Ok, I know it’s been nearly 2 months since I last posted. But to try and keep up with basketball would have been chaotic.
Anyway, before I begin, I want to express that this is my opinion.
So in this post, I will give my take on the #1 seeds in each region, give my top match-ups in the regional rounds, some story-lines to follow, and also talk about some teams that were snubbed in my opinion.
Note: there are 4 play-in games that are considered the first round.
Also, here is entire bracket with available print options: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/tournament/bracket
Florida (#1 in South and #1 Overall): This is definitely the best team Billy the Kid has had since the 2006-2007 back to back championship teams (and they could have had a 3 peat). This team is led by 4 seniors who won’t quit. Plus, this team has had the bitter taste of defeat as it has lost in each of the last 3 Elite 8′s (2011 to Butler, 2012 to Louisville, 2013 to Michigan. Their best wins are against Kansas and Memphis. They also beat Kentucky 3 times. This team is poised to not only get over the hump, but take the title back to Gainesville.
Arizona (#1 in West): This is a confusing team. They lost their top player in February after starting 21-0. Then they lost 2 games in 2 weeks. Won a few, then lost at Oregon. Their best wins are against Duke and Michigan. They could make a run, but they struggled late.
Wichita State (#1 in Midwest): There probably would have been a riot in Kansas tonight if they weren’t a 1 seed. The Shockers went undefeated in a weaker Missouri Valley conference with the departure of Creighton. They are definitely one of the weaker #1 seeds, with their big wins vs Tennessee, BYU and Tulsa. They also landed in the toughest bracket in this tournament. I don’t see a repeat trip to the Final Four.
Virginia (#1 in East): This was the most shocking #1 seed to me. Especially considering who is behind them seeding wise. They started out 7-1, but then lost to Wisconsin, Green Bay, Tennessee and Duke within 6 weeks. Their best wins are SMU, Pitt and Syracuse (not including the Duke win in the ACC championship). They should make the Sweet 16, but probably won’t get past that.
Top Potential Match-ups in the Tournament
- #4 VCU vs #5 UCLA
- #7 New Mexico vs #2 Kansas
- #1 Florida vs #3 Syracuse
- #7 Oregon vs #2 Wisconsin
- #6 Baylor vs #3 Creighton
- #9 Oklahoma State vs #1 Arizona
- #4 San Diego State vs #12 North Dakota State
- #8 Kentucky vs #1 Wichita State
- #3 Duke vs #11 Tennessee
- #4 Louisville vs #11 NC State
- #4 Louisville vs #8 Kentucky/#1 Wichita State
- #2 Michigan vs #3 Duke
- #4 Louisville vs #2 Michigan/#3 Duke
- #5 Cincinnati vs #4 Michigan State
- #3 Iowa State vs #6 North Carolina
- #3 Iowa State vs #5 Cincinnati/#4 Michigan State
Story-lines to Follow
- Doug “McBuckets” and Creighton
- Freshmen Phenoms
- Midwest Slugfest
- Louisville as a 4 seed: Huh? In the Midwest, yes. But they’d be a 2 or 3 seed in any other bracket.
- SMU: How are Mustangs not in? Ranked a good portion of February and March. They did have 1-2 bad losses, but to be ranked and not in is a shame.
- Oklahoma State: If Smart doesn’t have that incident, they are a 5-6 seed.
You thought I wasn’t going to do this, but I did……
My Final Four
- Michigan State