March 16, 2003

Who is Texas paying? And who did Kentucky, Arizona and Kansas forget to pay?: and other complaints about the brackets.
I know it's not really a link, but let's discuss.

posted by Mookieproof to basketball at 08:40 PM - 16 comments

How did Texas, who won neither their conference regular season nor their conference tournament, end up a #1? How did Florida, losers of their last three straight, hang on for a #2, which I think should have gone to Pitt or Kansas? And what in the hell is going on in the West? Arizona, Kansas, Duke and Illinois all in the same region plus Kentucky in the semis? This strikes me as one of the poorer seeding jobs I can remember, although maybe it won't matter when the upsets start...

posted by Mookieproof at 08:44 PM on March 16, 2003

My Final Four picks: Miss St over Texas Kentucky over Arizona Championship: Kentucky over Miss St I agree with you about the South bracket. The West is BRUTAL! The East is the only fair bracket.

posted by jasonbondshow at 08:47 PM on March 16, 2003

To me it just looks like the committee wasn't paying attention at all to the end of the regular season or the tourneys. It's like the last week and a half didn't happen. FWIW, Andy Katz is reporting that not only did the committee fuck up by scheduling BYU to play on a Sunday, they apparently honestly thought they'd put Kentucky in the bracket opposite Arizona. Mind-boggling.

posted by tieguy at 10:11 PM on March 16, 2003

link to the Katz story. Brainfart on a level well exceeding that of the previous story.

posted by tieguy at 10:15 PM on March 16, 2003

I like the West. Finally people can say it is not the weakest. It seemed in previous years, the South was the strongest. This time it is the weakest. I like the Midwest and East balance where most of the upsets will be. 5/12 games should be better than last years.

posted by brent at 11:26 PM on March 16, 2003

I will agree, I am very surprised that my Gators got a #2. I was expecting a 3 (and prepared for a 4) after their finish. The West is a killer conference, and whoever gets out of it might be too beat up to win it all. I'm still pulling for my Gators though! BTW, final four = Florida, Louisville, Illinois and Pittsburgh. A reach, maybe, but ya gotta take some chances...

posted by bcb2k2 at 09:48 AM on March 17, 2003

My final four: Pittsburgh Louisville Duke Connecticut No number ones this year will reach the final four. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

posted by corpse at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2003

i could not follow that BYU scenario one bit ... if they get past UConn and (presumably) Stanford, they switch from the South to the Midwest and their 'counterpart' in the Midwest moves to the South? all because of their pansy-ass religion? screw that, if they refuse to worship at the feet of Vitale, they can go play the NIT and let Tennessee have their spot. the whole tourney is played on the weekends for crissakes and we've been letting them slide on sundays for 100 years?

posted by danostuporstar at 10:27 AM on March 17, 2003

Lay off BYU. It's not like the committee wasn't aware of the Cougars' needs before the seeding started. It'll be a moot point when they get waxed by UConn anyhow. I think the funky high seeds are a testament to how poorly many of the top teams have played this season. For the first time in a while, there's really no clear cut favorite for the title. My money's still on Arizona, but that's a damned tough regional, and Illinois would have a great shot at knocking them off in the Sweet 16, assuming the Fightin' Illini don't pull their annual Linda Lovelace. Upset specials in the first round: Tulsa over Dayton, Butler over Mississippi State. Final Four: Kentucky, Arizona, Xavier and Louisville, with Xavier winning it in a crap-your-drawers stunner.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:59 AM on March 17, 2003

Arizona over Oklahoma in the final. By 15.

posted by rushmc at 11:43 AM on March 17, 2003

Since this isn't front page posting material, I'll post this FYI here: CBS may have ESPN broadcast the games if there is war in Iraq. Just sayin'.

posted by NoMich at 12:40 PM on March 17, 2003

Seeing as Kentucky hasn't lost since 'Nam, it's tough to say it's a top team that's played poorly this season. To me, that's the team to beat, though I like Arizona a bit. Not that the RPI is gospel, but I wouldn't be so quick to diss BYU, which is rated No. 19. How they end up as a 12-seed? There's a good reason, I'm sure. How do the Ivy League teams continue to get hooked up with nice seeds, while a league like the MEAC -- which has upsets by Coppin State and Hampton in recent years -- consistently gets stuck with 15 and 16-seeds? To follow up on another thread, Steve Lavin can officially get his "search on". The guy can coach, just not nearly well enough to satisfy fans of a program like UCLA. Let's face it, a Bruin hoops player (like a USC football player) has already attained a certain status on campus by wearing the uniform. So there's not a whole lot of hunger and while they'll nab an upset here and there, there have only been a handful of years in the post-Brown era wherein there's been a wire-to-wire consistency. Add in the pressure, and that's not a good environment for most coaches to work under. Lavin is a good, not the special coach that situation requires. A move to the mid-majors shouldn't be necessary. He'd be a good fit at Georgia, but since Harrick was also a former UCLA coach, hiring Lavin would not be good PR there. He'd make a bundle hanging out on TV for a year, before Georgetown or St. John's come open. If he is really itching, Washington State and Virginia Tech are looking and Clemson will probably be as well.

