Monday, March 16, 2009

2009 NCAA Tournament Bracket Breakdown: What Did The Committee Get Wrong

For the first time since I can remember, I really have no issues with who the committee put into the tournament (maybe it is because I picked the exact same 65 teams).

As much as Greg Anthony and Seth Davis bitch about it (seriously, it was a little much listening to them rant and rave about Creighton and St. Mary's not getting in. Dana Altman must have them on the payroll), facts are facts. Creighton and St. Mary's just did not have the same resume that Arizona, Wisconsin, Dayton, and the rest of the bubble that got in did.

You do not deserve to be in the dance when you have 26 wins, but 25 of them have come against teams outside the top 50 like Creighton. Do not blame the committee for doing their job, which is to select the 34 best at-large resumes based their total body of work, conference affiliations aside.

I hope I don't come off sounding like Billy Packer, hating on the little guys. I love the mid-majors, and there is nothing more exciting in sports than watching a David make a serious run at knocking off a Goliath. It isn't the committee's fault these teams were not able to schedule better out of conference games. I'm sick of hearing teams complain about that. If a team won't come to Nebraska to play Creighton, then play them at their place. Or enter a pre-season tournament with a number of good teams. Teams like Davidson and Siena have been able to put together tough schedules the last two years, why can't Creighton or St.Mary's? Coaches know that the committee is looking for tougher schedules.

What if you had a player come back from the summer and tell you he couldn't work out because he didn't have a gym to go to? Would you accept that excuse?

The only real problems I had with the bracket was seeding issues, which I am almost positive were a result of trying to keep teams from the same conference separate. Take Villanova - they are a 3 seed that gets two homes games playing in Philly? Or how about UConn, who gets stuck playing in what is essentially a conference rivals home gym? I doubt there will be much advantage there.

How did Oklahome get a 2 seed over Kansas or Mizzou? The Baby Jayhawks won the Big XII regular season while Mizzou won the Conference Tournament. Oklahoma won nothing, and lost to both of those teams head-to-head. I know, I know, it is the full body of work, but that one seems very counter intuitive.

Louisville, despite being the #1 overall seed, got a prett tough draw. Wake Forest as a four? They were #1 in the country at one point. Michigan State and Kansas at the two and three? They were major conference champs. The Cards are vicious this year, but that is the toughest 1-4.

Abd that's it. Check back later today for previews and breakdowns of each individual bracket.

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