JR Swift’s Blog

What I’m Thinking About Today

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More thoughts on the NCAA Tournament

Posted by jrswift on March 12, 2007

Well…a day has passed and that has given me some time to think about selection Sunday and reflect on how things turned out.

First off, I feel pretty good about the teams I picked who didn’t get in. Air Force was this year’s highest RPI rated team that didn’t make the tournament. In most any year, a top 30 RPI will get you in and they came in at 29. As to Syracuse and Kansas St, they collectively became the first two teams in NCAA history to win 20 games and 10 games in a major conference (they actually both won 11 if you count their tournament wins) and not make the field. So there! I feel somewhat vindicated.

In a similar vein, I have come to believe that the problem this year wasn’t that deserving teams got left out but that there simply weren’t enough deserving teams. The last team I put in the field that I really felt good about was Georgia Tech. That was before both Air Force and Stanford lost their last games. I might throw Xavier in there as well if I think about it a bit. That means (and you know I’m not good at counting) that the last six or seven teams were a reach. In other words, it wasn’t that deserving teams were left out but that there simply weren’t enough deserving teams. The last half dozen or so teams just weren’t worthy but, after all, someone had to fill out the bracket and these were the lucky ones. In other words, no one has anything to complain about…not me and not those teams left out.

Looking at the brackets, I have the following impressions. Florida looks pretty good in the Midwest. I think their toughest game might be Maryland in the Sweet 16. I have no confidence in Wisconsin and they might not even make it to the regional finals. There are a number of good teams on their side of the bracket like UNLV, Winthrop, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and maybe even the Davidson/Butler winner. If you are looking for surprise Elite 8 team, I’d look here.

The West looks set up for a Kansas/UCLA matchup in a couple of weeks. I can’t see any of the other teams really making a run. Pitt is like a pale imitation of the Bruins but they might be the most likely surprise and they are a 3rd seed. If Kansas stumbles, it will be in their second round matchup with Villanova but I don’t think they do. UCLA should roll their side of the bracket. I’ll pick Kansas in a tough game against them in the finals.

The East looks exceptionally tough. A lot of really good teams here. Marquette is underseeded at 8 and could give Carolina a tussle. I think that Texas knocks off the Tar Heels but comes up just short against Georgetown.

As to the South, I’m just not sold on the Big 10 or Ohio St. I’m going to say they make it to the finals but are upset by Memphis, the team nobody knows.

In the Final Four, I’ll take Kansas over Florida and Georgetown over Memphis. Kansas wins it all by taking out Georgetown…that game won’t be close.

So there you go. I’m done talking about college basketball and I’m going to go back to talking about my upcoming Vegas trip, which is only 4 weeks away. Hope to see you all back here tomorrow.

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