March Madness Brackets Advice and Tips: Over-Seeded and Under-Seeded Teams
by Trevor Whenham - 3/15/2011
Creating the March Madness bracket every year is a brutally hard job, and I fully realize and respect how it would be totally impossible to make everyone happy. Still, that respect doesn’t mean I have to like or agree with everything they do. This year in particular there seems to be a particularly high number of head-scratchers. That’s what you get when you put a guy from Ohio State in charge of anything, I guess. Here’s a look at the most over-seeded and under-seeded teams in the bracket in my eyes with some March Madness brackets advice and tips to help you avoid common mistakes that the rest of your competition will likely make:
Florida - As a No. 2 seed Florida looks like a pretty good four seed. The SEC was such a mess that they wouldn’t deserve this seed even if they had won the conference impressively. The last statement they made, though, was getting humiliated by a talented but flawed Kentucky team in the SEC Championship Game. This is by far the worst seeding in the entire tournament. Just silly.
North Carolina - I kept hearing that Duke and North Carolina were playing in the ACC Championship for a No. 1 seed. I never bought that. I thought that North Carolina should have been playing for no more than a No. 2 seed if they pulled off the win. They obviously didn’t win, though -- not even close. If a team with a less impressive name than North Carolina across their chests came forward with this body of work they wouldn’t be a two seed -- especially not coming out of such a pitiful conference.
Duke - Duke is Duke. They are also consistently over-ranked. They probably shouldn’t have been a No. 1 last year -- though they clearly earned it in the end -- and they shouldn’t have been a No. 1 this year. You have to be consistent to be a top seed, and in the second half of the season they were horrifyingly far from that.
UAB and VCU - I group these two teams together because I have the same problem with both of their seedings -- they absolutely don’t deserve any seedings. How either of these teams made it into the field is a total mystery when there were clearly more deserving teams -- especially St. Mary’s, Alabama and Colorado -- that were left out. There will always be teams that are borderline and tough to assess, but these teams are both very hard to justify, and the Selection Committee is deservedly taking heat over both of them.
Michigan State - The Spartans had a rough year and were consistently underwhelming. They are still a very talented team with a number of solid accomplishments. The committee gave some teams the benefit of the doubt -- including a couple of the Big Ten teams -- but they did the Spartans no favors with a No. 10 seed. They should have been at least a nine and probably an eight. On the plus side, they sure are a tough 10.
Texas - I have some troubles trusting Texas. Still, I just don’t see how they wound up all the way down as a No. 4 seed. They measured up in so many ways -- especially efficiency -- as a two seed. They have the talent to be a No. 1, and the accomplishments as well. At worst they should have been a three, so this seeding is a total mystery.
Notre Dame - As I said before, I think the Irish should have been a No. 1 in place of Duke. I understand that they probably hurt themselves with their Big East Tournament performance, but I still believe they are too low.
Belmont and Oakland - I put these two together because they have a lot in common, and because they both suffer from the same issue in the eyes of the Selection Committee. The committee just won’t give team like this -- older, proven, tournament hardened, really talented, and tested against good teams -- enough respect. They stick them down here at 13th while there are all sorts of uninspiring teams from major conferences that get stuck up from ninth to 12th for no good reason other than they play in a conference that people get to watch on TV. It’s a serious flaw in the system. Both of these teams deserve much better.
Kentucky - I covered this ground earlier. They smoked Florida in the SEC Championship -- absolutely dismantled them -- and are two seeds lower. Ridiculous.
Long Island - This is a slightly different case than Belmont and Oakland, but the Blackbirds still have reason to feel slighted. They were regular season and tournament champs in the NEC -- a conference that has produced some decent tournament squads over the years. They are fourth in the entire country in points per game, and third in rebounds. They shoot pretty well, too. So, what does the Committee do to reward their play? Instead of giving them a higher seed -- they should be a 14 -- they send them to North Carolina’s backyard in Charlotte to play the Tar Heels. There are a bunch of conferences that the Committee doesn’t even pretend to respect, and the NEC is clearly one of them.
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