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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tourney top seeds appear fairly set

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Like the names inside an Oscar envelope or the unveiling of a wedding dress, the NCAA Tournament field is one of the few anticipated revelations that remain secret until a pivotal moment.

And therein lies the reason players annually are seen on telecasts holding their breath, praying and then jumping up to dance in front of televisions when their teams are announced.

While surprises will abound as is the custom on Selection Sunday, there are some assumptions that can be made. Like some of the No. 1 seeds.

Kentucky (32-1) hung on to beat Florida in the SEC semifinals and is bound to be the overall top seed. Syracuse (31-2) can shrug off its Big East loss to Cincinnati before it begins its quest to reach the NCAA final as a No. 1 team.

North Carolina’s victory in the final seconds against North Carolina State in the ACC semifinals probably makes the Tar Heels (29-4) a safe No. 1 as well.

A few teams could make a case for the fourth top seed.

Kansas (27-6) still is considered a candidate despite losing to Baylor in the Big 12 semifinals thanks to a No. 6 RPI and No. 6 strength of schedule.

Either Michigan State or Ohio State, whichever wins today’s Big Ten tournament final, would be legitimate top picks. The Spartans’ resume is especially impressive with a No. 5 RPI, 10 victories against top-50 opponents and the nation’s top-rated strength of schedule.

Missouri (30-4) used a solid triumph over Baylor to win the Big 12 championship, which could be enough — some would say should be enough — to lock down a top spot.

Duke (27-6) had 16 turnovers in its loss to Florida State in the ACC semifinal. It probably tossed away a chance at being a top seed.

The rest of the field might not receive such five-star reviews.

This season’s prospects are considered especially weak.

Of course, that’s what everyone with a Twitter account was moaning about last season, then Virginia Commonwealth’s run turned it into a memorable tournament filled with charming storylines.

Still, the initial list doesn’t impress. While you’re getting out pens to fill out brackets, start boning up on teams like North Carolina State, South Florida and Colorado State that might be invited. To become bracket-ready, studying Iona and Drexel just in case isn’t a horrible idea.

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm has the last four teams in as Colorado State, Mississippi, Northwestern and South Florida, while Seton Hall, Miami, Iona and Drexel are his first four left out. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Texas, North Carolina State, Mississippi State and Seton Hall as the final four invites, while he (just barely) leaves out Washington, Drexel, Miami and Marshall.

Right now, everyone has an opinion and a case to make.

The selection committee’s much anticipated revelation tonight will end the speculation — and trigger new debates.

Comments

Jace FitzGibbon 7 years, 7 months ago

i hope mizzou loses early. im getting so tired of everyone i see everyday talking crap that mizzou is better than us. ignorance jeez. cant they just admit were pretty even?

JHawk241 7 years, 7 months ago

To be fair, they are pretty good this year. That being said, they lose most everything and will go back to being mediocre next year and we will be better next year.

leonard 7 years, 7 months ago

While waiting on the seedings, here's a quick but unofficial look at next year's Jayhawk squad (with my apologies to Garrett and Roberts...I don't know if they are career end-of-the-benchers or have a future on the court).

4 Srs...Withey, Johnson, Releford, and Young.

1 Jr....Wesley

2 Sophs...Tharpe and Lindsay

7 Frosh...McLemore, Traylor, Ellis, White, Adams, Lucas, and Peters.

Robert Murphy 7 years, 7 months ago

Your wrong about that they will reload next year just like Kansas. Look for them to do well in the sec.

addlime 7 years, 7 months ago

Our worst season in years. Their best season in decades.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

I hate Mizzou, could care less that they are leaving, but they deserve all the credit they are getting. That being said...I hope they get knocked out early myself.

SaltLakeHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

I really really really hope mizery gets a 1 seed. They'll finally get their first taste of the pressure that KU feels almost every year in the tourney.

The difference: after they get their hearts broken by a mid-major, mizery fans won't even have the comfort of saying "maybe next year." This is mizery's team of a century. The next time they have a team this good, humans will be flying around in jetpacks*.

*mizery fans won't have jetpacks. They'll still be blowing up trailers full of meth

Tim Orel 7 years, 7 months ago

The only reason I'd accept Mizzou as a one seed would be if they became the first one seed to lose in the first round of the tourney. That would be just perfect.

Brian Skelly 7 years, 7 months ago

Agreed STL... I live here too (StL) and Mizzou fans are not acting like they've been there before... because they havent.

I dont get to ate up with Tiggers fans though, or not nearly as much as others do.

You have to give Mizzou credit though... this team they have is awesome. All the matchup problems they cause will give anyone trouble.

