ACC TOURNAMENT: Duke took care of pesky Wake Forest, ending the Deacs surprising ACC tourny run. The Devils will play Boston College tomorrow. BC just out physicalled North Carolina and sustained a late Heels rally to reach the ACC finals in their first season in the conference.
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT: They began Wednesday as a team on the back side of the bubble. Four days later, Syracuse wins the Big East title and the accompanying automatic bid. WOW!!! Syracuse, the 9th seed in the tournament [akin to a 4 or 5 seed in most conferences] became the first Big East tournament team to win 4 games to win the crown.
ATLANTIC 10 TOURNAMENT: Xavier did it again. A couple of years ago, the Muskies used an unprobable A-10 tourny run...and title....into an eventual Elite 8 appearance [and almost upset Duke in the E-8]. Xavier made a comeback, some timely play and great defense on the final possession of the game to punch their tourny ticket. Of all the games today, this was the best...as it was truly two teams who HAD to win to get into the dance....and it was special.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT: My upset pick of Indiana beating Ohio State juuuuust missed as Indiana had two good looks at the basket as time was running out. Instead, those Buckeyes are moving on. They'll play Iowa, who got past Michigan State [the Spartans really struggled] to set up a matchup of the top two seeds.
BIG XII TOURNAMENT: Texas had a really dogfight on their hands with Texas A&M [which makes me BELIEVE they are a tournament team now]. The Longhorns did survive....and will face Kansas in the championship game.
SEC TOURNAMENT: It was a weird bracket day in Nashville today. On the top half, surprising South Carolina did it again....pulling off their THIRD straight upset by beating Kentucky. If the Gamecocks win one more game, they'll be in the dance which was unimaginable for, oh, the last month or so. In the other bracket, Florida spanked LSU in the 2nd half to reach the SEC finals.
PAC-10 TOURNAMENT: UCLA may be a bit underhyped. They won the Pac-10 during the season and went on to win the Pac-10 tournament. The Bruins are one of those teams that could make one of those surprising Final Four runs.
MOUNTAIN WEST TOURNAMENT: San Diego State beat Wyoming in overtime...causing bubble nation to hold their breaths. Also, SD State [who was a solid drop for a bid...but losing this game to an under .500 team may have killed that] ended their doubts by winning the auto bid.
CONFERENCE USA TOURNAMENT: Memphis won the C-USA Championship by getting past UAB. The Tigers, in my honest opinion, should be a #1 seed in the tournament. UAB should get a good look from the selection committee tomorrow.
WAC TOURNAMENT: Nevada wins and all the bubble teams breathed a bit easier after this won.
1-Duke [Greensboro]: They get this spot even with an ACC title loss since Nova and UConn didn't get as far as their conference finals.
2-Pittsburgh[Auburn Hills]: Big East runner up leaves UConn's bracket.
3-LSU [Jacksonville]: The best team in the SEC gets here.
4-Gonzaga [Salt Lake City]: Could there be a Sweet 16 meeting between Redick and Morrison?? Wow!
5-Michigan State: I'm not a fan, but their RPI is pretty strong.
6-George Washington: The injury to Pops stings.
7-Wisconsin: Elite 8 team last year with Chris Rock look-alike
8-Southern Illinois: MVC title puts Salukis back into dance
9-Kentucky: Kentucky and Duke in 2nd round??
10-California: Play Wisconsin
11-Cincinnati: Play George Washington
12-Wis Milwaukee: Play Michigan State
13-San Diego State: Play Gonzaga
14-Winthrop: Play LSU
15-Albany: Play Pittsburgh
16-Belmont: Play Duke
After taking a second to look it over....I worried about the perceived strength in this regional. It shouldn't be too strong since Duke is my #1 overall seed. But, of the top 11 seeds...only So.Illinois and Gonzaga won their conference tournaments [Duke could be #3]. I like the possible Duke path of foe Kentucky...then Adam Morrison...then either physical team of LSU or Pitt to get to the Final Four.
1-Memphis [Dallas]: There is no reason they should not be a #1 seed.
2-Ohio State [Dayton]: The best #2 gets placed with the bottom #1.
3-UCLA [San Diego]: I am now a believer in the Bruins
4-Florida [Jacksonville]: The top four seeds could all be conference champions.
5-Nevada: I lovetheir numbers. The WAC brought their SOS and RPI down...but they were 11-3 against the Top 100. But will they actually be this high?
6-West Virginia: Can they get the magic back?
7-Wichita State: Strongest of the MVC clan.
8-Syracuse: What a great Big East tourny run
9-UNC-Wilmington: Two hot teams facing off.
10-Texas A&M: Play Wichita State
11-Michigan: Play West Virginia
12-Seton Hall: Play Nevada
13-Iona: Play Florida
14-South Alabama: Play UCLA
15-Davidson: Play Ohio State
16-Oral Roberts: Play Memphis.
After taking a second to look it over....well, the top 5 teams [provided Ohio State wins tomorrow] will be conference tourny champs...making 11 of the 16 seeds in this regional tourny champs. I like the strong non-BCS teams like Nevada, Memphis, Wichita State and UNC-Wilmington. The problem in here is Michigan is a #11 seed. I don't like it...but with the way that the bracket is laid out elsewhere...it was a necessity.
WASHINGTON DC BRACKET
1-UConn [Philadelphia]: They still get the DC bracket...but won't be the #1 overall seed.
2-North Carolina [Greensboro]: I don't think they deserve it...but they have darngood numbers to back this up
3-Illinois [Dayton]: A 2005 title rematch in the Sweet 16??
4-Kansas [Salt Lake City]: A Big XII title over Texas would knock them up to a #3.
5-Washington: Huskies blew it in Pac-10 tourny
6-Marquette: Their 3rd place Big East regular season showing will have merit.
7-Oklahoma: I hated this team down the stretch. Just ask Lew.
8-Arkansas: Razorbacks are back in the dance.
9-UAB: A Blazers-Backs game could get wild.
10-Bradley: Play Oklahoma
11-Alabama: Play Marquette
12-George Mason: Play Washington
13-Montana: Play Kansas
14-Northwestern State: Play Illinois
15-Pennsylvania: Play North Carolina
16-Monmouth/Southern: Play in winner gets UConn.
After taking a second to look it over....I really didnt't want to give UNC the #2 seed. But, the only #3 seed that I liked to replace them was Illinois...who is also in this bracket. It may end up that way anyways. There are 10 teams in here that are "state" named universities.
1-Villanova [Philadelphia]: I doubt that Allan Ray's eye injury will knock them off this slot.
2-Texas [Dallas]: Provided the Horns beat Kansas...but may be here regardless
3-Boston College [Auburn Hills]: If they beat Duke in the ACC title game, they and North Carolina could switch spots.
4-Iowa [San Diego]: A win and a BC loss would most likely flip-flop these teams.
5-Tennessee: The Vols have slipped late but are still dangerous
6-Georgetown: Could be a sleeper team.
7-Indiana: Mike Davis' last dance at IU
8-NC State: Have fallen completely apart of late.
9-Arizona: Zona does have a lofty RPI....but no Hassan Adams drops them.
10-Bucknell: Play Indiana.
11-Northern Iowa: Play Georgetown
12-Kent State: Play Tennessee
13-Xavier: Play Iowa
14-Murray State: Play Boston College
15-Pacific: Play Texas
16-Delaware State: Play Villanova
After taking a second to look it over....this will be a brawling region. There are a ton of physical teams in here that whomever comes out of it would be battle tested.