Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sportz Assassin's Bubble Watch 2013 - SUCCESS!

Well, I did get all 68 schools right for the NCAA Tournament.  I don't do the seeds because (a) I don't have the time, (b) I'm not smart enough to figure that all out and there are many others who would do a better job and (c) it is damn near impossible.

But I did get all 68 picked correctly, which is something for me.  I usually miss on at least one or two.  This year, though, was actually pretty simple so I cannot take too much credit.  After all, I haven't heard much complaining about snubs from the main stream media.  Sure, there are discussions, but nothing like the shouting matches that we've grown to know over the past few years.  That fact means it wasn't that hard to get this right.

After all, the schools I honestly kept moving around in the last few days were Boise State, La Salle and Middle Tennessee State.  I thought Saint Mary's was looking good for the tournament, but I never had them as locks.  All of those four schools will be in those "first round games"  ... aka the play-in games.

Breaking it down a bit more, I was surprised by a few things.

OREGON:  I've had the Ducks as a lock for over a week ... but they received a No. 12 seed by the committee.  That would suggest that they were very much on the bubble before winning the Pac-12 tournament.
WICHITA STATE:  They come in as a No. 9 seed ... which I didn't think they were.  Again, I'm not as big into the seeding as much as how firm I believed they were in the tournament.  I didn't waver with them, but I didn't think they'd get that high a seed.

ILLINOIS:  They got a No. 7 seed, meaning they were easily in the tournament.  While I agree with that, I didn't have them as absolute locks until about a week left in the season.  According to their seed, they were easily in.

THE ACC:  The Atlantic Coast Conference could have some beefs about this arrangement.  Miami became the only ACC school in history to not get a No. 1 seed despite winning both the ACC regular season and tournament.  Duke feels that it not only got shafted by not getting a No. 1 seed, but it got shipped out of the Washington region (in favor of Miami) and placed in Louisville's bracket.  North Carolina can feel they were underseeded as a No. 8 since 6 of their 10 losses this year were to Miami, Duke and Indiana.  They both Virginia and Maryland can feel a bit snubbed by not getting in at all.

UNLV/CALIFORNIA:  First off, California wasn't as big a lock as I thought they were since they gained a No. 12 seed.  But they got lucky.  They get UNLV (well that's tough), but they get them in San Jose ... essentially a home game for the Bears.  Doesn't seem fair.

IT ISN'T THE ONLY ONES:  Here are a few other games where the better seeded team has sort of a home team disadvantage:  Oklahoma State vs Oregon in San Jose, Colorado State vs Missouri in Lexington and VCU vs Akron in Detroit.

UNC/KANSAS:  This may not happen, but we could see a 2nd round mathcup between North Carolina and Kansas.  Kansas knocked out UNC in last year's Elite 8 matchup.  That game was played in St. Louis, Missouri. If they meet up in the 2nd round, that game will be played in Kansas City, Missouri.  Roy Williams has gotta love that.

POD SEEDING:  Aside from Gonzaga, the other No. 1 seeds barely have to travel to get to their games.  Louisville plays in Lexington, Indiana plays in Dayton and Kansas plays in Kansas City (Gonzaga isn't too far in Salt Lake City).  The No. 2s aside from Miami have favorable home court advantages as well. 

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