Selection Sunday

***UPDATE*** Here is the TV schedule for Tuesday/Friday with announcer assignments from the506.com:

http://the506.com/sports/?p=2010

As of right now the Thursday evening is wrong for city locations as BYU is podding in Denver, Florida in Tampa, UConn is Washington, and Wisconsin in Tuscon.  I’m sure that’ll be corrected.

A few random thoughts on The Brackets as revealed in the past couple hours.

I am comfortable with the draw Ohio St got.  Assuming they get past San Antonio or Alabama St, George Mason is a solid team and Villanova is a team in free fall.  If the Wildcats regain their form from the first half of the season, however, that could be a tough game.  Potential Hatfield & McCoy duel in the 2nd round between West Virginia and Kentucky, but I think the Buckeyes would get by either of them.  The bottom half of the draw looks like Syracuse vs North Carolina, but Xavier and Washington might be able to muck that up.

Allow me to agree with the experts on ESPN in expressing shock that VCU and UAB got into the Tourney at the expense of teams like Colorado, St. Mary’s, and Virginia Tech.  I definitely would have those 3 in (also taking Clemson out).

Florida as a #2 seed?  Is that a joke?  Any of the 4 teams on the #3 line I would say is a better choice (although I hesitate to promote UConn that far off of the week they just had at The Garden).

The Committee clearly was not impressed with the Big XII.  Not only did they leave Colorado out, but a Texas team people thought might be the best in the country 3 weeks ago is only a #4 seed, Texas A&M only a #7, Missouri apparently barely in themselves as a #11.

Duke got a much harder road than they normally do.  Yes they are a #1 but they are sent out West for the Regional, Michigan or Tennessee probably won’t be a walkover 2nd round game, and teams 2-5 look very tough in San Diego St, UConn, Texas, and Arizona.

Pitt, on the other hand, got a relatively easy road despite the perhaps unique in the pod system era situation where they did not get assigned to the 1st weekend building closest to them.  Not that Washington, DC is far away, but its driving time more than twice as far away as Cleveland.  My hunch is The Committee didn’t want two #1 seeds in the same building, and perhaps they didn’t want all 4 #1 seeds (and 6 of the top 8 seeds) playing Friday/Sunday.  But quite frankly I think they are more likely to lose in the 2nd round to Butler or Old Dominion than they are to lose at the Regional level.  I look for Utah St to get past Kansas St and Wisconsin, and I think it’ll be Sparty they see in the Elite 8.  Its not that Michigan St is anything special this year, but I am combining reputation with my previously stated disdain for Florida, BYU is without one of their best players (for that reason I think St. John’s upsets them in the 2nd round), but then Sparty or Pitt will be noticing that playing St. John’s in the Superdome not nearly as hard as playing them in The Garden.

Ideally Akron would have liked to be in Cleveland, but their seed didn’t line up right for the high seeds they sent there.  Given that, Chicago is not a bad scenario.  Notre Dame will be tough to beat, though.

The Committee didn’t play as many cute games with the matchups as usual, at least that I am noticing at a glance.  Thad Matta is in the same Region as Xavier, but it wouldn’t be until the Elite 8 and not the first weekend.  And they’re not trying to force Ohio St to play Cincinnati (National Semifinal potential doesn’t count).  The one example I do see is Bill Self vs Illinois in the 2nd round if the Illini get past UNLV.

My TV assignment guess is that CBS shows the action in Washington, DC on Thursday and Charlotte on Friday.  Tampa will be on TruTV on Thursday because neither Tuscon nor Denver can start at 12:30pm EDT.  Denver will be on TBS and Tuscon on TNT.  Friday my more uncertain guess is that Cleveland will be on TruTV (allow the first tip off of the day to be after noon) with Chicago and Tulsa on TBS and TNT.  However, I could also see Tulsa being on TruTV with Cleveland and Chicago on TBS and TNT.  Saturday CBS shows Washington (Pitt first) in the afternoon and Denver in the evening, with TNT and TBS taking Tampa and Tuscon.  Sunday CBS shows Charlotte (Duke 1st) in the afternoon and Cleveland in the evening (Ohio St at 5pm then projected Syracuse on TruTV at 7:30pm), with TNT and TBS showing Tulsa and Chicago.  And these are just guesses on my part; the first year of this new TV schedule means I have no history to fall back on.

To end on a low point, every 12 year old boy in Louisville is tonight saying “We get Morehead!”

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One Response to “Selection Sunday”

  1. Nick Says:

    Illinois’s first round matchup is also versus an ex-coach: Lon Kruger.

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