It's going to take a team with good bigs (like us) to beat them. In reality though, they wont face a team like that until the 2nd weekend or Final Four.

Jace FitzGibbon 7 years, 7 months ago

no i agree that they are very good but they act like we're garbage and no where near them.

after the game in columbia (where i went to watch the game) they acted as if they won the national title. saying the refs calls were fair and what not

after the game in lawrence they were calling for a conspiracy against mizzou because the refs were so terrible and how we dont belong on the same court as them. i say were pretty even and the 2 mu ku games were the best games in all of college basketball this season.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

We've just got to humble ourselves and admit it. Missouri is better than us. In, fact - they are NUMBER 1 in the nation. Again!!

We ARE talking about Meth Labs, right ???

soccerjo6 7 years, 7 months ago

people need to realize that this is mizzou winningest senior class and probably one of the best teams they have ever had. This is supposed to be a down year for us and you can argue that the we are better or at least even with them. That says everything. So mizzou fans should put into perspective that this season just proves the domination.

cklarock 7 years, 7 months ago

+1000.

Best Mizzou Team Ever vs. KU Down Year? KU wins the league.

rockchalk_dpu 7 years, 7 months ago

Great point. I remember when their senior class broke the school record for wins when they got to... 100. At that point, our seniors had already compiled 114 wins, and that's not even counting everything since then. That many wins is huge for a program, and they won't even be close to the winningest Jayhawks.

Now lets put together a nice little 6 game run...

RCJGKU

Mike Barnhart 7 years, 7 months ago

It'll sting pretty hard but Missouri ain't losing early! They're a legitimate one seed and, if I'm using my head instead of my heart, I'll probably put them through to the final four in my bracket!

Kentucky, Carolina and Missouri as one seeds? Ouch!!!!

joeloveshawks 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree that Mizzou is legit but I don't think they make a run to the final four. They rely almost completely on perimeter shooting and have no depth. I think a big and athletic team (think K State not Baylor) will take them by surprise around the Sweet 16. Just a thought...and also a hope. As good as Mizzou is I can barely watch them play I hate them so much.

JHawk241 7 years, 7 months ago

Who do you cheer for if MU and Kentucky square off in the elite 8? I hate them both so much, but I may go with MU.

mojayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Kentucky, but one time only. Except when they play each other next year, and the year after, and.....

cklarock 7 years, 7 months ago

In that scenario, I'm cheering for a tornado.

bjejayhawk69 7 years, 7 months ago

LOL. What do MethU fans and tornados have in common.

They both end up in trailer parks.

Mike Kendall 7 years, 7 months ago

Isn't there a lot of trash in trailer parks?

lol----nice!

Joseph Kuebel 7 years, 7 months ago

The tournament is madness after all... I won't be shocked to see to see them go far, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them exit early either.

Jeremy Eaton 7 years, 7 months ago

For all those who say MU will get a 1 seed, I don't see it. Yes they have had a good year, but their strength of schedule is laughable. When did so much weight get put on the conference tournaments? KU has an RPI of 6 & a strength of schedule of around 6, and won the Big XII regular season by 2 games. I don't see MU getting the 1 seed over KU, but sadly enough we will both lose out to Mich St or Ohio St, whichever wins today in the B1G...

Andy Godwin 7 years, 7 months ago

I have to give Missouri credit, they have a solid team and are capable of going to a final four. They ran circles around an athletic Baylor team, who looked lethargic. Although their fans were obnoxious during the game and have KU basketball envy (e.g., every foul call against MU "we are not in Lawrence"). Few, other than KSU have been able to capitalize on their lack of size. The tournament comes down to match ups, and MU seems to dictate the tempo and style of most of their games. I am going to the final four and hope to heck that KU will be there, but I would not count out MU this year.

Robert Brock 7 years, 7 months ago

Over the years, there have been several Mizzou teams that were "capable." They just didn't get it done...

Mike Kendall 7 years, 7 months ago

God, I laugh at that every time I see that. So priceless!

hawksince51 7 years, 7 months ago

Neither MU nor KU will be 1 seed. They are already set and today's games are too late to matter. So, it will be UK, 'cuse, UNC and Ohio St. We will be 2-seed in OSU's region, probably the West. What concerns me the most is the mid-majors we will have to get by. I fear us getting tired and/or in foul trouble against one of them. I never follow them enough to know who they are but when they get to the dance there are always a couple of hot ones.

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 7 months ago

Already set? Sorry but not buying it.. Michigan St if they win, KU or Mizzou if they lose.

