Sunday, March 05, 2006

#1 Seeds Are Locked In

Is there any doubt which teams will earn #1 seeds in the NCAA tournament? I don't think so. Duke, UConn, Memphis, and Villanova have, in my humble opinion.

Duke has lost their last two games, but falling at Florida State and to North Carolina at home is hardly enough to fall off their #1 perch. UConn, although they appeared to be only mildly interested in their game vs. Louisville Saturday, is still clearly one of the four best teams in the nation. Memphis lost at UAB this week, but their only other two losses were close ones to Duke and Texas--they're a solid #1. Although they play different styles, it's hard to pick a clear favorite between UConn and Villanova. I wasn't sold on Villanova before the season started, but I am now. Guard play is critical in the post season, and the Wildcats have great guard play. They should have beaten North Carolina in the Sweet 16 last year.

There was some discussion about Gonzaga sneaking in and taking one of those top seeds. I just finished watching the Zags squeak out a win on their home court vs. San Diego in the West Coast Conference tournament semi-finals and I have one word to say about that talk--stop it. Gonzaga is undefeated in their conference, but if they were really up at the level of those other four teams, they would have dominated. The Zags were not often dominant, and I don't think they will make it past the first week of the NCAA tournament--the fifth straight year they will have failed to do so.

Another top ten team that won't make it past the NCAA's second round is George Washington. They won their 18th in a row yesterday, an absolute gift from Charlotte. If they play a disciplined team that will slow down the tempo, the Colonials will go down.

I'm not sure anything was really decided at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, but it was nice to see such large crowds for a mid-major conference. There are six MVC teams being considered for the NCAA's. I'm not sure I can get my arms around more than four getting in. After watching some of the games this weekend, nothing there really wowed me.

George Mason's loss in the CAA semi-finals should assure at least two teams from that conference will make the NCAA's. Should Hofstra win, UNC-Wilmington could still earn a bid and make it three teams.

The year of the mid-major is still on track.


At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

thank you for acknowledging Gonzaga as a member of the second or third tier. Place the Zags in a conference like the Big Ten, and I'm not so sure they'd end up along side the Spartans in the sixth place.

Morrison is a great player in a great story, but I'll be among those ushering them good-bye in the second round of the tournament.

At 12:43 AM, Anonymous dan said...

I agree with Jason, with one other comment: Gonzaga may not win the WCC anyway if Batista has to sit out the Marymount game. It will be telling how they function without him, assuming he actually does sit out.

At 2:10 AM, Blogger twins15 said...

I think if Ohio St. wins out and wins the Big-10 Tourney they have a real shot at the #1 seed over Memphis. Time will tell, I guess.


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