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Bracketology

2/22/2006

I really don't want to be the next Joe Lunardi, but I couldn't think of anything else to title this column. This is my view of what the seeds should look like if the season ended today (games through Tuesday Feb 21st), so it's not a projection of what the brackets will or would look like. I'm not going to waste my time agonizing about first-round match-ups, regions or site locations, so I'll just present them as seed lines. Feel free to post your comments or projected seeds below.

1: Duke, UConn, Villanova, Memphis
2: George Washington, Gonzaga, Texas, Tennessee
3: Pitt, Ohio State, North Carolina St, Illinois
4: Georgetown, Florida, Michigan State, Iowa
5: West Virginia, North Carolina, Boston College, LSU
6: Bucknell, Michigan, Marquette, Oklahoma
7: Kansas, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Wisconsin
8: Northern Iowa, Wichita St, UCLA, Kentucky
9: George Mason, Washington, Missouri St, Arkansas


A couple of thoughts:
  • George Washington is really the wild-card here. I don't think they'll be seeded higher than 3rd, but they just keep humming along. How do you slot a 22-1 team who's only loss is at NC State? With their weak SOS (155 in the JCI, 218 in the RPI), they have very little margin of error. One loss could easily drop them 2-3 seed lines. And although their RPI of 33 is way off, that can only hurt them come Selection Sunday.
  • Although most of IlliniNation is in a panic after yet another road loss in conference (there's some talk of a 8 or 9 seed!), the Illini currently have a very strong tournament resume, including the 4th best total of quality wins in the country. As much as everybody talks about dropping them down dramatically after every loss, there's not a whole lot of worthy suitors to take their spot. Florida maybe. Most of the teams ranked 8-20 have been losing left and right of late as well. In fact, of the teams ranked 8-23 on my 'S-Curve', they average 6.8 wins out of the last 10, not much better than Illinois' 6-4 mark. However, if they continue their downward trend and lose 2 of the remaining 3 regular season games (Iowa, at Minnesota, at Michigan State) and bow out early in the Big Ten tourney, they'll finish with a 4-6 record in their last 10. That's certain to stick out as a negative with the Selection Committee, even if it flies in the face of their 'body of work' argument.


  • Mike Davis
    I meant to mention someting about Mike Davis resigning at Indiana in my last post but forgot to add it, so I'll throw it in here. It's a very strange situation with him staying on until the end of the year, basically he's shot that program in the foot for this year. They were looking like a tourney lock until they went into a tailspin and lost 7 of their last 8. They have the #2 SOS in the JCI (#16 RPI SOS), but a 13-10 overall record and 5-7 conference record combined with their recent play would probably put them in the NIT. They do have games left against Penn State and Purdue and a home date vs. Michigan State, so the opportunity is still there for them to make the tourney if they turn it around.

    What a strange situation this must be for the Indiana players. Obviously, Indiana didn't want to make any kind of commitment to a new coach right away so they could try to lure Steve Alford away in the offseason, so you know that must have at lease some effect on the Iowa guys too. Plus, Davis was pretty much a loose cannon (who can forget him running on the court slapping his forehead...while the game was still going on!), even when he to worry a little bit about losing his job. Now that he has no job, who knows what he might do next. Letting him coach it out is like leaving a ticking timebomb. He's already said he's got something up his sleeve for senior night.

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