Let the Madness Begin!
With all of the relevant conference tournaments over (save for the Big Ten), it's time to sit and wait for the selection committee to tell us who they have deemed worthy of this year's tournament. There are going to be a lot of bubbles burst in the next few hours, and many teams feeling they should have gotten a higher seed than they did.
The committee's tough decisions begin with the number one seeds. There are seven teams worthy of the one-seed line, but only four spots available. So, with this in mind, I thought I'd take my stab at predictions and give you who I think should be the four number one seeds when the brackets come out at 6pm EST.
The number one overall seed should be Louisville. They proved last night in the Big East championship that they are the most worthy of the overall top slot. They should get the nod over their only real competition for the spot, Kansas, because they have fewer poor losses than do the Jayhawks. I can't give the number one overall position to any team that has a loss to Texas Christian on their resume. This loss, plus the style with which Louisville came from behind and thumped Syracuse in the second half of their game puts them head-and-shoulders above Kansas, in my mind.
The second number one seed is Kansas. As I just said, they can't be the number one seed with a loss to TCU on their resume, and were it not for a few questionable calls in their two contests against Iowa State, they wouldn't be in the conversation for any number one seed at all. But that's the nature of the game, sometimes calls go your way and sometimes they don't. They went Kansas' way in those games, and they deserve to be rewarded for winning the Big 12 against a tough Kansas State team.
Third we have Gonzaga. The team that was a mid-major sweetheart at the beginning of the 2000's, the Zags have turned into a perennial powerhouse and are on track to get their first number one seed in school history. It feels weird to me to give them only the third number one since they are ranked number one in the AP poll, but I feel like playing in the West Coast Conference really hurts their case, especially when it comes conference tournament time. Both the Jayhawks and Cardinals play in significantly tougher conferences and deserve to be placed ahead of Gonzaga.
Last we have three teams battling for one spot. Miami, Duke, and Indiana are all worthy of the final number one slot. Indiana was ranked number one for a good portion of the year, but they were knocked out in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament, and have a bad loss versus Minnesota on their resume. Duke had a lot of losses in the middle of the season, including a 20+ point loss to another team in this conversation (Miami), but all of those losses were without the services of Ryan Kelly, and they are clearly one of the top four teams in the nation with a healthy Kelly. Miami won their conference outright for the first time in their teams history and they were the first team to beat both UNC and Duke by 20+ points in the same season. However, they played one of the worst non-conference schedules in the entire NCAA and have losses against Indiana State and Florida Gulf Coast on their resume. For this reason, I think that I have to give the final number one slot to the Duke Blue Devils. Duke has less "bad losses" on their resume, and are clearly a Final Four caliber team with Ryan Kelly in the line-up.
Whatever happens when the brackets are released, one thing is certain: It will be madness!
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Welcome! My name is Chris Spooner. I am an overly-passionate Dolphins fan who has many opinions about his team, and the sports landscape as a whole. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy voicing them.