June 17, 2014 - by

The Bracket Is Set And Tip-Off Is Days Away!



The Bracket Is Set And Tip-Off Is Days Away!



 
The Bracket Is Set And Tip-Off Is Only
Days Away.

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I would say my biggest complaint is that the committee
seemed to rely too much on “momentum.”
Selection Committee Chairman
Bob Bowlsby used that word about 100 times when talking about why
teams got in or got left out in the press conference following the
announcement of the bracket. I used to believe that how a team finished
the season was a minor factor, a tiebreaker at best. This year, it
appears to have been a decision maker.

Momentum got Connecticut a two-seed when their profile would be more
like a three or a four. It got Kansas a three-seed, the lowest in
the last twelve years for the No. 1 team in the RPI. Momentum
is also the reason Florida is a four-seed and Georgia Tech a five,
even though neither team really had seasons as good as those seeds.
They’re hot, so they get a good seed.

Rewarding teams for strong finishes is a recent phenomenon with the
committee. This is the kind of thing that got Maryland
up to a four seed from the bubble last year. The Terps nearly
lost its opener to UTEP and failed to make the sweet 16. Read
More >>

I’m a guy who knows
his strengths – and I’ve tried to stick with them in breaking down
what I see as the most interesting first round match-ups.

Mid-Major no more:
Chicago Regional:
(7) Southern Illinois vs.
(10) Saint Mary’s

Two teams from conferences that are starting to earn the respect
they so richly deserve. The Missouri Valley got three bids this
season and the WCC garnered two, proving not only that there are
good teams outside the six or eight power conferences, but also
that their hard work is paying off.

Southern Illinois is inching closer to Gonzaga status
– no more of that Cinderella garbage. Keep in mind that the Salukis
have had three different coaches in the last three years without
missing a beat with four straight at-large bids. And it’s not like
they proved a poor choice either. In both 2004 and 2003 they lost
their first round games by a single point and in 2002 they made
it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to Connecticut.

This will be a fun game to watch but you have to like the Salukis’
experience. Read More >>

The Golda Classic:
Chicago Regional:
(12) Wisconsin-Milwaukee
vs. (5) Alabama

Ever since I learned that former Israeli Prime Minister
Golda Meir went to Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I’ve been rooting
hard for the Panthers. I’m not really sure why except that I find
it fascinating that a world leader of her importance went to a school
that I probably could have gotten into. Alabama has some very interesting
alumni – but nobody that "blows my skirt up" as a friend
and Alabama native is fond of saying.

That being said, historically speaking, famous alumni have played
a negligible part in team’s NCAA Tournament success. The Panthers’
strength is their backcourt, which will have to have a big game if
they hope to pull this upset. Read More >>

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