
  16. Purdue

I’m taking almost all of those teams over Gonzaga on a neutral floor.  “But, they already beat Arizona and Florida on a neutral floor.”  Arizona didn’t have Trier…and Florida has improved significantly since November.  You know what though, that’s my opinion.

So yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed BYU coming back after being down 18-2, when Gary Parrish conveniently sent out his Gonzaga hit piece on the fans.  I have every right to enjoy it without being called insecure, stupid, or stubborn.  The writers can continue to have their love affair with Duke West, and I can hope that they get bounced during the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.  That’s sports.

Rant over.  Let’s get to the bracket analysis.

Is Duke West still a 1 seed?

I don’t think so.  Playing their conference schedule, you cannot lose to a team that has lost to San Diego, Santa Clara and Pepperdine.  Could they still get a 1?  It’s possible.  But the Pac 12 champion is going to have a very good chance of taking the top spot in the West.

Yesterday’s “Next Nine” had a bad day

Of the teams in yesterday’s “Next Nine,” only Georgia picked up a win.  Pittsburgh, Clemson, Tennessee have no shot without a conference title after Saturday’s losses.

The most puzzling result:  Kansas State losing by 30, yes 30, at Oklahoma.

Rhode Island, who was not a part of the “Next Nine” was a big beneficiary after taking care of VCU at home.  I still don’t understand how they lost at home to Fordham.

Oh, Northwestern

Everyone knows that the Cats have NEVER been to the NCAA Tournament.  Well, they are trying their best to miss it again.  Up 8 at Indiana with 3 to play, Northwestern blew their chance to lock in a bid.  They have two more chances at home against Michigan and Purdue.  If they lose both, they will be squarely on the bubble.

UPDATED BRACKET – FEBRUARY 26

Last Four In:  Seton Hall, California, Illinois State, Vanderbilt

Next Nine:  Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, TCU, Rhode Island, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas State, Indiana, Ole Miss

MIDWEST

1 Kansas vs. 16 New Orleans/Mount St. Mary’s – Tulsa
8 Virginia Tech vs. 9 Arkansas
5 Cincinnati vs. 12 Nevada
4 Purdue vs. 13 UT-Arlington – Milwaukee
3 Florida State vs. 14 Florida Gulf Coast – Orlando
6 Iowa State vs. 11 Marquette
7 Creighton vs. 10 Syracuse
2 UCLA vs. 15 Oakland – Sacramento

WEST

1 Oregon vs. 16 E. Washington – Sacramento
8 S. Carolina vs. 9 Michigan St.
5 SMU vs. 12 Illinois St/Vanderbilt
4 Duke vs. 13 Princeton – Greenville
3 Butler vs. 14 UNC Asheville – Milwaukee
6 Oklahoma St. vs. 11 Middle Tenn St.
7 Miami vs. 10 Northwestern
2 Gonzaga vs. 15 CSU Bakersfield – Salt Lake City

EAST

1 Villanova vs. 16 NC Central/UC Irvine – Buffalo
8 Dayton vs. 9 Michigan
5 Notre Dame vs. 12 Monmouth
4 WVU vs. 13 Vermont – Buffalo
3 Kentucky vs. 14 Akron – Indianapolis
6 Wisconsin vs. 11 Providence
7 St. Mary’s vs. 10 USC
2 Louisville vs. 15 Bucknell – Indianapolis

SOUTH

1 UNC vs. 16 Texas Southern – Greenville
8 VCU vs. 9 Wichita St.
5 Minnesota vs. 12 UNC Wilmington
4 Florida vs. 13 Belmont – Orlando
3 Baylor vs. 14 East Tenn St. – Tulsa
6 Virginia vs. 11 Seton Hall/California
7 Maryland vs. 10 Xavier
2 Arizona vs. 15 South Dakota – Salt Lake City

If you want to tell us we’re stupid, or better yet, have a civil conversation about college hoops, join the conversation on Twitter @headvgut.

 

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