Sunday, March 11, 2007

JCCW Bracketology

Two quick things before my bracket guess:

--Boy, spoke just a wee bit too soon about the success of conference tourney favorites, didn't I? Akron, Delaware St., and Vermont all went down yesterday, all in excruciating fashion. The result is that the bottom of the bracket is gutted. Barring some seeding wackiness from the Committee (always a possibility) TAMU-CC (which itself survived a huge scare from Northwestern St. just a few seconds ago) looks like the only potential giant-killer at either the 14 or 15 lines.

--Will be fascinated to see what the Committee does with the play-in game. The obvious candidates are Jackson St. and Florida A&M, but shunting both representatives from the HBCU conferences out of the bracket proper could cause an impressive amount of sh*t to hit the fan. But to stick either school into the bracket proper will be a riotous injustice to whatever team does wind up in the play-in. It's a catch-22 ... and I'm hoping like hell it's the kind of catch-22 that results in the game being put out of its sparsely-attended, viewer-ignored, absurdly-unfair misery.

The Bubble

The JCCW thinks 14 teams have reasonable arguments for being either slipped in or left out. That's a lot. Though every year people say "This was the hardest bracket to pick ever," there's actually some truth this season, methinks. With 31 autos and 27 locks, that means the first seven of those 14 get in. The ranking:

IN

1. 2. Texas Tech, Georgia Tech: Too many wins over teams like Kansas and North Carolina to leave out.
3. Drexel: Every year the Committee preches road wins. How can you leave out a team that is all but the pure embodiment, the Walking Avatars, of the solid road win?
4. Syracuse: Not as good a profile as some think, since the Georgetown win is cancelled out by some questionable losses. The win at Marquette saves them.
5. Stanford: Oregon's surge gives them a lift, and they did beat UCLA.
6. Old Dominion: I'm worried, but that late-season winning streak is impressive.
7. Kansas St.: The last team in, basically on the strength of having accomplished something in their conference tourney and having a quality road win (at Texas) that the next team down does not.

OUT

8. Purdue: As pointed out before: Zero RPI top 100 road wins. The JCCW was shocked at the reaction to their Big 10-tourney win over Iowa. How does beating Iowa on a neutral court prove anything?
9. Air Force: Absolutely horrible on the road in-conference and obviously the four-game losing streak suggests they're not going to compete even if invited.
10. Florida St.: No bad losses and a handful of good wins (including a road win at Duke) should equal a bid and I wouldn't be surprised if they make it. But there's just so many losses.
11. Arkansas: The Committee is simply not going to spend too much time looking at a team that had no case when the selection process started. Plus, a below-.500 record in the SEC West?
12. Missouri St.: Covered this a couple posts back. Too many squandered chances.
13. Appalachian St.: Vandy's tumble didn't help.
14. Illinois: Their best win is a neutral-court win over Indiana. Gimme a break.

So, the bracket, complete with bad guesses at sites and whatnot. I tried to observe most bracketing procedures, but did happily ignore BYU's no-Sunday restriction:

MIDWEST

1. Ohio St. vs. 16. FAMU/Jackson St., 8. Nevada vs. 9. Xavier (Lexington)
5. Virginia Tech vs. 12. Wright St., 4. Lousiville vs. 13. Holy Cross (Buffalo)
6. Boston College vs. 11. Syracuse, 3. Texas A&M vs. 14. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (New Orleans)
7. Vanderbilt vs. 10. VCU, 2. Memphis vs. 15. Belmont (Lexington)

VS.

WEST

1. UCLA vs. 16. Weber St., 8. Kentucky vs. 9. Winthrop (Sacramento)
5. Maryland vs. 12. Gonzaga, 4. Pitt vs. 13. Davidson (Buffalo)
6. Notre Dame vs. 11. Drexel, 3. Southern Illinois vs. 14 Penn (Columbus)
7. Duke vs. 10. Arizona, 2. Kansas vs. 15. Niagara (Chicago)

EAST

1. North Carolina vs. 16. CCSU, 8. Villanova vs. 9. Michigan St. (Winston-Salem)
5. Tennessee vs. 12. New Mexico St., 4. Washington St. vs. 13. Long Beach St. (Spokane)
6. Marquette vs. 11. Stanford, 3. Texas vs. 14. Albany (Columbus)
7. Butler vs. 10. Georgia Tech, 2. Wisconsin vs. 15. Eastern Kentucky (Chicago)

VS.

SOUTH

1. Florida vs. 16. North Texas, 8. USC vs. 9. Indiana (New Orleans)
5. Virginia vs. 12. Kansas St., 4. UNLV vs. 13. Oral Roberts (Sacramento)
6. Creighton vs. 11. Old Dominion, 3. Oregon vs. 14. George Washington (Spokane)
7. BYU vs. 10. Texas Tech, 2. Georgetown vs. 15. Miami (OH) (Winston-Salem)

Getting all 34 at-larges will result in some serious gloating later this evening. Stay tuned.

3 comments:

Sparky said...

This comment has nothing to do with basketball, except that I was actually sad to see Wisconsin lose tonight, but that's because of all the in-town hype and not really because I have an informed opinion.

Anyway, this is just to let you know that I DO read your blog and am fascinated with 1) how much you know, 2) your mastery of the sports lingo, and 3) your ability to make things to which I don't naturally gravitate (note: any sport involving a ball that does not involve the Red Sox) appeal even to me.

So, um, yeah. Go Badgers!

basketballfan said...

Thought this letter from Taco Bell to the Fed would be of interest to you ...

In addition, on Thursday, March 15, you can visit www.tacobell.com to sign a petition to create a permanent national day, "Hoops Holiday." Taco Bell will forward all names to Congressional representatives in order to make your voices heard!

*********************************************************************************************

March 12, 2007

Mr. Bernard Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman
20th Street and Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20551


Dear Mr. Bernanke,

It seems that the economy can’t catch a break -- whether it’s Tax day, gas prices, or the housing market. And to top it off, this week an estimated 72 million Americans will watch endless amounts of college basketball. One firm projected that America will lose $1.2 billion in lost office productivity. In fact, you could say March 15 is “NACHO DAY” for the economy.

We have an idea to put some zest into the economy. On March 19, Taco Bell will introduce Zesty Nachos for the ridiculously low price of 99¢ at participating locations. It’s our way to help spark the economy and keep some money in people’s wallets.

Since people won’t be very productive this week due to basketball tourney viewing, here’s an even zestier offer: if you help persuade Congress to make Thursday, March 15, 2007 a new national holiday, we are willing to reward America a free order of these new 99¢ Zesty Nachos. A day off for America and we will pick up the lunch tab -- sounds nice, right?

Sincerely,

Greg Creed

President
Taco Bell Corp.

Jerry Hinnen said...

Sparky: You're very kind. But you're overrating the lingo thing. You read as much sports as I do, it comes naturally. Much like, say, Steve's theory, I'm sure. And for my mental health, I really should know less. For your sake, Go Badgers ... at least, against UNLV/Ga. Tech, if they get that far.

basketballfan:

Holidays shouldn't be corporate-sponsored, unless the corporation is Barnum and Bailey's Animal Crackers. I could go for a national Barnum and Bailey's Day.