The National Champions, who have won their last three tournaments and five of their last seven – SEVEN! – who finished the season 31-3, with the number one RPI, are the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. It’s almost like… the best just keep getting better.
Some thoughts on the East Region: 26, 25, 20, 19. Those are the combined loss totals of the 8 and 9 seeds in each of the four regions. The 19 represents the combined loss total of Wisconsin and Virginia Tech in the East– one of which will face Villanova in the second round. Explain to me, pllllleeeeeease, how the top overall seed gets a 25-9 team from the Big 10 or a 22-10 team from the ACC IN THE SECOND ROUND? These aren’t mid majors that racked up wins with a St. Joe’s-like schedule. These are teams from arguably the top two conferences in college basketball, each with 10 or fewer losses. THAT AIN’T MAKE NO SENSE!
Look, I know Wisconsin nearly imploded down the stretch, going 2-5 to end their regular season before making it to their conference championship game (…), but I am flummoxed that a Big 10 team with under 10 losses gets matched up with the top overall seed. Say nothing for how pissed you’d be if you were a Wisconsin fan, even one who doesn’t think they’ll beat VT:
Virginia Tech will get throated by Villanova if they advance.
But back to Wisconsin. To me, they are the scariest NCAA team every year. To my dad, too. When he called me last night, on speaker, in front of my 15-month old, the first word out of his mouth was: “FUCK!” He also hates Wisconsin. Why? They’re basically an automatic for the Sweet 16. Look at this:
That is nine Sweet 16s in 17 years, three in a row, and five out of the last six.
Maybe I’m only worried about them because I’m having flashbacks to watching their boring ass brand of basketball in person. I’ve been five NCAA Tournaments, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Wisconsin play three times. Each time was worse and more boring than the previous time. But that brand of basketball suits the big dance, because teams aren’t prepared to be lulled to sleep by big, slow, white basketball. If Wisconsin beats Villanova, be prepared to hear me whine about this for at least the next three years.
OK, I’m over my Wisconsin thing– let’s talk about Duke.
Hey, top overall seed? Here’s Duke, the ACC Champion, as your number two. As bad as it looks, I don’t hate it. Duke lost seven – SEVEN – games (only two less than Wisconsin!) and looked to be a rung below the top tier all season long, say nothing about their overgrown baby, Grayson Allen. I don’t think they make the Elite 8, but if they do, Villanova-Duke at Madison Square Garden will be lit. I still think Nova brain-fucks them.
Virginia as a 5 worries me a little bit. They played Nova WELL at the Wells Fargo Center in January… until Donte DiVencenzo won it at the buzzer:
Brightside: If Villanova advances to the Elite 8, they will have played seven – SEVEN – straight games in the state of New York, and five of them at Madison Square Garden, where they have as close to a homecourt advantage as they’ll get outside the Pavilion and Wells Fargo Center. And at least they’re not in the South, which includes North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA, and the second toughest 8-9 matchup in terms of combined losses (20). The winner of that region then could get Kansas in the Final Four. Oof. Although, even though those names sound tough, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Villanova has beaten each of those programs, except Kentucky, in the NCAA Tournament over the last eight years.
And hey, the Big East seems to be doing just fine without UCONN, Syracuse, Pitt and Louisville. Congratulations to Syracuse on the NIT one seed. Well deserved! I love how everyone shits on the Big East and now must be shocked to learn that the conference got 70% of its teams in. 70%. If you’re in the Big East, basically every game is a tournament game. Imagine how good the team who steamrolled the conference must be!
The Cats have a tough road just to get to the Elite 8. But if they do, I LOVE their chances against Duke, and then they would get to avoid North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA before the National Championship. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Winner stays.