March 05, 2007

My Bracket (Pre-Conference Tournaments)

Its been a while, but I get tired of Joe Lunardi hailed as an expert in brackets by ESPiN while he continually comes up with matchups that can't happen per NCAA Tournament Committee rules. His latest installment includes Sweet 16 games that would feature rematches, a no-no only to be allowed in extreme circumstances. According to Joe, Pittsburgh would advance to meet Wisconsin and Tennessee would meet Ohio State.

Does Joe watch basketball during the year or only what the ESPiN folks feed him?

Forget it. I can't stand the lunacy. Here is my best guess at what the Selection Committee will determine come Sunday:

Let's talk one seeds. Personally, I think winning your conference and subsequent tournament secures a number #1 seed. Teams good enough to accomplish this feat during the weekend include UCLA, Ohio State, Kansas, North Carolina, Florida, Georgetown, and Memphis. I put the Hoyas and Tigers last because they would need the most help. Georgetown has the weakest resume, while Memphis has only a Top 50 win over Kentucky in Maui as its signature win. The Tigers will curse the C-USA.

That said, UCLA and Ohio State have the most impressive resume if they all complete the feat. They are #1 locks in my book. Kansas, North Carolina, and Florida are fighting for the two spots along with two other teams that can win their Tournaments and jump into the picture: Texas A&M and Wisconsin. Either team would beat one of the teams listed above (Kansas & Ohio State, respectively) thereby earning huge points in my eyes. Basically put, these conference tournaments are going to be wars.

Mid-Major Infatuation. Missouri State & Bradley of the MVC along with Old Dominion & Drexel of the CAA will sweat out this entire weekend. These teams want status quo. (Beginning tonight - needing George Mason to quit being Cinderella.) All have decent RPI and SOS ratings but lack the punch with mainstream America because they don't get televised. Each could benefit with the memory of last year with two MVC teams in the Sweet Sixteen and George Mason's incredible run.

Duke, Duke, Duke. How good or bad are the Devils? Seth Davis, a Duke grad, had the Devils as a #3 seed prior to the UNC beatdown yesterday while Joe Lunardi (fine, I'll reference him here) has them at #7 in the aftermath. One thing helping the Devils is that they are the 7-seed in the ACC. What you ask? Help? They get NC State (bad), as well as Virginia and Virginia Tech who BOTH choked with the ACC title on the line this weekend. Duke is a tougher team mentally than these three teams. However, Virginia is athletic and mad and Tech did sweep the Devils. Their run in Tampa (I know, the ACC Tournament can be held outside of the state of North Carolina, shocking.) will determine anywhere from a 6 to a 9.

My Poor Old Kentucky Home. We're done. Tubby is worn out and really barring him resigning before the Tournament ala Joe B. Hall in 1985, this Cat team will be out in round one. The Cat faithful is hoping for a good showing this weekend in Atlanta, but it isn't coming. Heck, the Georgia Dome could be sparse by mid-day Thursday.

Seeds 7-10 are built upon sand. Any team in this nether region is on notice this weekend. You can greatly improve or damage your hopes with your performance this weekend.

The bracket will come tomorrow, sorry for the disappointment, but I gotta go watch Mason keep the dream alive. Break out the Bon Jovi - Living On a Prayer!

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