Thoughts on Da Bracket

So, the NCAA selection committee dusted off the ol’ sorting hat and did some sorting, releasing the seeding for the 2014 NCAA Tournament this evening. Now that the selections are out of the way, the onus is on anybody who even sorta likes sports to fill out a bracket. And then maybe fill out five more. Here are some quick thoughts on the bracket that they’ll be filling out:

Rick Pitino's Russ Smith-led Cardinals have a strong chance to repeat as National Champs. But the NCAA Tourney selection committee didn't do them any favors to help them reach that goal.

Rick Pitino’s Cards got a four seed because the basketball gods don’t want him to get another tat.

  • There’s not a whole lot to say about Larry Brown’s (currently ranked) SMU team beyond the fact that they got hosed by the selection committee. Despite a 23-9 record, a 12-6 record in the AAC, and wins over UConn (x2), Memphis, and Cincinnati, the Mustangs won’t be dancing. Go figure.
  • Staying in the AAC, Louisville, arguably the best team in the nation over the past month, got a measly four seed. Not only that, they’re in the Midwest Region–probably the best of the four–along with Wichita State, Duke, and Michigan. Still, the Russ Smith-led Cardinals have a strong chance at repeating as National Champs.
  • Duke-Michigan is a potential Sweet 16 matchup. That is all.
  • Things shook out extremely well for Creighton. The offensively potent Doug Mcdermott-led Bluejays may have lost in the Big East Championship in MSG last night, but they have to like the path they’ve got to the Elite Eight as a three seed in the West Region. Wisconsin could represent a major obstacle down the line, but the Badgers are relatively inactive defensively.
  • San Diego State has to like where they landed too. The defensively staunch Aztecs got the four seed in the West, and while both Arizona and Oklahoma State are tough, both could struggle with San Diego State’s physicality in the paint. If both the Aztecs and the Bluejays can pull out some wins and advance to the Regional Finals, it could set up a fantastic offense vs. defense matchup.
  • Harvard got a tough draw in Cincinnati in the first round, but the Crimson do have a couple of dynamite defenders they can put on Cincinnati star Sean Kilpatrick (Laurent Rivard and Wesley Saunders).
  • Providence, the Big East champs, didn’t get an awesome seed (11), but they did get a potentially awesome matchup. They’ll play North Carolina in the first round, and the Tar Heels can’t shoot. If the defensive gem the Friars played against Creighton in MSG the other night is any indication, UNC-PC could be upset city. Either way, Bryce Cotton vs. Marcus Paige should be great.
  • Another fantastic potential matchup: Ohio State vs. Syracuse in the round of 32. Both teams hit some bumps in conference play after perfect out of conference slates. The two tremendous defensive squads have loads in common.
  • I gotta go eat dinner, so only one more note: how ironic would it be if Pitt, the team known all year as not being able to beat elite teams, took down Florida, the number one overall seed, in the round of 32?
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