The brackets have just been released and I'm debating whether my favorite sports time of the year are the days between Selection Sunday and the first game tip-off, or the actual first four days of the Tournament. I love me some brackets. They get me feeling like this....
I plan on doing many entries over the next week, so for now I'm just going to throw down some early thoughts and discoveries on what we got here:
~I'll start by stating for the record just how against the idea of Tournament expansion I am. I think its a terrible, terrible, terrible, turrrrrible idea. You're altering the most perfect thing in sports if you do.
~All I hear about is how tough a job the selection committee, but I think they gave a lame effort, especially concerning the 1-2 seed matchups. Matchups should go 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5 in terms of overall rankings. Yet, somehow, the two best 2 seeds (West Virginia and Ohio St.) got matched up against the top two overall seeds (Kansas and Kentucky.) The chairman even admitted that West VA was the top rated 2 seed in the tournament, yet drew the second overall team in Kentucky. Matchups should have been as follows: KU-Villanova, Kentucky-Kansas St, Duke-Villanova, Syracuse-Ohio St. I'm available and would love a seat on the committee by the way...
~I don't understand why the committee removed the use of teams' last 10 games as a part of the evaluation process. Opposed to College Football, where I believe the season should be judged as a whole, College Basketball is all about the Tournament, and the teams playing the best right now should be selected.
~My rank of the toughest regions overall: 1. Midwest, 2. East, 3. West, 4. South
~I think Kentucky got stuck with the toughest path to the Final Four, when examining possible Texas-Wisconsin-West Virginia path. They have to hope Texas doesn't regain their swagger (or find where Dexter Pittman is hiding). They will be forced to play fundamentally sound against Wisconsin, led by the most underrated coach in the country, Bo Ryan. West Virginia comes next, and lets just say that last night I imagined my National Championship matchup to be Kentucky-West Virginia. I hope that showdown occurs. It reminds me of the Michigan St-Iowa St Elite Eight game from 2000, where the two best teams may have met before the Final Four (Shout-outs to Mateen Cleaves and Marcus Fizer).
~~No idea how Duke got a higher seed than Syracuse with more losses in a way worse conference. Then they are awarded with the easiest region? Despite that, I will not be picking Duke to go far.
~Greg Anthony embarrassed himself on national television by picking all 1 and 2 seeds to make the Elite Eight right after they were announced on CBS. Greg, you realize a robot could make those picks right? Anyone sharing the same picks as Greg: Please don't talk to me the next four days. That includes you Digger.
~4 of the 5 Chalk Monsters on ESPN picked Kansas to win it all. Scary. If they can overcome the high expectations by, lets say, atleast getting to the Final Four, then it is inarguably time to separate KU's questionably soft stigma into Roy Williams-era Jayhawks and Bill Self-era Jayhawks.
~Beware of the upsets that are being overpicked, especially the ones called out on the Selection Show. Remember, those teams are watching the show, which can provide an edge in motivation throughout the week.
More coming this week including a breakdown of KU's path to the Final Four, first round upsets that I like, and possible second round matchups that have me excited.