Breakin’ down NCAA’s bracket

first_imgIt’s the day after, and everyone’s got their own opinion of how the NCAA tournament bracket turned out, including yours truly…First and foremost, Wisconsin received a very favorable bid. Despite losing the Big Ten Tournament title, the Badgers still stay relatively close to home by being placed in the Midwest region. Furthermore, the region’s a pretty good draw — of all the No. 3 seeds, I’d take Wisconsin’s chances with Oregon in the Sweet 16 rather than the Texas A&M, a rematch with Pittsburgh (this time would possibly be without Brian Butch, who scored a career-high 27 points against the Panthers) or Washington State (Cougars head coach and UW alum Tony Bennett should know a thing or two about the Badgers). I guess the selection committee doesn’t take the last conference title games into consideration, after all. However, that’s all considering Wisconsin wins its first two games, speaking of which…How about Texas A&M-Corpus Christi? Even though its school abbreviation, TAMUCC, is the longest in the field or may be mistaken for a community college, give the Islanders some props. After seven years as an independent, Corpus Christi joined the Southland Conference just this year, meaning 2006-07 is the first time it is eligible for postseason play. Not a bad start, huh? Furthermore, the Islanders can play — they’re 10th in the nation in scoring and second in field goal percentage. Also, 7-foot center Chris Daniels was named conference Player of the Year this season after averaging 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Not to hype the Islanders up too much or anything because they’re still a No. 15 seed, but it’s rather impressive nonetheless…Simply put, I have no understanding of the No. 1 seeds at all — not that they shouldn’t be there but what regions they were placed in. How is Ohio State a No. 1 seed but not in the Midwest? You’d think by virtue of defeating the Badgers, the Buckeyes would earn the right to be close to home. Also, how is Florida the top overall seed but isn’t in the South? Everything just seems to be backward…Just like Wisconsin, UCLA received a very favorable seed. While many tournament experts believe the Bruins should’ve been a No. 1, they seem to be better off where they are. Who really cares if you’re No. 1 or No. 2, if you’re playing close to home for the first two rounds (Sacramento and San Jose, Calif.)?Wasn’t this supposed to be a down year for the Big Ten? While I won’t back some of the conference’s streaky teams such as Illinois (the Illini had to be the last team in), the Big Ten still managed to tie for the second-most bids in the country with six…One Big Ten team that is going to get absolutely spanked in the first round is Purdue. Sorry, Carl Landry, Matt Painter and the Boilermakers, but Arizona is still a very dangerous team. Lute Olson’s Wildcats have been rather disappointing this year, to say the least. Still, Arizona has so many weapons with four players averaging more than double-digits in points, namely Marcus Williams and Mustafa Shakur. If any team has a shot to knock off a No. 1-team before the Sweet 16, it’s ‘Zona. Wouldn’t it be something if Arizona and Wisconsin, two teams that played each other in the first round last year, met in the Elite Eight?…Every year, there’s a handful of teams everyone thinks got snubbed, but I don’t think that’s so much the case this season. While Drexel is certainly tournament-worthy, it’s really hard to make a case for the Colonial Conference to receive three bids with Virginia Commonwealth and Old Dominion, who beat Drexel twice this season, already in. Syracuse was right there, too, but it looks as though the Orange Men’s non-conference strategy of never leaving the state of New York finally backfired on them…And no tournament analysis would be complete without an upset pick. The popular choice this year is Winthrop — and rightfully so — but I’m going with Albany to make a little noise. Jamar Wilson’s the real deal, and Virginia’s definitely a beatable team, as is Tennessee in the second round if Chris Lofton doesn’t show up. As for the other regions, the committee is giving Old Dominion a layup in the first round of the Midwest with another mid-major team, and one that is struggling as of late in Butler. In the West, Illinois is capable of getting it together and possibly doing something. And lastly, Oral Roberts is my sleeper in the East — the Golden Eagles’ fast-paced offense could really fluster the Washington State Cougars’ Bennett-ball…But don’t take my word for anything because the Madness is sure to continue in the week heading up to the first round, and then some. As Greg Oden would say, “I don’t know anything about anything.”Michael is a senior double majoring in journalism and communications. Send in your bracket to [email protected]last_img