Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Immediate NCAA Tournament Overreactions

Alright, it is finally time to see the NCAA Tournament field. I am sure CBS will drag this out over the next hour. Just hit refresh to get my thoughts as the field is announced.

- Louisville named the No. 1 overall seed. I'd say it's surprising, but winning the Big East regular season and tournament title pushed it ahead of Indiana. The Cardinals will be the top seed in the Midwest Region.

Midwest Region Thoughts
- Tough draw for Oklahoma State to face Oregon in the opener as the 5-12 matchup.
- I really like Saint Louis. They will be a tough out as the No. 4 seed.
- Louisville has a tough draw with Duke as the No. 2 seed in its region. Arguably the best No. 2 paired with the top overall seed.
- MSU the No. 3 seed and playing at the Palace. The Spartans face Valpo in the opening round. No. 6 Memphis facing No. 11 Middle Tennessee & St. Mary's.
- The Spartans will have a tough game against Memphis in the second round if it holds up. That is a 30-win team out of the Conference USA. Memphis is No. 18 in the BPI rankings. The Tigers have lost to Louisville, Minnesota, VCU and Xavier.
- MSU will get its first two games at the Palace, which will help its chances, but the regional Final Four could feature Duke, Louisville and Saint Louis. That will be a tough weekend.

South Region Thoughts
- Kansas gets the top seed in the South region. Not too surprising.
- Possible Kansas-UNC matchup in the second round is intriguing.
- VCU (5) facing Akron (12) at the Palace. That will be a great contest.
- Michigan (4) faces South Dakota State (13) in the opener. SDS is the Summit League champion, which features Oakland.
- The Wolverines really dropped in seeding over the past few weeks, but was able to keep that spot at the Palace, which is big for a team that has struggled away from home.
- Michigan's game will be about Trey Burke vs. Nate Wolters. Two tremendous guards that can score a lot of points.
- VCU may not be a bad matchup for Michigan either. VCU really likes to apply defensive pressure, but Michigan has been known to take care of the ball. VCU also isn't a very big team, but it is deep.
- Overall, I feel the South is not nearly as tough as the Midwest. Kansas and Georgetown are strong, but beatable. Florida is a tough No. 3, but I feel the SEC is a weak conference this year.

East Region Thoughts
- Indiana is the top seed out East. Regional semifinals and finals are at Washington D.C.
- I feel like Indiana and Syracuse (4) have a relatively easy road to the Sweet Sixteen in this bracket.
- I have really wanted to see Indiana vs. Miami this season. The Hurricanes are the No. 2 seed in the East.
- Illinois gets the No. 7 seed in the East. The Illini meet up with No. 10 Colorado. Should be a good opening-round meeting.
- I think the East may be the easiest bracket yet. Indiana and Miami are both solid, but I don't think Syracuse and Marquette (3) have been reliable teams this season. I would argue Syracuse is tougher than Marquette, which makes things easier for Miami to get to the Elite Eight.

West Region Thoughts
- Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed, but might have a tough early meeting with Pitt (8) or Wichita State (9). Both teams are capable of giving Gonzaga all it can handle.
- Wisconsin gets the No. 5 seed. Tough draw for it as it plays Ole Miss (12). Would have thought Wisconsin played up to a No. 4 this weekend.
- Kansas State is the No. 4 seed in this region. Not too scared of the Wildcats.
- Ohio State gets the No. 2 seed in the West. It plays Iona (15).
- Notre Dame (7) has a tough game with Iowa State (10) in the opener. Iowa State has been a tough out this season.
- New Mexico is a team many don't know a ton about, but the Lobos are very strong. Ohio State-New Mexico could be the real game for the Final Four in this region.
- I have no doubt that Wisconsin could beat Gonzaga if it gets a shots at them.
- The West seems to be the weakest overall region. I question Gonzaga being the No. 1 seed. I think Ohio State and New Mexico are solid, but Kansas State is questionable to me.

My Way Too Quick Final Four Picks: Louisville, Kansas, Miami, New Mexico

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