10 Things From Selection Sunday
1. The Committee is Horrible
The committee will never get it right. No matter how good they are, there will always be an argument for teams that should or should not have made it. But, this year they were just awful. It beings with Syracuse, Tulsa and Vanderbilt. Syracuse has no business being in the tournament. To claim a team like San Diego State, St. Mary’s, St. Bonaventure or Monmouth having bad losses is why they are not in, Syracuse lost to St. John’s and was bad all ACC season. There are some lower level teams that are ahead of the Orange in RPI. Tulsa blew many opportunities to punch their ticket. Vanderbilt has two NBA top-20 picks and is still not good. Monmouth got robbed and so did the fans who will not see their bench celebrations.
2. This Year is Wide Open
Well, we already knew this. Filling out a bracket will be nearly impossible. If Holy Cross can win 4 straight road games to get into the tournament, they can win the whole thing! OK, maybe not, but don’t be surprised if no number 1 or 2 seeds are in the Final Four.
3. Michigan State is Loving the 2 Seed
Tom Izzo is an amazing coach and motivator. His teams seem to do best when they are undervalued, have everything going against them and are disrespected. Well, this year is just how he likes it. MSU has been on fire lately, won the Big Ten tournament and still is a 2 seed. They might have the national player of the year in Denzel Valentine. Motivation? None needed for Sparty.
4. Can Anyone Beat Kansas?
Kansas has looked like the resounding number 1 team in the country for a while now. They have inside guys, wing shooters, good guards, good coaching and a deep bench. What can go wrong? Well, they have been in this position much of the past decade. Will this be their year, or will it be another letdown in Lawrence?
5. Will the Real North Carolina Please Stand Up?
During the ACC tournament, UNC looked like the team we expected all season. They turned up the D, got buckets inside and hit some shots. Will they continue this trend for 6 more wins? Or, will they go to their old ways, launch bad shots and look disinterested on defense? This team could win the whole thing or not make it past the first weekend.
6. No Ben Simmons, No Problem
The “best prospect since LeBron” could not get his team to the tournament. Who cares? This tournament has great players, future NBA stars and guys who put their teams on their back to get there. Want to watch future NBA players? Brandon Ingram, Kris Dunn, Jaylen Brown, Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray lead that category. The tournament will not miss one player.
7. What About the Little Guys?
There are some good mid-major teams. Really good teams. Arkansas-Little Rock, Stephen F. Austin, Hawaii, Chattanooga and Wichita State are all good enough to make a run. Monmouth is too, but sadly they will have to do it in the NIT.
There are some teams who received higher seeds than they deserved. Aside from the above mentioned teams who should not have made it, Oregon State as a 7 seed is a huge shock. Texas as a 6 seed seems very generous considering how they have played down the stretch. Texas A&M as a 3 seed is a surprise as well. They lost to Kentucky on Sunday and the only reason they beat them the first time was a late technical. How are they higher than Kentucky?
Indiana has been underappreciated all year long. A 5 seed for the regular season Big Ten winner is low. Maryland and Purdue can also make cases for higher seeds. I guess it was easy for the committee to plant the Big Ten on the 5 line. Seton Hall has been on fire and just knocked off Xavier and Villanova. They could have easily moved up past the 6 line.
10. Who Will Win the Title?
Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oregon and Virginia headline a deep, parity-filled field. There are 30 teams who can make a run and win it all. So for the prediction of who will be National Champion?