Forgetting the Cards’ and Cats’ placement for a moment, riddle me this.
Tennessee and Iowa are #11 seeds, and battling each other tomorrow night in Dayton, just for the right to make it to the weekend to play #6 UMass. Ken Pomeroy’s highly regarded algorithms have the Vols ranked 13th in the country, the admittedly reeling Hawkeyes still 27th. And, the Minutemen, oh, they’re ranked, uh, 52d.
Which disparity is reflected in the lines at Vegas. Orange is an opening 4 point fave over UMass, if it beats Iowa. Fran McCaffery’s club would be -6 Friday, if it wins Wednesday night in a play in game.
Xavier and N.C. State are the #12 seeds that have to play tonight to advance against St. Louis, a stumbling #5 seed. If the Musketeers advance, they’ll be a pick ’em against the Billikens.
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Which brings me to my long held belief about what happens in that hotel suite in Indy annually when these decisions are made.
It’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
The committee spends a great deal of time, determining which bubble teams make it to the bottom lines and which don’t. They spend a great deal of time, figuring out which schools make it on the top four lines, and which underachievers they’re going to place as #8s and #9s.
Then, after a couple of days, significant upsets occur in conference tourneys, throwing some of what’s determined already out of whack.
Plus several days of eating cold bad pizza, drinking too many Diet Cokes and inhaling stale HVAC air addles their brains. Cognitive dissonance ensues. So, they start cutting and pasting the bracket with little regard for anything but “let’s get this over with.”
“BYU? Sure, stick ’em in. What the hell. But, remember, they gotta play Thursday/ Saturday. Mormons don’t do Sunday.”
If there’s another explanation, I’m willing to listen. Until then, like I said, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
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Last thoughts1 on U of L as #4.
Whether the Cards deserved better or not matters not anymore. But consider this, Cardinal fans, Would you rather be a #1 with a probability of facing UK in the Round of 32, as top seed Wichita is placed? Or a #4, and a date with St. Louis/ N.C. State or Xavier if you survive Stevie Mas’ Jaspers Thursday night?
I’ll take the latter on a platter, s’il vous plait.
As for UK as a #8?
Well, don’t lose at both home and on the road to the NIT #3 seed Arkansas Razorbacks (KenPom #58). Or to NIT #5 seed LSU (KenPom #69). Or, to F-bombing Frank Martin’s 14-20 staying-at-home-for-the-post-season South Carolina Gamecocks (KenPom #121) in the last week of the regular season.
The coulda shoulda woulda 40-0-before-the-season-started Wildcats finished 24-10, heading to the Dance.
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Political prediction savant Nate Silver, gathering any number of statistical, computerized sources, says U of L has the best chance to win the crown.
Though it is but a 15% probability, according to his metrics.
The Know It Alls in Vegas have established U of L, along with Arizona, as 7-1 to win the title. Which is behind Florida at 4-1, and Michigan State at 9-2. UK is 40-1.
You can see the lines and read about what the Vegas oddsmakers think of the committee’s seedings here.
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For a reason that I can’t quite fathom, any number of folks have asked me in the last day, what my upset specials are?
So, here are the ones on my bracket.2
I think St. Joe’s has a shot against UConn. As does the Harvard Crimson against offensively-bereft Cincy. So too, North Dakota State against Oklahoma; Nebraska against Baylor; Providence against North Carolina and Tulsa against UCLA.
Though it is said that “past performance is not indicative of future results,” I must disagree in my case. I’m pretty much wrong about these matters consistently from year to year.
— Seedy K