Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Early, Early NCAA Bracket Thoughts.

Here are CBS's Sportsline's latest projections by seed:

A few thoughts:

I understand that Gonzaga has earned a #2 seed, but I don't expect them to make it out of the first weekend--again. Any team that can slow down All-American Adam Morrison has a great chance to take the Zags out.

I really, really like Ohio State. They have a wonderful combination of inside and outside talent, and I think Thad Matta is doing an excellent job there. Consider them strongly in your brackets.

I can't get my arms around the idea of the Missouri Valley Conference possibly having five teams (and without Southern Illinois) while the ACC only has four. I can't believe that Missouri State, Northern Iowa, and Bradley are all better than Florida State, the fifth ACC team.

The Big 12 is REALLY down this year. How much of Kansas' recent hot streak is due to their improvement and how much is a factor of them beating up a weak conference? Can you believe that the Colonial Athletic Association could have as many teams in the field as the Big 12? Parity--get used to it.

If George Mason makes the field, which seems likely, that will join George Washington and Georgetown as the third team from the Washington, DC area in the field. That would officially make Maryland the fourth best team in the area, a long way to fall from a national championship only four years ago.

Gregg Doyel's projections have nine mid-major schools earning at-large bids (counting Conference USA). It will be interesting to see if their performance in the tournament will justify the selections.


At 2:19 AM, Blogger twins15 said...

Agreed with you about Ohio St. and Gonzaga. The fact that Gonzaga plays no defense and is so reliant on one guy for their offense does not bode well. And I really like the Buckeyes as well. They've got good inside-outside, play good defense, and are solid all-around. Should be very interesting.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger D. Moore said...

Parity is fine if it means the mid majors are getting better. But this year, it means that the major conferences are weak. It could mean both, but we won't have a good sense for that until the NCAAs clear that up for us.

The ACC only has 4 deserving teams. The Big 12 only has three (MAYBE 3 and a half). The SEC is doesn't have a single top ten team, although at least they have some depth.

You asked if the MVC's 3rd, 4th & 5th likely tourney teams were really better than the 5th ACC team. Maybe not, but EVERY potential 5th ACC team has shot themselves in the foot in the past couple of weeks.

Could someone PLEASE identify some bubble teams that are actually stepping up and EARNING their way into the tourney?

At 3:42 PM, Blogger dolphinfan said...

The Big 12 really is down! There are only 5 Big 12 schools ranked in the top 64 in RPI and only 2 ranked in the top 40.

I think only Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma are locks to get in the dance.

At 4:00 PM, Blogger Scroggie24 said...

What is up with these major conferences? Who would have thought that there would be two big conferences, the Big 12 and the Pac 10. If not for the the possibility of other teams in their conference, i.e. Florida State and Miami, the ACC would be in the same boat. Is there just a lack of comittment from the athletic departments on the basketball front or just bad years because of the youth in their conferences.

Also because of the ability of teams in the Big Ten to teach defense and rebouning, while not forgetting the basics of passing and scoring, there will be at least two schools in the elite eight from that conference.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Pradamaster said...

I had a long comment that somehow didn't get posted, so I'll post the jist of it.

I agree with every points except for the one about the Missouri Valley. It's extremely important to re-iterate that teams, not conferences, get at-large bids. If you put a piece of paper over the name of the Florida State at-large profile and all the top 6 Missouri Valley profiles, you would immediately say that the 6 MVC teams have better profiles than Florida State. Florida State has 0 top 50 wins (the almost-win doesn't count), a worse RPI and strength of schedule than ANY of the Top 6 MVC teams, and has a equally poor road record and equally decent Last 10 games.

Too many people are getting caught up in the "name" of some bubble teams. The Missouri Valley has better power ratings than many other power conferneces and many other bubble teams from those conferences. So many people are arguing in hypoteticals, unbelieving that the MVC teams could be better than Florida State. Here's an example from a comment on a Bracketology 101 post.

"these teams would finish in the bottom half of every major conference in the country.......wake forest would win the MVC hands down, and their dead last in the ACC"

There's absolutely no way to prove this, so why is it even being brought up. Notwithstanding the fact that it's not true, the only reason it is even believable is because Wake Forest is in the ACC. People get caught up in names and conferences too much in the debate, and it won't work this year because the bubble teams from power conferences have weak resumes.

If FSU is able to beat Duke, the situation changes, but right now, their profile does not compare at all to any of the MVC teams. It's ironic that when the Missouri Valley's competitive balance resembles a power conference's, people blast it without blasting the power conferences for the same problem. This year, the Valley teams beat similar power conferences at their own game, and they should be given credit for doing so.

...this coming from an ACC enthusiast

At 1:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Pradamaster

Florida State has beaten Florida and then Duke an the road. Both top 50 teams.

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