The List: My Sweet 16 for NCAA Tournament seeds
As a sports fan, there is no time I enjoy more than NCAA Tournament time in men's college basketball. The two days of games when there are 64 teams playing 32 games, all televised, are a special kind of heaven for me. I burn vacation days to be able to watch it all.
Part of the fun of March Madness is to guess which teams will make the field of 68. (I still prefer when the field was 64 and the stupid play-in games in Dayton weren't played, but that ship has sailed.) There usually are about a dozen teams "on the bubble," meaning they might get in the field, or they might not. Routinely, the schools that have their bubbles burst on Selection Sunday (which feels like a holiday) cry foul. It's quite entertaining. Sometimes they have a legitimate argument; usually they don't.
Selection Sunday is just a few days away. If I were able to select and set the field of 68 (and I'd love to!), here is how I would seed the top 16 teams today. How do I make these selections, you ask? First, I watch a fair number of basketball games. OK, I watch a lot of them. Next, I look at three different sets of computer rankings – the RPI, the BPI, and the Pomeroy ratings. You probably don't want to know anything more about that. Then I look at the predictions by EPSN's Joe Lunardi. He's good at what he does.
So, I made you read 68 words after I promised my list. (See how I did that?) Here's my list:
No. 1 Seeds
1. Florida (Best team in the regular season, though no one's talking about how weak the SEC was this season.)
2. Wichita State (Better than last year's team, which reached the Final 4.)
3. Arizona (Best team according to computer rankings, but 3 losses.)
4. Villanova (Still not convinced this team's that good, but no one else deserves a No. 1 seed.)
No. 2 Seeds
8. Michigan (Will probably be seeded lower, especially if the Wolverines lose the Big Ten tournament. But the regular-season winner of the one of the toughest two conferences in the country deserves at least a No. 2 seed.)
No. 3 Seeds
No. 4 Seeds
13. Ohio State
14. Michigan State
15. Iowa State
Which teams that are thought highly of are the most overrated? San Diego State, Kentucky, New Mexico, and SMU. Now, go pick one of those teams in your brackets to win it all.
Finally, if I were on the selection committee, I'd have one absolute rule: If you didn't finish above .500 in your conference, no matter how difficult the league is, and you didn't win your conference tournament, you're not in the NCAA Tournament. I think you should at least be above average in your own league. Which teams would this eliminate that might make Sunday's field of 68? Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Georgetown (though last night's loss to DePaul probably keeps the Hoyas out) and Utah.