At the time of this writing, Selection Sunday is less than 24 hours removed and there’s already madness. Although it revolves around the seedings, the seeds don’t matter as much as previous years because there’s a lot of parity in this year’s field.
Before we start, here’s a quick listing of all the seeds for each region:
|3||West Virginia||Texas A&M||Utah||Miami (FL)|
|6||Notre Dame||Texas||Seton Hall||Arizona|
|8||USC||Saint Joseph's||Texas Tech||Colorado|
|11||Michigan/Tulsa||Northern Iowa||Gonzaga||Wichita St.|
|12||Chattanooga||Yale||Little Rock||South Dakota St.|
|13||Stony Brook||UNC Wilmington||Iona||Hawai'i|
|14||Stephen F. Austin||Green Bay||Fresno State||Buffalo|
|15||Weber State||Cal St. Bakersfield||Middle Tennessee||UNC Asheville|
|16||Fl. Gulf Coast||Holy Cross/Southern||Hampton||Austin Peay|
Notice something a little peculiar in the Midwest region? For reasons unknown, the committee felt that Virginia was deserving of the number one seed. I don’t want to demean the season that the Cavaliers put togeather, after all, they do rank third in RPI according to CBS Sports. However, Michigan State won the Big Ten conference tournament, and Virginia did not win the ACC tourney which should’ve given the edge to MSU despite the Big Ten being slightly lower in conference RPI.
Aside from MSU being “snubbed” of the one seed, there really wasn’t anything else as far as seeding. Where other interesting points come are with teams who weren’t selected at all. These teams were mostly mid-majors who lost in their conference tournament, like Hofstra and Monmouth; Hofstra was selected as a five seed in the NIT.
This is going to a great March Madness, and the list of great players who are competing could go on forever. Buddy Hield with the Sooners, Grayson Allen & Brandon Ingram from Duke, Denzel Valentine from MSU, it’s just remarkable. One player who will be greatly missed during this time is Ben Simmons, the freshman who generated massive buzz from spectacular play this year. LSU wasn’t selected because they, frankly, didn’t deserve it. They had a mediocre year at best, finishing 19-14 and getting dismantled by Texas A&M in the SEC tournament.
But they’ll play in the NIT, right? No, they won’t. The Tigers decided that they will not be participating in the NIT, and Ben Simmons will miss the opportunity to play in the postseason.
East: Kentucky – The Wildcats are one of the hottest teams in the nation right now. Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray lead a potent offense, and the team’s defense is unreal as always.
Midwest: Michigan State – Being snubbed from the one seed will definitely put a chip on MSU’s shoulder. Denzel Valentine has been a handful all year, and I don’t expect him to stop now.
South: Miami (FL.) – A nice balanced attack on offense and a very stringent defense can lead Miami to the Final Four. If they didn’t beat them, they played the ACC’s best teams very tightly.
West: Oklahoma – Anything is possible with the best scorer in the nation on your team. Oklahoma will win a shootout nine times out of ten, but it all comes down to Buddy Hield who will need to be a catalyst for the Sooners.
Dark Horse Teams
East: Providence – The Friars’ biggest problem is consistency, but when they have a good day they’re hard to beat.
Midwest: Seton Hall – After beating ‘Nova to earn the Big East’s auto bid, the Pirates’ confidence is probably at an all-time high. That’ll be their biggest key going forward.
South: UConn – Defense wins championship and UConn’s defense is 11th in the nation. When they made their magical run as the seven seed in 2014, their defense was ranked 32nd.
West: Yale – Ivy League teams love upsets. With no Harvard this year, Yale will look to shake up the bracket much like their Crimson rivals.
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