Adam Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

Also, a few things. 1) If we get a 2 seed, we will be the top line 2 seed, putting us in the midwest region. 2) I believe they have scenarios already lined up. If MSU wins, they have set scenarios already decided, same as if they lose. In a way the seeds are already picked, we just don't know which scenario will play out. Same thing that happened a few years back with Kansas and Texas.

rockchalk_dpu 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually, the top 2 seed goes with the worst 1 seed, so depending on who that could be, we might wind up in Phoenix with Michigan State. It's usually like any other bracket pairing the best with the relative worst to give them an advantage, so it goes 1-8 (4th best 2 seed), 2-7, 3-6, 4-5. The only saving grace is that the committee will not "reward" a 2 seed MU team with a spot in St. Louis, so if they aren't on the top line, look for them in Atlanta (with Kentucky) or Boston (with Syracuse). It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out this evening.

KEITHMILES05 7 years, 7 months ago

Mo. has an 86 strength of schedule. That alone will doom them.

Gil Ek 7 years, 7 months ago

Think KU keeps #1 seed if MSU looses to Ohio St. Ohio St. win and they prob get last #1 seed.

LSHawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Great avatar, I used to work on F4S in the navy and agree.

rockchalk_dpu 7 years, 7 months ago

To apply your new selection factor, Butler should be in as an at large because they made the championship game the last 2 years, and Dook would get the easiest road to the final four based on who they are (oh wait).

I guess I have a hard time seeing how this is something teams are judged on when the committee has opened its doors to writers about halfway through the season, and "recent tourney success" wasn't a factor they listed as being important or up for consideration.

Brian Skelly 7 years, 7 months ago

Look folks, MU aint going to leap frog us for a # 1. This isnt ego and pride talking (well, maybe a little). It's the data and numbers.

Mizzou's Non-Con schedule is 308. KU's is 38th. Even if you dont play with those hard and fast, those dont lie. Understand too, I dont blame THIS Tiger team for that. It's not Haith's fault Anderson always scheduled high school teams.

That said, I think KU drops to a 2. KU came out flat in my mind against Baylor and if they do that again they'll be gone. Sorry, its true.

The OSU / MSU winner gets the 4th # 1. Loser gets a 2 with us, Mizzou, Duke as the others.

Adam Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

I tend to agree. I still think there is a longshot for us to grab that 4th #1, but most likely it will be the winner of the b10. However, if FSU beats UNC today, then we get it over UNC. I don't think MIsery has a chance at a #1, although I wouldnt be surprised if they got it. I think top line will be: UK, Syra, UNC, Mich St with the next line, in order, KU, MU, OSU, DUKE.

Mike Kendall 7 years, 7 months ago

If there are two upsets today (OSU/Sparty & Mudhills/FSU), anything is possible when the Selection Sunday show airs.

Mike Kendall 7 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, Brent Musberger kept saying that last night after the game. I was screaming Big 12 Tourney--not Big 12 Championship at my TV, just like you said. I reluctantly watched the game last night (a lot of KU fans did not). I thought Mizzou was really cocky after the game. We'll see how far they go. They're Tournament history is that they have none. There are a lot of good teams that can humble the Tigers.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

I too was yelling at Brent Mussberger. It went like this:

Brent, free base some aricept...please.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 7 months ago

Would almost prefer getting a number 2 seed as opposed to a number 1. It would give us a little bit of a mental challenge... Which I think would help this team focus a little more. Maybe take a little of that "number 1 seed pressure" off our backs.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 7 months ago

The idiocy of comparing and finding an 18 game, two month, home and home, full conference schedule as equal to a four day elimination tournanment goes beyond laughable.

Of course, America is the land of Kardashians, talking toilets and flavored condoms, so I gues anything is possible!!!

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Hey don't knock the flavored condoms.

I put an unused one on a pastrami on rye and fed it to my Samoyed, Raskolnikov, and he liked it.

:-)

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

Oh, yes, and I agree about the silliness of equating conference titles with conference tournament wins. Insipid.

jaybate 7 years, 7 months ago

The only break I am hoping for is not to have to play either MSU, or UW Madison, before the Final Four.

We are a better basketball team than either, but they have more bangers and, even if we beat them, we will be so mauled up afterwards, that we will be apt to lose the next game.

Both would be very bad match-ups for KU.

We need to play nonbanger teams for a couple rounds.

Remember, some referees do not even bring whistles to the Madness.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 7 months ago

Wouldn't be so bad to play MSU in the Elite Eight, you get a pretty solid number of days off, especially if KU played them in Phoenix on a Saturday and didn't have to play for a week. Actually that's the bracket I'm hoping for, MSU/KU in Phoenix, though UNC/KU in Phoenix would be just as lovely.

