JR Swift’s Blog

What I’m Thinking About Today

A few afterthoughts…more later

Posted by jrswift on March 11, 2007

Well…that was interesting. Quite a weekend of college basketball and I missed a lot of it but did my best to keep up with scores and highlights. On a personal note, I’ll give it up to my beloved Kansas Jayhawks who really “gutted it out” this weekend and earned themselves a #1 seed. Looks like the committee was fond of teams earning their top seed. Ohio St., Florida, North Carolina and Kansas all swept both their conference regular season and postseason titles and though I still would have put UCLA above Carolina, it would have been close. My hats off to Sidney Lowe and NC State who will be in the NIT but played like champions this weekend.

As to my tournament picks, I guess I went 62 for 65.  Not thrilling but not horrible.  I say “I guess” because I did my math wrong (and by that I mean that I couldn’t count) and ended up including 66 teams in the field.  No wonder I thought it was easier than it should have been.  Fortunately, I left a public record of which teams I would leave off at the end so I dropped team #65 and then dropped #63 and #64 since both Xavier and Nevada lost in their conference semifinals.  That meant my last team in was Kansas St and my last team out was Stanford.  Can’t complain too much about the fact that the committee switched them around.   I thought that Arkansas’ run in the SEC tournament might give them a push in but I never really changed my field.  I also thought Air Force was really shaky but I left them in the field.  The committee disagreed and I can’t blame them.  I just thought Arkansas had too many losses and really hadn’t beaten any great teams (Vanderbilt doesn’t count) in their run to the title game and a big loss to Florida.  Unfortunately, Air Force probably lost one game too many and getting beaten by Wyoming the other night was likely the last straw.  I also missed on Old Dominion who I agonized over most of the weekend (I also agonized over Drexel) but still left them out.  I don’t really have any complaints about them getting in as I think it was close.  I do have a problem with the team they left out: Syracuse.   Now I’ll admit that Syracuse is a flawed team but they did win at Marquette and also beat Villanova and Georgetown.  Yes…they lost some games early to Drexel, Oklahoma St. and Wichita St. that don’t look that great right now but all of those teams were playing well at the time.  Old Dominion has their share of pretty ugly losses as well to Marist, Clemson, James Madison, Hofstra and George Mason with their win against Georgetown being their main claim to fame.  They also piled up a lot of wins against the weaker opposition in the Colonial.  Again, I’m not arguing against Old Dominion per se but Syracuse should have been in and the selection committee was wrong.   After all, they took both Georgia Tech and Texas Tech which had worse records, worse league records and worse RPI’s.   I’d have felt much better about this if they had left out Stanford, Illinois or Texas Tech than leaving out Syracuse…and I don’t like Syracuse.  So there…that’s my rant.

Overall though, the selection committee did a pretty good job.  If I take my final rankings, they didn’t take anyone below my #67 team Arkansas (OK…they were really #68 because I can’t count.)  They didn’t reach for Drexel or Appalachian St. or West Virginia or pull some other oddball mid-major out of a hat.  It was (truthfully it always is) very difficult to separate some of these teams and I’m sure they did the best they could.

We’ll talk a bit more about seeding and selection and I’ll give a few tourney picks later.  For now, I’m going to rest.  I don’t know about you but I’m tired.

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