Saturday, March 14, 2009

March Madness

I'll most likely be re-visiting my initial post in a few days, but for the sake of variety today I'm going to talk college basketball. Most likely every post will be on a different topic, although this isn't definite or set in stone. As far as specifics go, I'm going to talk about #1 seeds and who they should be.

For those of you unaware or unconcerned, the Big East and ACC have been the most consistent conferences in basketball this year. Therefore, it makes sense that #1 seeds should come from these conferences. It has been a down year for the SEC, PAC-10, and for the most part the Big 12. The Big 10 has been down for numerous years, so it doesn't play into the discussion. The only other conference which has gotten any mention this year has been Conference USA, solely on the basis of Memphis and their impressive 24 game win streak. However, the best wins during this streak have been over Gonzaga and Tennessee. Still, Memphis has only lost 3 times and belongs in the discussion. Now that the conferences have been examined, I'll present my #1 seeds.

The number one overall seed should go to Louisville, especially if they beat Syracuse in the Big East final tonight. This is difficult for me to say, but Louisville makes a good case. They won the regular season title in the Big East, only losing 2 games, and are favored to win the tournament title tonight as well. Although, Louisville does have the most losses (5) of any of the potential #1's besides Oklahoma. However, three of these came very early in the season, and Louisville has looked very good since then. In addition, the Big East was the toughest conference in college basketball this year, and by winning it Louisville established itself as a worthy team. I recognize many will disagree, but I stand by my assertion. Next, North Carolina will, and should, get a #1 seed. The Tar Heels have been a high scoring machine all season, and have beaten mega rival Duke both times they played. Also, North Carolina won the regular season title in the ACC, while suffering only (3) losses all in conference. Many will say that if they win the ACC tournament they should be number one overall, but I disagree due to the better quality of teams in the Big East. Most likely, North Carolina will end up the number one overall seed due to media hype, which is a real shame. After UNC, I return to the Big East where the final two number ones are found. First, however, I'll point out some potential #1's that didn't make the cut. Many had discussed Oklahoma as a possible #1, which would have been fine if not for several things. Oklahoma didn't win the Big 12, Kansas did. Also, with their star, Blake Griffin, out, Oklahoma lost 3 of 5 down the stretch. Additionally, when Griffin returned for the Big 12 tournament, Oklahoma promptly lost its first round game to Oklahoma State. Consistency issues, especially near Selection Sunday, are never good, and likely cost Oklahoma a #1 seed. Although, the Big 12 had a slightly down year, which may have cost it a #1 as well. Next, as already mentioned Memphis has been in the discussion. However, despite their win streak Memphis does not belong in the discussion. Conference USA is a weak conference, which Memphis won by 4 games. Only 5 out of 12 had winning records in conference, and although Memphis won all 16 conference games, in a better conference this would be more meaningful. Memphis also won their tournament title, but C-USA may only get one bid, the automatic one Memphis gets for winning the title. This shows that Memphis is certainly tournament worthy, and of a high seed, just not a #1. Some had also mentioned Michigan State, which can be dismissed very easily. Playing in the Big 10 does this, as does losing to Northwestern. Moving on. The 3rd #1 seed is near and dear to my heart. This #1 is the Pitt Panthers. I'll save everyone my bias, but Pitt's record speaks for itself. They finished 15-3 in the Big East, 28-3 overall, and lost at Louisville, Villanova, and Providence. These are all, most likely, tourney teams. Aside from their perfect home record, Pitt also beat Connecticut twice when U-Conn was ranked #1. Although, bounced from the Big East tournament in the first round by West Virginia, Pitt has put together a solid resume and deserve a #1. As does U-Conn. Although, they couldn't beat Pitt, U-Conn beat every other Big East team, except Georgetown. U-Conn even won at Louisville, which is pretty impressive. In fact, Connecticut was number one for a long time, until losing to Pitt. U-Conn finished with the same Big East record as Pitt (15-3). In addition, U-Conn has been highly successful despite losing Jerome Dyson, perhaps their best player. As a result, U-Conn certainly is deserving of the final #1.

There you have it 3 #1's from the Big East, and 1 from the ACC. If you disagree leave a comment. We'll all find out tomorrow when the brackets are released on Selection Sunday. Oh, and because I can, LET'S GO PITT!

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