What a rollercoaster of emotion this tournament has been so far. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting on my coach from 12:00pm to 12:00 am enjoying a full day of March Madness. Unfortunately, all fun has to come to an end and with the Final Four occurring in a few days the end is in sight. There have been great moments in the tournament so far and not so great moments. I want to discuss how to minimize some of these not so great moments.
Fans love the thrill of a 1 game elimination format for the “top” 68 college basketball teams every March. Don’t get me wrong, I love the format too. However, I do not think that the committee gets the seeding correct and needs to do a better job going forward. You want to level the playing field and eliminate some of the bad moments of the tournament? Start with fixing the seeding process.
I am not the only person to think this as I have read numerous articles breaking thoughts on the current system for seeding and the flaws behind it. ESPN‘s Joe Lunardi did a solid job voicing his opinion on some teams who were ranked too high and some teams who were ranked too low come judgment Sunday. Now I want to voice my opinion on a few teams.
Wisconsin (8 seed)
It has been a little over two weeks now and I still can not wrap my head around Wisconsin being an 8 seed. It makes no sense to me why they were seeded so low. I understand that they hit a rough patch in February, but this is a team that beat Minnesota three times this year and played in the Big 10 conference tournament championship. In my opinion this is one of the worst seeds in the past 10-15 years.
Minnesota (5 seed)
I don’t have much to say for Minnesota besides pretty much the opposite of what I said for Wisconsin above. In a perfect seeding world, Minnesota gets the 8 seed and Wisconsin gets the 5 seed. I’ll leave you with this tidbit about Minnesota to think about, they were not even the favorite against the 11 seed Middle Tennessee!
Wichita State (10 seed)
At this point I just feel really bad for Wichita State. It seems like the committee is out to get them because every single year they have to face Kentucky at some point. Don’t get me wrong, they always put up a fight against Kentucky but they have yet to beat them. Not only does Wichita deserve better than a 10 seed after a 30-4 regular season record, but they should probably be out of Kentucky’s region one time. With the positive trajectory that program is on par for though, they will eventually get over the hump.
Michigan (7 seed)
No team was hotter coming into the tournament than the Michigan Wolverines. They dominated the Big Ten conference tournament and that is why I believe they deserved higher than a 7 seed. I understand that the NCAA looks at the overall body of work and team’s RPIs, but I believe that the teams winning streak at the end of the season should also be factored in.
South Carolina (7 seed)
I want to make something very clear. I have no problem with South Carolina. Frank Martin has his team playing unbelievable right now and with the way their defense has showed up this entire tournament, they deserve to be in the Final Four. I do have a problem with the committee essentially giving them a home game in South Carolina in the first round of the tournament. In what world is it fair that South Carolina plays Duke in the NCAA tournament an hour from their campus?
In conclusion, I believe that the NCAA would benefit moving forward from not only looking at team’s overall strength of schedule but factor in how well they are playing heading into the tournament. Likewise, they should probably stay away from giving some teams essential home games during any part of the greatest tournament in the world.