Bracket Rant

Well, I sucked.  It happens.  But hey, Lunardi and Palm sucked too, as they finished below me.  Hopefully, the five of you enjoyed the rundowns anyway.

Before we hit you with some info about how to fill out your brackets, I want to quickly go over some issues with the bracket.

Committee’s #1 Goal:  Eradicate the Little Guy

Clearly, the committee wants to get the non-Power 5 teams out of the tournament as quickly as possible.  There is no excuse for Dayton/Wichita State and St. Mary’s/VCU.  I’m sure they’ll tell you, “oh that’s just how it worked out.”  That’s BS.

The Michigan/Oklahoma State 7/10 is also in Indy.  They could have easily put together Michigan/Wichita State and Dayton/Oklahoma State, at the same site, and within their bracket principles.  But they didn’t, and we all know why.  The less little guys…the more chances for the blue bloods to advance and fill the NCAA’s pockets.

Gregg Marshall has been incredibly outspoken about this…and I love it.

Strength of Schedule Was Important…Until It Wasn’t

So it’s clear that Notre Dame was underseeded, and this isn’t just me being a homer.  The committee sent the Irish packing to Buffalo as a 5 seed, and screwed me out of fun in Milwaukee.

First, it seems that Virginia and Minnesota were put ahead of the Irish solely based on their strength of schedule.  That’s fine.  But then, why is West Virginia ahead of Notre Dame?

ND:  25-9, RPI 21, SOS 40, NSOS 186, Top 50: 8-8, Top 100, 13-8, 1 sub 100 loss

WVU:  26-8, RPI 23, SOS 82, NSOS 262, Top 50: 6-4, Top 100: 13-5, 3 sub 100 losses

It’s the mixed signals that the committee sends that drive me bananas.

Second, if the Irish are ahead of Iowa State on the 5-line, then why does Iowa State get to go to Milwaukee?  To avoid a potential second round rematch with Purdue?  Well, obviously that doesn’t matter, because they put Kansas and Iowa State in the same half of the bracket.

Third, it is clear that the committee does not take into account which team they think is better when seeding.  Does anyone honestly believe that Minnesota would have been tied with Duke with two minutes to go on a neutral floor?  I don’t think so.  Minnesota also was rewarded with a trip to Milwaukee.

The Irish got screwed here, badly.

Frank Martin Must Have Threatened the Committee

martin.jpeg

Not only was South Carolina amazingly given a 7 seed, but they get to play in Greenville, SC.  As #26 overall (11 spots higher than I had them), the Gamecocks were ahead of teams like Michigan, Arkansas and Wichita State.  Let’s compare them to Michigan and Arkansas.

S. Carolina:  22-10, RPI 44, SOS 46, NSOS 67, Top 50: 5-5, Top 100: 11-9

Michigan:  24-11, RPI 38, SOS 35, NSOS 84, Top 50: 7-8, Top 100: 13-11

But, S. Carolina beat Michigan by 15 in November.  Okay, then what about Arkansas?

Arkansas:  25-9, RPI 25, SOS 63, NSOS 54, Top 50: 5-7, Top 100: 12-7

Factor in that Arkansas won at South Carolina, and the Hogs are 5 spots lower than the Gamecocks?  Makes no sense.

Atlantic 10 Inconsistency

vcu-dayton

I was really happy to see Mike’s Flyers get a 7 seed, until Wichita State popped up inexplicably as the 10.  Immediately, I thought that meant VCU was probably an 8, because they and Dayton had very similar resumes and played two tight games.

Then VCU is given a 10, and at #40 overall, 12 slots lower than Dayton.  VCU made the A10 championship, while Dayton lost in the quarters to Davidson.  They both have similar RPIs and schedule strength.  The only major difference is that the Flyers had 4 Top 50 wins, compared to VCU’s 2.

That’s not enough to explain the difference of 12 in the 1-68.  I had Dayton at 33 and VCU at 34…which after watching both games they played, certainly makes sense.

Rewarding Mediocrity

Don’t get me wrong, I had Vanderbilt and Michigan State pretty safely in.  In fact, I was one of the first to tout Vandy as a contender for a bid.  Remember when Jerry Palm said that there was no way a team with 15 teams would make the tournament as an at-large…

Then, the committee gives them both 9 seeds.  Sure, they each had 6 Top 50 wins, but at what point do the losses start to mean something in terms of seeding?  What this proves is that if you load up your schedule like these two teams, all you have to be is just above average to not only make the tournament, but also get a somewhat high seed.

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