Sunday, March 15, 2009

Me vs. The Selection Committee

All in all it was a pretty good year for me predicting the field of 65. I nailed 27 of the 65 teams exactly on their seed-line and an additional 32 of 65 within 1 of their seed-line. So the field as a whole I got 59-65 either on or within 1 seed-line of their eventual seed. I did not have any team seeded any more than 2 lines from the selection committee. You may not be surprised, but I really think the committee did the best job I have ever seen them do this year. Here is a look at the teams I nailed exact as well as the teams I was within 1 line on.

Teams I nailed their seed (seeds before the name)- 27 of 65
1. Louisville
1. Pitt
1. UNC
2. Memphis
2. Michigan State
2. Duke
2. Oklahoma
3. Syracuse
3. Villanova
4. Washington
6. Arizona State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Butler
10. Southern Cal
11. Utah State
11. Temple
12. Arizona
14. American
15. Cal State Northridge
15. Binghampton
15. Robert Morris
16. Chattanooga
16. Radford
16. Alabama State
16. Morehead State

Teams I was within one seed line (32 of 65)
Boston College, Texas A&M, Northern Iowa, Gonzaga, Cleveland State, Wake Forest, Portland State, Marquette, Cornell, California, Missouri, Western Kentucky, VCU, Clemson, Minnesota, Stephen F Austin, BYU, Kansas, North Dakota State, West Virginia, Mississippi State, Maryland, Dayton, Morgan State, Texas, Michigan, Purdue, Xavier, Akron, Illinois, Ohio State, Siena

My Six Big Misses
Utah- I had Utah as a 7 seed (and the last 7 seed at that) and the committee made them a five. Needless to say I think they are too high. Utah has great RPI numbers, which probably explains their lofty seed. They do not, however have a ton of high profile wins. In the end I am fine with the seed, but I just happen to disagree with the merits of it.

Florida State- I think this team has inexplicably flown under the radar all season. Not even a run to the finals of the ACC tournament was enough to move them up. I had them as a 3, they probably had the body of work of a 4 seed. Tough break being a 5 and drawing dangerous Wisconsin team to open the tournament. Still I do not think Florida State can be too upset with playing a fading Xavier team in the second round.

Wisconsin- I think the Committee got it right with Wisconsin. I had them as my 5th to last team in. It looks like the committee had them as their second to last team or last team. Their resume really does not jump out at you. I probably had them slightly too high.

LSU- I thought the committee would give more credit to LSU’s success in a very bad SEC. I am thrilled to see that this was not the case. I had LSU as a 6…I think an 8 seed is much closer to where they deserve to be. It was very clear from their seed and then Tennessee’s seed that the committee did not think very highly of the SEC this season. I applaud them for this judgment.

Tennessee- Another decision I applaud the committee for. I had them as a 7, the committee made them a 9. Tennessee has a strong strength of schedule but has been about as up and down as a team can be. They played in a conference that was way down and only managed a share of the Eastern Division Title. Well done by the committee.

East Tennessee State- Portland State, Cornell and East Tennessee State currently are 114, 115, and 116 in the RPI respectively. Portland State is a 13 seed, Cornell is a 14 seed and East Tennessee State is only a 16 seed. I think they were seeded too low, but seeding those last teams from small conference is somewhat of a crapshoot.

All in all I think the committee did a fantastic job this year and put together a very good NCAA tournament field. I feel bad for San Diego State, but with the conference tournament upsets a deserving team or two (Penn State) was going to be left out. I’ll have more throughout the week including a list of my favorite matchups of round 1, some sleeper teams, some possible upsets and some teams I think got great draws for the type of game they like to play.

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