Every single Division I basketball team takes to the court at the beginning of November with the same goal in mind - reaching the NCAA Tournament. They put in hours upon hours of practice, film sessions and weight training. In an ideal world, every single team should be rewarded with a chance to play for the National Championship. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, only 68 teams get that opportunity, while the other 275 can only wait until next year to try again.
For many of the 275 teams left out of the tournament, they have nobody to blame but themselves. They were probably bad teams that failed to crack double digits in wins or mediocre teams that just couldn't quite get on a sustained roll. But for about eight or so of those 275 teams, they usually have a legitimate beef with NCAA Selection Committee.
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The committee is responsible for taking into account a team's body of work, throughout the season and ultimately determining if they are good enough to play one more game (bring in revenue) on the road, many miles away from their home base. I don't envy those individuals who are on this committee. Sure, they have a job most would dream of - making tons of money to watch basketball for a living - but being criticized on a daily basis would have to take some toll on you has a human being. They are the only entity in basketball that gets criticized without even setting foot on a basketball court.
For the committee, the start of the process seems like a piece of cake. The four best teams are usually the No. 1 seeds. The worst four teams are playing in the play-in games. However, this year we have two matchups featuring four solid No.11 seeds. Kansas State, Wake Forest, USC and Providence. I can understand why they didn't make the field of 64, but these two games have the makings to produce some great basketball, which we saw last night as Kansas State beat Wake Forest by a score of 95-88.
After the first four and last four are set, they must juggle teams to avoid regular-season rematches and potential conference showdowns in the second round all while taking major consideration to the location of the game. This means that teams are rarely assigned their true seed.
For my March Madness brackets strategy , I like to pretend I am on the selection committee but without all those restrictions. I am giving teams seeds in conjunction only with a team's RPI this year. As John Calipari said last year before the selection show, "I don't know how all this stuff works, but it is what it is. One year it's road wins, the next is wins vs. the Top 50; it's always a moving target".
With that said, here are my reseeded teams, region by region. My adjusted seed is listed first with their actual seed after the team in parentheses.
1) Villanova (1)
2) Duke (2)
3) Florida (4)
4) SMU (6)
5) Baylor (3)
6) Virginia (5)
7) Wisconsin (8)
8) South Carolina(7)
9) Virginia Tech (9)
12) UNC Wilmington(12)
13) East Tennessee St(13)
14) New Mexico State(14)
16) Mt Saint Mary's/New Orleans(16)
This region is very top-heavy. You can make legitimate cases for the top five or six seeds, but after that we get into teams that benefitted because of the conference they play in. On paper, Villanova should get out of this bracket easily but will likely have to face a good Florida team in the Sweet 16, which will be their toughest test. The team that I believe got disrespected here is SMU. They have a better record than Duke, Baylor, Florida and Virginia yet find themselves as the sixth seed and on route to a showdown with Baylor in round two.
1) Kansas (1)
3) Louisville (2)
4) Purdue (4)
5) Iowa State (5)
6) Michigan (7)
8) Creighton (6)
9) Oklahoma State (10)
10) Michigan State (9)
11) Nevada (12)
12) Rhode Island (11)
14) Iona (14)
15) Jacksonville State (15)
16) NC Central/UC Davis (16)
This is a very strange region. I watched most of the teams play numerous
times this year, and in some games they looked like world-beaters and in
others they looked completely lost. Kansas has the raw talent to succeed
and progress in this tournament, but Louisville and Purdue have the team
chemistry I look for when picking teams in March. As far as path out of
this region, if Louisville can get past either Michigan or Oklahoma State
in the second round then they will have a very favorable matchup against
either Oregon, Creighton or Rhode Island.
1) Gonzaga (1)
2) Arizona (2)
3) West Virginia (4)
4) Notre Dame (5)
5) Florida State (3)
6) Saint Mary's (7)
7) Maryland (6)
8) Northwestern (8)
10) Vanderbilt (9)
11) Princeton (12)
12) Xavier (11)
13) Bucknell (13)
14) Florida Gulf Coast (14)
15) South Dakota State(16)
16) North Dakota (15)
This is about as stacked
as you could have in an NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga was one of the most
dominating teams this season, with Pac-12 champions Arizona right behind
them. I understand the misconceptions about the Pac-12 and WCC being weak
compared to other major conferences, but I love Arizona to cut down the
nets and claim their second NCAA Tournament title. Their path won't be
easy, however, having to probably go through the likes of Saint Mary's,
Florida State/Maryland and Gonzaga to reach the Final Four. Also, talk
about some bad luck. Northwestern make their first every NCAA Tournament
and gets shipped across the country to play in Salt Lake City. If they beat
Vanderbilt then they will then square up against Gonzaga.
1) North Carolina (1)
2) Kentucky (2)
3) UCLA (3)
4) Butler (3)
5) Cincinnati (6)
6) Dayton (7)
7) Minnesota (5)
8) Arkansas (8)
9) Seton Hall (9)
10) Wichita State (10)
11) Kansas St/Wake Forest (11)
12) Middle Tennessee St (12)
13) Winthrop (13)
14) Kent State (14)
15) Northern Kentucky (15)
16) Texas Southern (16)
The South region features three of the most prolific schools in NCAA history. North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA have a combined 25 National Championships, with the latest coming in 2012 by way of Kentucky. Realistically, the top three teams should have no problems taking care of business until Kentucky meets UCLA in the Sweet 16. North Carolina's toughest matchup will likely come in the second-round if Arkansas beats Seton Hall. Realistically, you could change the top three seeds and nobody would complain. My sleeper out of this region is Cincinnati. They have a veteran squad that knows how to play shut-down defense. They will need to beat the likes of UCLA, Kentucky and UNC just to make the Final Four.
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