It’s been a while since my last installment of “Found on Twitter,” so I thought we’d merge two of my favorite things together by mixing twitter with the NCAA Tournament. The following tweets are from Sunday during the Selection Show and will provide a good look at the important storylines in “the Dance.”
Starting at the Top
There’s Louisville at overall No. 1. Should mean Midwest for Cards and Indiana gets moved.
Thursday afternoon, I went on 810am Orlando CBS Radio and discussed college hoops. I was a little tired after a mid-week business trip (no, this isn’t my real job, but thanks for thinking that). Tony and Kyle had some really good questions for me. Here’s what we covered:
Tony primed the interview by talking about how this season continues to be crazy and filled with parity. I mentioned once again that college hoops is the hardest sport to get road victories and pointed out that 2011 Kentucky was 2-6 on the road in the SEC, got a 4-seed, and went to the Final Four.
Then we moved into some good old-fashioned bubble talk. Has Villanova done enough to get in? Did Cal’s loss to Stanford cost them their chance for an at-large bid?
We moved into our weekly “Miami Talk” portion of the segment next and talked about why Miami fans shouldn’t be fretting that they may not be a 1-seed, considering that before the season, just making the Field of 68 would have been considered a big accomplishment.
The next question came from Kyle and was about Ryan Kelly. Kyle asked if Kelly really was the difference between Duke being able to win it all or not.
Then we moved to the top, and the guys asked if Gonzaga could break the “Curse of #1.” I mentioned that they have two things going for them: an easier schedule with only the West Coast Conerence Tournament remaining and no true road games since said tournament is played at a neutral venue in Las Vegas.
After we talked about the back of the field and the top of the field, we moved into some of the middle seeds when Kyle asked me what “under-the-radar” teams can make noise in the Big Dance. I gave about seven teams currently seeded between 5 and 8 in my latest bracket. Listen in to see who you should be looking at when you fill out your brackets the week of March 17.
Kyle then asked a great question about how the Catholic 7 will change the landscape of College Hoops. I personally hope that the field stays at 68, one more automatic bid is given, and one fewer at-large bid is available.
Tony then asked me what “Built for the Tournament” meant and which teams fit that bill. I mentioned Louisville and Michigan State as two that should come to top of mind when that cliche is used.
After I signed off, the guys were awfully nice when Kyle said he’d pay me to fill out his bracket for him, and Tony said that secretaries and random-picking children have as good a chance to win as the “experts” do.
You can click play above or check out the link here if you’re on a mobile device and/or the embedded player isn’t showing up above.
As you may know (at least you darn well should), I’ve been posting all of my bracket updates to one pagelately so as not to waste valuable front page space with constant updates when little changes from day-to-day. That plan had to be temporarily abandoned, though, when I went a whole five days without updating the bracket – especially when two of those days were a weekend.
Below, I’ll lay out the biggest changes in the bracket, teams on the rise, on the decline, teams now in danger, and I’ll discuss the biggest addition to this version of all (and it’s not a team). Enjoy!
The Super Bowl is over a week in our rear-view mirror, so by now, you’ve seen all the bracket projections, conference races, and AP rankings you can handle. But what you really want to know is who’s going to cut down the nets in Atlanta. We’ll count down from 30, and these rankings won’t be which teams are playing the best right now, who’s the hottest, or who has the best resumes.
This a gut-feel list of who we’d bet on to win the National Championship – whether it be talent, coaching, team makeup, or any other reason we feel plays a role. In Part I, we started at 30 and went through 9. In this installment, we’ll give a rundown of our “Elite Eight” and some more in-depth info on those teams.
Happy New Year wishes have finally arrived from “Joey Brackets” in the form of a new Bracketology! You know what that means? I’ll be sharing some of my own thoughts about Mr. Lunardi’s selections right here in bulleted list format.
Duke, Michigan, Arizona, and Louisville are on the top line. How does that old song go? “One of these things is not like the other.” Arizona is undefeated, yes, but they’re ranked just 14th at KenPom – which would make them the lowest-ranking 1-seed since Stanford in 2004. For some of the dorkiest bar-room trivia ever, 2005 Washington (15) and 2004 Texas (10) round out the “medal stand” for this race for the worst 1-seed. I would anticipate either Kansas or Indiana (I still believe) to pass up Arizona.
I would rank the 2-seeds as follows: Kansas, Indiana, Gonzaga, Syracuse.
Two SEC teams find themselves on the 3-seed line. The league’s RPI ranks just 8th in the nation, so having its winner as low as 3 is appropriate, but having two teams there seems a bit strong.
There are currently SIX Mountain West teams in Lunardi’s bracket. If that sentence isn’t remarkable enough on its own, consider that the league only has NINE teams. I’m not saying Joe is wrong in his reasoning (the league is 3rd in RPI), but I would bet a sizeable sum on the “under” with that number involved.
The 4-seed line may be the strongest I’ve ever seen it. Uber-talented but yet-to-put-it-all-together teams like Ohio State and NC State combined with sneaky-good teams like Illinois and Notre Dame would mean that a “4” in the Final Four would have a definitely chance of happening.
While the matchups aren’t likely to hold, I hate the UNLV-Bucknell and VCU-Memphis pairings in the Midwest. I realize it’s easier on the committee to do so (bracketing principles, guaranteed to eliminate one “small guy” who doesn’t attract TV ratings), but I hate when mid-majors have to play each other in the Round of 64. UNLV, Bucknell, and VCU are all teams I’d like as sleepers while Memphis could pick off VCU if they ever put half of their talent and athleticism together.
North Carolina as a 10-seed with teams like Wyoming and Temple on the 8-9 lines is something I thought I’d never see. The Heels have a lot less margin for error than many think just to get in the field. Could you imagine UNC in a “First Four” — errr — Play-In Game? I’m still refusing to call it the “First Four” or acknowledge the games in Dayton as the “First Round.” And I never will.
Later today or early tomorrow, I’ll be posting my latest version of “Planting the Seeds” with Bill Riccette so you can see the beginnings of our brackets. They aren’t how we’d do it now – they’re projections of what we think will happen.