There has always been a question of whether or not to expand the tourney to a larger number of teams.
The NCAA Tournament is not just a prestigious invitation only dance for a select number of people, it has become for many….a national holiday that lasts for three weeks.
To expand it, many say, would not make “the dance” as sophisticated and special. Adding 8 extra teams to the 64 probably would not matter much. Have a playoff for the 16 seeded teams and the 11 seeded teams in each region and I say that the snubs would be few and far between.
But what about the ones who advance on? Should those who make it to the round, known as the Sweet Sixteen, be seeded again?
According to many, the Duke Blue Devils were the runaway favorite to win the tourney. If so then why did they not destroy the University of Central Florida Knights? With the exception of maybe one or possibly two no calls, UCF is in the Sweet Sixteen having pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament. Hailing from the American Athletic Conference, UCF is in the tourney alongside conference rivals: Houston, Cincinnati and Temple.
The conference didn’t get the fanfare of the ACC or the SEC but with a few bounces of the ball in the right direction…. literally… the Devils of Durham are no more and about 2 million brackets are busted.
With this in mind, I feel that the Sweet 16 needs to be reseeded once again. And the Duke Blue Devils are not my overall number one seed.
Here we go:
1. Gonzaga – Defeated Fairleigh Dickinson and Baylor. While they haven’t defeated any powerhouses early, they are playing well and Mark Few is due a championship. Oh yes they also have something else…a win over Duke for this year… with Zion.
2. Michigan State – Defeated Bradley and Minnesota. Tom Izzo is in rare form on the sidelines which means one thing to me. He is preparing for a future matchup with Duke. If they meet, my money is on the Spartans. If you haven’t seen Michigan State play then you can’t understand why.
3. UVA – Defeated Gardner Webb and Oklahoma. Fresh off the early defeat last year, the Cavaliers who were humbled off the overall number one seed are playing hungry. Watch out for this group if they make the late rounds.
4. Michigan – Defeated Montana and Florida. The Big 10 is reppin itself in a big way this year with three of its heavyweights still alive and thriving. One of those teams are the Wolverines from Ann Arbor. While they may have lost the Big 10 Tourney title to Michigan State, the Wolverines look like they have received their second breath and are going to make the most of it making a run at the title.
5. Purdue – Defeated Old Dominion and Villanova. The Boilermakers May be the team most flying under the radar and if I had money to place on an upset this weekend, I am looking at Purdue vs Tennessee. If you have watched the guard play and interior work of Purdue, you will also know that if they beat the Vols it may not even be an upset. Purdue is that good right now.
6. Tennessee – Defeated Colgate and Iowa. If not for the fight and grit of the Vols in overtime, the Big 10 has as many teams in the Sweet 16 as the ACC. Coach Rick Barnes has the Vols playing for something bigger than themselves right now and it will not mean more than it will than against their next opponent Purdue who may be the hottest team in the tourney.
7. Duke – Defeated North Dakota State and Central Florida. Duke is one injury away to Zion or having him being fouled out early from being sent back to Durham with no national championship. Duke is loaded with talent and Duke is a monster with Zion. Duke is also young. Sometimes youth can be good but in the big picture these stars are still 19 and 20 years old. Will the pressure of the big lights and the big stadiums take its toil on the mental state of Duke and its youth movement? We will find out when they play Michigan State….that’s my thoughts anyway.
8. Florida State – No one has pushed Duke more in the ACC than the Seminoles. This may be the most underrated ACC team in the tourney since the 1983 Wolfpack and a team which could very well with the right run make a run just like the Wolfpack did to The Pit vs Houston.
9. North Carolina – Still UNC and still making deep runs but this Carolina team isn’t special enough to win it right now. A vibrant and energetic Luke Maye in the interior is needed in a big way for the star Heels to be successful.
10. Kentucky – Coach John Calipari’s run of monopolizing the “One and Dones” is officially over…. and so are UK’s appearances in the Final Four year after year.
11. Virginia Tech – Will Ty Outlaw’s problems affect the Hokies during a historic tourney run?
12. Auburn – Coach Bruce Pearl has the Tigers dreaming……and hey…. dreams can come true in the weirdest ways right?
14. Texas Tech
16. Oregon –