I just reviewed Joe Lunardi’s 2/20/06 bracket projection on ESPN.com. In general those projections usually look like a fair comparison to how the committee would seed the teams at that particular point in time. I think that’s again the case with his 2/20/06 bracket. However, I have to laugh when I see that Duke is seeded #1 in the Atlanta bracket. While that’s great for Duke in terms of geography, I’m not so sure they wouldn’t rather be out West. The Atlanta bracket includes 7 of the top 13 pythag winning% teams (Duke, Kansas, Ohio St, Pitt, North Carolina, Washington, and LSU). I’m not a Duke fan, but I’ve got think Coach K would rather swap brackets with Memphis who’s slated to be in the Oakland bracket.
It seems like a way around this would be to either (1) have you slot the tournament teams, or (2) have the committee rank the teams 1 thru 65, and each team selects their slot (highest ranked team picking first). On the other hand, if you’re a Memphis fan you probably like where things are headed. Bring on Gonzaga on more time.
Wow. That would be the most loaded region of all time. But this is an example of why you shouldn’t get too invested in season-ended-now projections. Last night, Ohio State, UNC, and LSU all got big road wins, and if Joe did his projection today, I am sure those wins would be worth a bump up in seed and a realignment of the brackets.
One of the recurring themes of this season has been how traditional powers may not make the tournament. One of the themes developing in my own crazy head is how traditional powers Kansas and UNC will be the most under-seeded teams in the dance. The common perception among fans is that teams like that will always get the benefit of the doubt due to TV concerns or other conspiracies.
It’s possible Kansas and UNC could still play their way into their deserved seed. I doubt either will win out, but if they did, they would be looking at 2-seeds even despite the early hiccups. More than likely they lose one or two, and stay as an extremely dangerous 4 or 5. How would a KU/UNC sweet sixteen game sound? [Note: Duh, this would be a second round game] Come to think of it, that’s exactly what the folks at CBS Sports would want.
In an unrelated note, I was disturbed by this tidbit from a recent piece by Andy Katz:
Here’s something we didn’t know: Apparently the committee also will look at the number of points the missing player averages and look how many points the team lost a game by to see whether that player’s production could have made up for the loss.
In my best John McEnroe: You can’t be serious!!
Let’s list a couple of big fallacies here. For one thing, there are 15 ppg scorers that are offensive drains on their team, and there are 5 ppg scorers who contribute much more than 5 points to the offense. The other thing I love is how the defensive value of a player is totally ignored by this idea. I like the old method of just evaluating how a team plays with and without the injured player. The committee needs to stay far away from any statistical analysis.
Line o’ the Night
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts John Bowler 38 6-10 0-1 17-24 6-15 0 4 0 1 0 29 Result: Loss. Toledo 70, Eastern Michigan 59.