While I dislike drawing sweeping conclusions over small sample sizes, I find it hard to get away from talk about how certain conferences are performing in the NCAA Tournament. Each year, it seems that trends develop within leagues that have at least four teams in the field. This year is no different. So which conferences are having the best performances so far?
Round of 64
Thursday and Friday were marked with intra-conference trends. Here’s a look at my Conference Power Rankings as they stood after Friday night and a quick description on each.
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.”
Tough at the Top of Each Region
That No. 8-9 for IU is fine. Neither Temple nor NC State guard anyone.
Indiana probably has the easiest potential 1-8 matchup despite NC State returning many players from a team that made the second weekend last year. That speaks just as much to the difficulty of the others (Louisville – Colorado State; Kansas – North Carolina; and Gonzaga – Pittsburgh) than it does to NC State’s comically bad 106 ranking in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.
Tuesday afternoon, I went on 810am Orlando CBS Radio and discussed college hoops. It was a great segment where both hosts had some really good questions for me. I’m introduced at the 2:00 mark. Here’s what we covered:
“How young is too young?” – Nick Saban offers a full ride to an 8th grader
Teams on the rise – Georgetown, New Mexico, Saint Louis, Akron
How far have Cincinnati and the Valley teams fallen?
Notable changes in the top 12 overall seeds – Michigan back to the top line; Michigan State down to 5th overall; Miami down to 6th, and how bad was the Wake Forest loss; New Mexico up to the 2-line at 8th and why they’re there over Kansas, who is 9th
Last Four In, First Four Out, Next Four Out – Kentucky’s situation
Bracketing Principles – what they are and how they can drive me nuts while projecting brackets; addition of “pods” to my projections; why the Committee puts so much emphasis on geography vs. seeding
How good is Miami? I mentioned – as I did earlier this week - that I disliked their lack of Tournament experience despite being an “old” team. Kyle then challenged me on why I felt that way. It was a great question considering it came from a former athlete’s point of view.
My top overall seeds.
Kentucky and the Nerlens Noel injury.
Bubble Watch – my Last Four In.
“Upset Alert” teams.
“Bid Thief” leagues.
NCAA rules as it relates to professional eligibility in the NBA and NFL.
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.
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.