Sunday, March 11, 2007

Let's Just Let Lunardi Pick The Field. I Think We Can All Agree On This.

How many years has the committee been picking the tournament? Since '85, I think? Somewhere around there, right? Well, ever since then, I am sure, the committee has screwed it up. There is just no way to correctly pick the 65 best teams. It can't be done. When you have the head of your committee hailing from Princeton and you can't figure it out, I think that means it is impossible. We need to think of something else.

Look, you can make convincing arguments for any of the teams that got left out. Drexel won at Syracuse, at Creighton and at Villanova for Digger's sake but went just 1-5 against the top three teams in the CAA and finished fourth. In the CAA. See what I'm saying?

It just depends what you prefer to look at. If you value road wins, maybe Drexel gets in. Maybe conference strength is more important. If so, Drexel has no shot. Complete body of work? Well, that looks heavily at how you do in your conference tournament, and that was the one and only reason Arkansas got in. Stanford got in because it played the entire Pac 10 schedule, I guess, and got 10 wins.

The bottom line is that there are just too many teams in college basketball and too many different ways to look at those teams to come up with any definitive solution (and if the word "expansion" was about to cross your lips, don't let it).

So since it clearly can't be done, can't we just let Joe Lunardi seed the field? He gets really close every year anyways, and he's better than some anonymous committee who lies about what is really going on anyways (seriously, they are just as biased as anyone else and they definitely look at how many teams from each conference get in.) Plus, who's gonna get mad at Joe?

So: scrap the committee and just let Joey Brackets tell everyone who they are playing. Done and done.

(For what it's worth, Illinois, Stanford and Arkansas suck and I am picking against them in the first round regardless of the match up strictly on principle. Florida St., Drexel and Appalachian St., in that order, got screwed. And yes, I know full well this just sealed Elite 8 runs from all three of them.)

Before we get to the brackets, I thought this was interesting: The Point 23 Readership nailed all four No. 1 seeds. So, if you voted: props. If you voted and were wrong: some props. If you didn't vote: well then you don't have the right to complain. Do your civic duty!

Immediate thoughts about the brackets:


How the hell is Florida The Overall No. 1 Seed? And since they are The Overall No. 1 Seed, shouldn't they get the winner of the play-in game? Isn't that the whole point of being The Overall No. 1 Seed? I'll tell you what, though: if I was Florida, I would be scared of that second round match up with Arizona. Zona played like pre-All-Star Game LeBron, but it has the talent to pull of that upset. And frankly, nothing would make me happier.

Does anyone like Joakim Noah? Anyone? Raise your hand if you Didn't think so. He is...what's the word I am looking for...obnoxious? Punk? Brat? Douchebag? Taking the swipe at the KU cheerleader was immature and childish and trying to take the ball away from the Vandy coach made him look like a spoiled seven-year-old complaining that he didn't get enough gifts at his birthday party. Throw in the hair, the wispy facial hair and the man dress...I just don't see anything likable there, do you? And afte
r his "no one respects us" speech after the SEC title game, I absolutely cannot wait until Florida gets bounced from the tournament. The sooner, the better.

Butler vs. Old Dominion in the 5-12 match up...I swear the committee just hates mid-majors and does everything in their power to eliminate as many of them as fast as possible, or not include them at all.

Notre Dame better bring its A game against Winthrop. That's all I'm saying.

Oregon and Georgia Tech are two teams who could catch fire and knock Wisconsin out of The Dance. If either of those back courts gets it going, Wisconsin won't be able to put enough points on the board.

But really, all I'm hoping for out of this region is an early elimination for the Gators. That's all.


If I hadn't been told otherwise, I would guess that Kansas was The Overall No. 1 Seed. They get the
play-in game, have the second-easiest 8/9 game, and then, if the seeds hold, will play the highest ranked mid-major. They might have to end up playing UCLA in San Jose, though...that might not be totally fair. If Kansas somehow manages to choke this year, least Bill Self won't have to think of a new post-game locker room talk.

Illinois should be humiliated coming from the Big Ten and going in as a 12-seed. That's ridiculous. And I love how the selection committee further humiliates them by placing them right next to Souther Illinois. Hey, Illinois, you know that little school in your same state? Yea, 8 seeds higher. Tough break. I almost hope Illinois pulls the first round upset just so they get embarrassed by their in-state brother.

How about a potential second round game between Duke and Pitt in the second round with the winner maybe meeting Kansas. Whoever was in charge of the West Region must have a thing for well known choke artists.

(Quick aside: I forgot why I love Kenny Mayne on Sports Center. "The women's selection show will be tomorrow - hey, women are people, too.")

UCLA vs Indiana in the second round...are you as excited for all the historical montages as I am?


Alright, anyone who doesn't think this is the toughest region is either a moron or Billy Packer (and probably both). If UNC is going to make the Final Four, look what they will likely have to go through: Michigan St or Marquette, then Texas, then Georgetown. Good God.

All season long I have been able to watch Kevin Durant with this kind of detached joy: I could sit back, watch him annihilate team after team and shake my head at the ease he did it with. Then I could go right back to thinking about UNC cutting down the nets. Now there is a very real possibility Durant will be playing against the Heels, and, to be honest, I am petrified. I thought I appreciated how good he was all year, but nuh uh. He is terrifying to think about.

Nightmares aside, that game should be entertaining, yes? Two teams who have no interest at all in stopping anyone; defense is a temporary annoyance they have to go through just to get the ball back. The two most electrifying freshman point guards in the nation (my apologies to Mike Conley, Jr. and Scottie Reynolds). Two pure, pretty shooter in Ellington and Abrams. Two lottery picks in Durant and Wright. The Mask has to be the difference in that game. Man, I'm scared.

I don't even care about any other teams. Let's just move on.


This region sucks. Seriously, can we make some trades with the East? Even things up a bit?

BYU/Xavier for the right to lose to Ohio St...Texas A&M vs. Memphis should be fun, though. Yes, I am totally dismissing Nevada. I don't care about this region at all.


Oh, you didn't think I was gonna give 'em away this early now, did you? Just a quick comment: every analyst I've seen has no one lower than a two-seed in the Final Four. Very difficult jobs you guys have, eh?

The only analyst I trust? Joey Brackets. Give him the keys to the committee!

0 comments so far. Might as well add your own.: