Sunday, March 14, 2010
Bracket winners and losers
By Joe Lunardi
I have no real complaints about the inclusions and exclusions from this year's field. My miss was Florida -- I had Illinois instead. Both teams had their flaws. I was a little suprised that the Gators bagged a No. 10 seed with a 1-8 record against the InsideRPI Top 25, but I'll have to dig a little to see if that was procedural.
Billy Donovan's Florida Gators were fortunate to be selected for the NCAA tournament.
Body Of Work I'm delighted the committee applied more than top 50 wins in evaluating Utah State. To me, "body of work" can mean different things when evaluating different teams. Not everyone starts with a level playing field, and it appears the Aggies -- unlike many mid-majors before them -- convinced the committee that four months of sustained excellence was worth something.
Toughest Region The Midwest appears to be the toughest region at first glance. It has the nation's top team (Kansas) plus a pair of what could have been No. 2 seeds (Ohio State and Georgetown). It also has my preseason national champion -- Michigan State -- but I think we know how that worked out.
Duke Has Clear Path The South looks like a beefed up NIT field. Duke has no excuses this time for not reaching at least the second weekend. If I had to make a wager, Baylor would be my choice for the Final Four out of this region, joining Kansas, Syracuse and West Virginia in Indianapolis. I like Kansas over WVU in the national championship game.
OVERSEEDED: New Mexico, Clemson, Wake Forest, Florida
UNDERSEEDED: Temple, Tennessee, Northern Iowa, San Diego State, UTEP
More On Seeding For the first time, the Committee applied the provision that a conference with more than six teams in the field could have its members meet before a regional final. We could see a pair of Big East rematches in the Sweet 16: West Virginia vs. Marquette (East) and Villanova vs. Notre Dame (South).
Let's all sit back and really enjoy this tournament, just in case it's the last one with a 64-team bracket.