My first reaction to the bracket was how uneven the regions are. We say this every year about how one bracket just seems to be far worse than the rest, and from what I can see is that bracket in the Midwest Region with Wichita State, Michigan, Duke and Louisville is going to be a blood bath. Anyone who doubted the shockers ability will see their merit, or lack their of, in this region. Not only are the top 4 teams deadly, but Kentucky who has talent is in that region too. Now I will not sit here and sing the praises of any coach Cal team, but on any given night, they have a talented, athletic bunch of individuals on their squad so it will be worth seeing who comes out of that region. On the flip side the East and West regions don't look that strong, so Michigan State, despite their status as a 4 seed, could really make a run out of that region.
One thing that really surprised me was how much the conference tourney moved teams up and down. Iowa ended up in the last 4 in and Nebraska had a little better situation. Similarly Syracuse falling to a 3 is pretty surprising and will no doubt haunt them as they now have to face a Florida team who hasn't earned an "L" since 2013.
Another surprise for me was the fact the A-10 got 6 teams in. Now I am not saying the A-10 is not a solid conference at all. But I wonder how some teams from Power conferences would have faired playing the A-10 schedule. I will be curious to see how they match up with teams from the ACC and Big 10 who were both pretty solid top to bottom.
Watch out for the 4 seeds. Louisville and MSU are both trending up and could potentially surprise somebody. UCLA and San Diego State are no joke either. And I can't wait to see the sweet 16 in the midwest bracket, going to be some real good basketball being played there. On the flip side, how good is Kansas without their NBA lottery pick caliber Center. Round of 64 game shouldn't be a huge issue seeing their a 2 seed, but Stanford or New Mexico could potentially cause trouble let alone the Sweet 16/Elite 8 if Embid doesn't get healthy.
I am salivating a bit over the possible MSU Virginia match up. A couple of smash mouth teams both playing good basketball right now. Lastly I always like the 5/12 games because usually a good place for an upset. Reason for this? 12's are usually teams playing well and just barely squeaking in, and 5's are teams that struggled the last couple weeks and fell a bit. Momentum matters people. As much as I hate to admit it, I kind of am curious about Oregon after last year. They had a rough patch for 1 month in conference play, otherwise they have been near unbeatable all years.
My last big thought about the bracket. Why didn't the NCAA try to create a few matchup's between teams that formerly were in the same conference? Syracuse and Nova in the same region would have been fun. Not to mention a few other possible former big east/a-10/ACC match ups.
- In sports when something has 2 or 4 periods, we refer to the periods as quarters or halves, but if it has 3 we don't call it thirds, why?
- Would the NCAA tournament benefit from more teams? or would that dilute the talent?
- Will someone win the 1 Billion from Warren Buffet?
- Will any of the writers here fill out a better bracket than Benton's Girlfriend (History says no)?
- Do people actually watch the play in games on Tuesday and Wednesday or does the tourney really start on Thursday at noon? I mean those 16 seed play in games are pretty rough.
- Which team who everyone says got screwed when it comes to seeding will lose in the first round to a school you nor I has ever heard of?
- Which team that gets snubbed but was a "shoe-in" by the "experts" loses in the first round of the N.I.T.?