Mock spelling of Kentucky, North Carolina: NIT


Indianapolis — The final NCAA Tournament mock bracket completed this afternoon had the school with the second-most all-time college basketball victories among the field of 68. Kansas, seeded third in the South (Dallas) regional, faces Harvard in its first game in the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

The schools that rank first and third all-time did not make the field. Defending champion Kentucky and perennial powerhouse North Carolina are in the midst of off seasons and if they don’t get their acts together are in danger of missing the real tournament field as well.

After all the numbers were crunched, it came down to something simple. Two of the biggest names in the game fell short in the quality-victories department. North Carolina’s two best: At home against UNLV and on the road against Florida State.

Kentucky’s most impressive victory: At Ole Miss, 87-74. Wildcats freshman Norlens Noel had 12 blocked shots in that one. Noel’s gone for the season and most among us on the mock committee thought that Kentucky had a weak case even without considering that Noel’s injury weakens the defending champion even more.

The top four seeds in each region:

Midwest (Indianapolis): 1. Indiana, 2. Florida, 3. Louisville, 4. Kansas State.

South (Atlanta): 1. Duke, 2. Arizona, 3. Kansas, 4. Georgetown.

East (Washington, D.C.) 1. Miami (Fl), 2. Michigan State, 3. Syracuse, 4. Wisconsin.

West (Los Angeles) 1. Michigan, 2. Gonzaga, 3. Butler, 4. New Mexico.

The often referenced “S Curve” no longer is used by the committee. For example, Kansas was ranked No. 9 on the seed sheet but does not go to the region of the fourth No. 1 seed. Geography takes precedence.

Missouri? It’s seeded eighth in the South, meaning the earliest a fake Border War (squirt guns?) could take place would be in the Elite Eight.

Six Big 12 teams made the field, but it’s a no-no to mention conference affiliation in the committee room. Teams are treated as if all are independents, according to real NCAA selection chairman Mike Bobinski, and are evaulated on their merits. Here’s where the Big 12 teams other than KU landed:

Kansas State: Seeded fourth and faces, ahem, Bucknell in Austin and is in the Midwest (Indianapolis) region. Oklahoma State: Seeded fifth in the West (Los Angeles), facing Alabama in Salt Lake City. Oklahoma: Seeded sixth and plays San Diego State in Kansas City as part of the West regional. Baylor: Meets California in Dayton in a play-in game with the winner facing No. 5 seed Pittsburgh in Austin as part of the East regional.

Iowa State: Facing Virginia in Dayton in a play-in game with the winner facing No. 6 seed Oregon, also in Dayton as part of the East regional.


jayhawkbenny27 4 years ago

KU not listed and Michigan twice...

Pitthawk34 4 years ago

The wit and wisdom needs to edit.

Kent Richardson 4 years ago

Clean your squirt guns boys and girls. Would we get nuts or what!

Tom Keegan 4 years ago

Thanks, Zabudda. Participating in the mock exercise in Indy was fun and I learned a lot.

Kent Richardson 4 years ago

I would love to see a match up with Mizzou with a final four on the line. If the geography rules then it might happen. Mizzou has talent and a good coach. They did the same thing the Hawks did and had a bad spell. I grew up very near the border on the KS side, My oldest Brother was born at a hospital in KCMO and my dad from, LaHarpe, always called him a "Puke."

Jennifer Nikkila Pressgrove 4 years ago

regarding the chase for all-time wins, it seems it would benefit Kansas if UK and UNC made the tournament, bc if they make the NIT it would be easier to run off some wins.

Tom Keegan 4 years ago

The farther down the seeding list the less geography matters. It all keys off the top 4 seeds, but it would be cool to see. Did your brother choose the hospital for his birth? Or did your dad?

bulofat 4 years ago

south region is at Cowboys Stadium, final four at Atlanta. Hope to see hawks in both places come madness!

Michael Leiker 4 years ago

Unfortunately that means a better chance for those two to either extend or close their respective lead/deficit.

jgkojak 4 years ago

By going with "geography" - they give themselves a license to create whatever matchups they want for ratings.

SoCalAlum 4 years ago

Thanks, Tom - enjoyed the behind-the-scenes take. IMO though, when the real seeding takes places, I don't see this team any lower than a two-seed. They'll be better now down the stretch and most everyone else has been inconsistent.

jeff jarred 4 years ago

Tom ,where did Wichita State end up? Just Curious.

Boouk 4 years ago

Arizona lost last night to Colorado, who we destroyed when we played them. If we have 5 losses on Selection Sunday we should be a lock for a 1 or 2 seed, with 6 losses we should be strongly considered for a 2 and a lock for a 3 or better.

Boouk 4 years ago

Andrew Wiggins is down to KU, UK, FSU and UNC. Only one of those schools will be in the NCAA Tournament, and that's the school he should attend next year.

Jack Wilson 4 years ago

I tend to think that word of UK's and UNC's death is greatly exaggerated.

actorman 4 years ago

"The often referenced “S Curve” no longer is used by the committee. For example, Kansas was ranked No. 9 on the seed sheet but does not go to the region of the fourth No. 1 seed."

Thanks for the info., and I appreciate the behind-the-scenes look, but that doesn't make any sense. It if were a true "S Curve," the team ranked ninth would not be in the region of the fourth no. 1 seed, they would be in the region of the FIRST no. 1 seed. It would work the same way as if the team ranked ninth was seeded ninth, and hence would face the no. 1 seed.

Greg Woolen 4 years ago

I was thinking the same thing. Highest #2, lowest #3 would be in the bracket with the last #1 seed.

Jeff Coffman 4 years ago

Interesting 3 mid majors in the west...none in any other bracket.

Janella Williams 4 years ago

This was really interesting, Tom! Thanks!

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