Sunday, March 13, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket released: Initial Thoughts

The NCAA Tournament bracket has been released!!!

Here's a printable version (click on it to enlarge):

A couple of thoughts on the bracket:

  • There is only one snub I feel bad for -- Virginia Tech. For the fourth straight season, they fall just on the wrong side of the bubble and will be headed to the NIT. Malcolm Delaney, one of the best players in the ACC the last three seasons, will never get to experience the NCAA Tournament. Making things even worse is that the Hokies had to deal with all kinds of injuries and suspensions this season.

  • Beyond Virginia Tech, however, I really find it difficult to feel bad for any team that was left on the outside looking in. Alabama? You lost to everyone in the non-conference season. Colorado? You didn't play anyone in the non-conference season and went 8-8 in the Big 12. St. Mary's? You lost four of your last six. Put the conspiracy theories away. The only complaint anyone should have is that teams 65-68 are undeserving, regardless of who you think they are or should have been.

  • The East is absolutely loaded. Seeds 1-4 are Ohio State, UNC, Syracuse, and Kentucky, while seeds 6-8 (Xavier, Washington, George Mason) were all teams that I had pegged as potential sleepers prior to the bracket being released.

  • Duke didn't get as easy of a bracket as you think. They head out west, meaning that they can potentially play "road" games in the Sweet 16 (against Arizona) and the Elite 8 (against San Diego State). UConn and Texas, as the three and the four seeds, were both ranked in the top five at one point this season.

  • First glance upsets: Richmond over Vanderbilt, Missouri over Cincinnati, Gonzaga over St. John's, Washington over UNC.
Obviously, we will have much, much more to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another random observation: Evidently the committee's desire to keep teams as close to home as possible doesn't apply to the Pac-10. Washington and UCLA both get shipped to the Eastern time zone, while USC, if it gets past the opening round, will go to Chicago.