Kye Clark 7 years, 7 months ago

First of all, I must say this Michigan St.-Ohio State game has been the poorest officiated game I've seen since the Duke-Baylor game during the tournament a few years ago. Michigan State getting the benefit of almost all the calls (and non-calls).

As to the conference tournament vs. the regular season, some (and not just trolls) have been saying it's sour grapes by KU fans to dismiss the conference tournament and it's importance. I was saying before it started that it was irrelevant. Here's an excerpt of a discussion between a fellow KU fan on these message boards before the Baylor game:

KUfaninPA - "If 2 months of games is a much better indicator how good or bad a team is as opposed to a tournament, then should we do away with the NCAA tournament?"

Me - "That's different. That's for a national champion. Not a conference champion. KU didn't spend 2 months playing everyone in the country twice like they did in the Big XII. How could they? There's too many teams. But it's like baseball. You play 162 game regular season, and if you finish with the best record of the teams in your division...you win the division! You don't have a 4- or 5-team playoff to decide who goes to the next stage of the playoffs! It's idiotic, and college basketball is the only one to do this."

Now, in listening to Nantz & Kellogg calling the Big Ten tournament championship game, they made the point that UNC should keep their #1 seed despite losing today because they advanced further in their tournament than KU did, and are in favor of the winner of this game getting the #1 seed previously thought to be going to KU. Now, I don't much care if we are a #1 or #2, but their logic baffles me. KU failed to advance farther because they were playing a tougher team earlier. In the ACC semis, UNC played NC State, who according to Lunardi is a #13 seed and one of the last 4 teams in. KU was playing Baylor, a projected #3 seed, which is higher than Florida St. (a projected #4 seed) whom UNC lost to today.

Oh well, going to stop trying to "logic" this thing to death and wait until the actual brackets are revealed.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 7 months ago

You're spot on, about both things. I will add in response to KUfaninPA that we really shouldn't have a 1 and done 68 team tournament to determine a champ if we were interested in the best team winning the title. In football, yes, you can play one game and see who wins and they are probably the better team, but basketball is a more fickle game and any given night a great team can lose to a bad team because of how well they both shot. NFL one and done playoffs, NBA best of seven series, there's a reason for that. I would enjoy the postseason a heck of a lot more if the teams that have proven all season to be the cream of the crop played more games against each other. Last year that barely happened at all in the tourney, UConn vs Zone in the Elite Eight, KU vs VCU, Butler vs UF, none of those are marquee match-ups like the one we saw today in OSU vs MSU. When you give a team like VCU that didn't earn it all year a second life in the tournament to play for a national title, (note in CFB this year if you weren't a top 2 team in the SEC you didn't have any shot for a title, but in CBB you can be the 2nd best team in the CAA and get an equal shot) you give them a free shot with the house's money so to speak and no pressure. Here's this opportunity, we didn't really earn it, we don't have to worry how it turns out. It's ridiculous how many piss-poor teams are going to be in the tourney this year that haven't earned the right to play for the title in any way. I would rather make the conference tourneys mean more, make the nonBCS winners play a tourney to get down to 2 and take the BCS conference winners and play an 8 team tourney with best 2 of 3 series and get to see the best teams fight it out for the national title and have a chance to rebound from a poor shooting game.

Hawktacular 7 years, 7 months ago

If OSU wins, we are the #1 seed in Phoenix with MSU as our #2. In this scenario Missouri would be the #2 in St. Louis and OSU the #2 in Boston with Duke managing to play relatively close to home in Atlanta (shocker...). After all, this thing is all about catering to Duke. If MSU wins, we are the #2 in St. Louis with UNC as the #1. This would result in Missouri as the #2 in Phoenix. The selection committee will favor the Kansas regular season conference title over the Missouri tournament title.

Curtis Stutz 7 years, 7 months ago

I really don't know why UNC would get consideration for a #1 ahead of the rest of the pack, the Duke win looks less impressive after they bowed out to FSU. They didn't beat anybody decent in their conference tourney. I hate Mizzou, though they aren't in KU's conference anymore and I couldn't really care less how they do the rest of the way now. If you consider they played Baylor all 3 times with Baylor coming off games against KU, scheduling/seeding flat out hooked them up. Still, they can have the 1 seed in St. Louis, don't want to hear any whining how KU stole the 1 seed from them, just don't put KU in their bracket so I don't have to listen to MU fans any more...ever.

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