posted by jackhererra at 02:35 PM on March 17, 2003

Jackherrera, I stand corrected. I would be remiss to not say Kentucky is firing on all cylinders (and some of those missing at Louisville, even). I was thinking more about the beginning of the season for them, but the parade of damn UK hats and flags I have seen all day outside my office have jolted me. As for the MEAC-Ivy League thing, my only answer would be that the Ivy League is a bit higher profile, so maybe the seeding committee knows those teams a little better? I think they also claim not to take prior conference performance into account, but if that were true, a lot of Big Ten and power conference teams would fall farther than they do. To finish the Lavin thing, I don't think a major college can hire him right now. If you're the AD and you bring in Lavin and he fails, haven't you signed your own death warrant? His track record would make him a risky hire, but a mid-major could get away with it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:32 PM on March 17, 2003

Tie-guy: thanks for the Katz link. Missed that one amidst the MM flurry. Does anyone believe that nonsense in the last paragraph about the committee not looking at potential Final Four pairings? Please. The mantra from the committee (men's and women's) has been "season in total" and "strength of schedule". So why even have conference tourney's if you're a power conference. Oh, yeah $$$$$$. BYU is a bit of a head scratcher - their RPI not their seeding. How does a team that got swept by Utah and has lost to every tourney team they faced (Weber St., Creighton, Ok St.) save Colorado State (and Utah St. - in December) finish with an RPI of 19??? And it was 15 before they were knocked out of the Mtn. West tourney by CSU.

posted by kloeprich at 06:17 PM on March 17, 2003

I never realized that BYU was actually that good. I had concentrated on this ridiculous plan the NCAA has in case BYU advances. I have a hard time thinking of a worse idea! If they're talking about teams switching brackets, why don't they just get it out of the way and do it NOW before everything starts, rather than in the middle of the tournament, which just leaves me speechless. I mean, aside from ruining gambling nation-wide (heh), you're going to stick it to some other school, screw up travel, etc. It's a total disaster. Why they can't just reschedule the dates in that regional is also beyond me, but it would seem like moving BYU now would be the best choice, rescheduling would be the second best, telling the mormon church to go f-ck themselves would be third best, and switching teams mid-tourney would be a distant last. I'm just amazed that they'd even consider it. Anyway... my final four - Kentucky, Duke, Texas, Louisville. Pitino vs. Old team in the finals, but with the opposite of the super bowl result, with UK winning. I worry though, I figure the Cardinal are due for either an amazing run to the finals, or a 2nd round flop. Nothing in between. I also expect Duke to get a pass just like in the ACC tourney, with the higher seeds being upset so that they don't actually have to play anyone good :) Bear in mind that I usually get every pick wrong, ie the MLB playoffs where I managed to pick the winner of every single series incorrectly.

posted by Bernreuther at 02:05 AM on March 18, 2003

Agreed with Bernreuther on the gambling concerns out of the BYU flap. No pools for me this season, thank you. Someone mentioned that the chairman of the committee is (a) Mormon; and (b) Arizona's AD, funny considered that BYU and U of A could have gotten hosed as much as anyone. Yeesh. Cougs' RPI: Beat Arizona State, swept Colo. St. in regular season, has wins over Utah St. and San Diego. Not a powerhouse, but no bad losses and has a record comparable to Xavier or Missouri (No. 17 and 20, respectively) against the top 100. They might not have enough juice to beat Connecticut, but seeding them there is more self-fulfilling prophecy than accurate pairing. Lavin: Until this season, the guy was winning 20 games a season, even with a demanding schedule in and out of the conference. I don't think that he'd get into a Georgia or North Carolina, but if John Mackovic can get bounce from Texas to Arizona in football, Clemson or Penn State can find a place for Lavin. (And not to put it on that level, but I'd be more concerned for him than a successful black coach, like Nolan Richardson.) Lavvy-boy will be fine. Ivies: I'm probably being hard on them. But it is near-frustrating when other smaller conferences automatically get paired against national-title contenders, while Penn gets to play stumbling Oklahoma State. (Though I expect the Cowpokes to snap out of it and win a two or three rounds.)

posted by jackhererra at 10:22 AM on March 18, 2003

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