"Hey, JJ....watch it!!!"
SO, WHO DO I THINK IS IN THE TOURNAMENT????
Below is my field of 65. In GREEN are my locks....in BLUE are my "lookin' good" teams...and in RED are my true bubble teams. The teams in PURPLE have clinched automatic bids. My tournament field....
ACC: Duke, North Carolina, Boston College, NC State
BIG EAST: Syracuse, Villanova, UConn, Pitt, West Virginia, Georgetown, Marquette, Cincinnati
BIG TEN: Iowa, Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan
BIG XII: Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M
PAC-10: UCLA, Washington, Arizona, California
SOUTHEASTERN: Florida, Tennessee, LSU, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama
AMERICA EAST: Albany
ATLANTIC 10: Xavier, George Washington
ATLANTIC SUN: Belmont
BIG SKY: Montana
BIG SOUTH: Winthrop
BIG WEST: Pacific
COLONIAL: UNC-Wilmington, George Mason
CONFERENCE USA: Memphis, UAB
IVY LEAGUE: Penn
MID AMERICAN: Kent State
MID-CONTINENT: Oral Roberts
MISSOURI VALLEY: Southern Illinois, Wichita State, Northern Iowa, Bradley, Missouri State
MOUNTAIN WEST: San Diego State
OHIO VALLEY: Murray State
SOUTHLAND: Northwestern State
SUN BELT: South Alabama
WEST COAST: Gonzaga
SO, WHAT IS MY BRACKET LOOK LIKE....PRE-SELECTION????
1-Duke [Greensboro]: They get this spot even with an ACC title loss since Nova and UConn didn't get as far as their conference finals.
2-Pittsburgh [Auburn Hills]: Big East runner up leaves UConn's bracket.
3-Gonzaga [Salt Lake City]: Could there be a Sweet 16 meeting between Redick and Morrison?? Wow!
4-LSU [Jacksonville]: The best team in the SEC gets here.
5-Michigan State: I'm not a fan, but their RPI is pretty strong.
6-George Washington: The injury to Pops stings.
7-Wisconsin: Elite 8 team last year with Chris Rock look-alike
8-Southern Illinois: MVC title puts Salukis back into dance
9-Kentucky: Kentucky and Duke in 2nd round??
10-California: Play Wisconsin
11-Cincinnati: Play George Washington
12-Missouri State: Play Michigan State
13-Wis Milwaukee: Play LSU
14-Winthrop: Play Gonzaga
15-Albany: Play Pittsburgh
16-Belmont: Play Duke
After taking a second to look it over....I worried about the perceived strength in this regional. It shouldn't be too strong since Duke is my #1 overall seed. But, of the top 11 seeds...only So.Illinois and Gonzaga won their conference tournaments [Duke could be #3]. I like the possible Duke path of foe Kentucky...then Adam Morrison...then either physical team of LSU or Pitt to get to the Final Four.
1-Memphis [Dallas]: There is no reason they should notbe a #1 seed.
2-Ohio State [Dayton]: The best #2 gets placed with the bottom #1.
3-UCLA [San Diego]: I am now a believer in the Bruins
4-Florida [Jacksonville]: The top four seeds could all be conference champions.
5-Nevada: I lovetheir numbers. The WAC brought their SOS and RPI down...but they were 11-3 against the Top 100. But will they actually be this high?
6-West Virginia: Can they get the magic back?
7-Wichita State: Strongest of the MVC clan.
8-Marquette: Their 3rd place Big East regular season showing should have merit.
9-UNC-Wilmington: Two hot teams facing off.
10-Texas A&M: Play Wichita State
11-San Diego State: Play West Virginia
12-Seton Hall: Play Nevada
13-Iona: Play Florida
14-South Alabama: Play UCLA
15-Davidson: Play Ohio State
16-Oral Roberts: Play Memphis.
After taking a second to look it over....well, the top 5 teams [provided Ohio State wins tomorrow] will be conference tourny champs...making 11 of the 16 seeds in this regional tourny champs. I like the strong non-BCS teams like Nevada, Memphis, Wichita State and UNC-Wilmington. The problem in here was Michigan...who I jettisoned and put Missouri State in to replace them. Michigan just looked bad over the last month while Mizz State has too high of an RPI for the committee to ignore.
WASHINGTON DC BRACKET
1-UConn [Philadelphia]: They still get the DC bracket...but won't be the #1 overall seed.
2-Illinois [Dayton]: A 2005 title rematch in the Sweet 16??
3-North Carolina [Greensboro]: I don't think they deserve the #2...so I moved them back down to 3...but they have darngood numbers to back a #2 up
4-Kansas [Salt Lake City]: A Big XII title over Texas could knock them up to a #3.
5-Washington: Huskies blew it in Pac-10 tourny
6-Syracuse: Great Big East tournament run.
7-Oklahoma: I hated this team down the stretch. Just ask Lew.
8-Arkansas: Razorbacks are back in the dance.
9-UAB: A Blazers-Backs game could get wild.
10-Bradley: Play Oklahoma
11-Alabama: Play Syracuse
12-George Mason: Play Washington
13-Montana: Play Kansas
14-Northwestern State: Play North Carolina
15-Pennsylvania: Play Illinois
16-Monmouth/Southern: Play in winner gets UConn.
After taking a second to look it over....I really didnt't want to give UNC the #2 seed. But, the only #3 seed that I liked to replace them was Illinois...who is also in this bracket. It may end up that way anyways. There are 10 teams in here that are "state" named universities.
1-Villanova [Philadelphia]: I doubt that Allan Ray's eye injury will knock them off this slot.
2-Texas [Dallas]: Provided the Horns beat Kansas...but may be here regardless
3-Boston College [Auburn Hills]: Strong finish down the stretch.
4-Iowa [San Diego]: Tough, tough, tough team.
5-Tennessee: The Vols have slipped late but are still dangerous
6-Georgetown: Could be a sleeper team.
7-Indiana: Mike Davis' last dance at IU
8-NC State: Have fallen completely apart of late.
9-Arizona: Zona does have a lofty RPI....but no Hassan Adams drops them.
10-Bucknell: Play Indiana.
11-Northern Iowa: Play Georgetown
12-Kent State: Play Tennessee
13-Xavier: Play Iowa
14-Murray State: Play Boston College
15-Pacific: Play Texas
16-Delaware State: Play Villanova
After taking a second to look it over....this will be a brawling region. There are a ton of physical teams in here that whomever comes out of it would be battle tested.