I am not going to breakdown the brackets, there are enough people to do that. But I do want to highlight a couple of details, players and match-ups that should be interesting.
1. I am pretty sure every bubble team got into the tourney. Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona, etc.
The seeding for said bubble teams is very high. I think MN is a 10 seed. I understand that “if” they were to get in, the Gophers are better than many automatic bids and some at large bids. But a 10 seed is like giving Tubby’s team the “you will make up for your late season disaster” pass, which I am not sure they deserved.
And Penn State and St. Mary’s out, not sure why.
2. NDSU gets as much of a home court advantage as possible in Minneapolis.
The Bison only have to drive 3 hours or to face No. 3 seeded, and defending champs, Kansas. Which is great because NDSU travels very well. Two points:
a. In the midst of a huge blizzard that dumped 8-12 inches of snow on the region, the Bison nation was in full effect at the Summit League tourney supporting their team in Sioux Falls, South Dakota – I also find the name of the city a little ironic.
b. Two years ago,when the Bison football beat the Gophers at the Dome, I was told the Dome was at least 50% Bison fans, and probably more. So I would expect a “home game” feel to the first round mach-up with Kansas.
There are some very interesting facts surrounding this game with the Jayhawks.
- North Dakota State is the state’s first school to make the NCAA tourney.
- NDSU is playing Kansas Jayhawks, who recruited Jeff Boschee from Valley City, ND – the first McDonald’s All-American from ND. Jeff went on to be a four year starter, played in the 2002 Final Four, and finished his career as the Big-12 leader in three pointers made. Texas’ A.J. Abrams broke that record this year.
- Kansas center Cole Aldrich was a McDonald’s All-American out of Bloomington, MN who had a coming out party against UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough on the Jayhawk’s way to the national championship.
- During Boschee’s senior year, Kansas came to Grand Forks, ND and played the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux in the first ever event at the infamous Engelstad Area.
- Pointless side-note -On that UND team was NBA draft pick Jerome Beasley.
3. Does it bother anyone else that three out of the four No. 1 seeds lost the last game they played? It bothers me.
4. I think UConn is not the weakest No. 1 seed, but they are the most likely to lose before the Final Four. They have a potential match-up against with Purdue or Missouri/Memphis.
5. Which the toughest region? The South Region. UNC, Oklahoma, Syracuse, and Gonzaga make-up the best top four seeds in any bracket and after that is a crap shoot to determine who get out of that mess.
6. No. 12 seed most likely to beat a No. 5 seed? I have two.
- This may have more to with who the 5 seed is, than who the 12 seed, but Western Kentucky has a great draw against a bipolar Illinois team that struggles offensively.
- No. 12 Arizona match’s up with No. 5 Utah in the Midwest Region. Arizona has at least two NBA players and you might she a “last hurray” type effort with Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill - just imagine if Jared Bayless and Brandon Jennings decided to play for the Wildcats, I bet Lute would have stuck around.
7. MnM’s. In my brackets I have seven schools that start with the letter “M” playing in the second round. Five of the in the West Region – Memphis, Missouri, Maryland, Marquette and Mississippi State.
8. My Final Four – In one bracket I have all four No. 1 seeds. In the other, three No. 1 seeds and Memphis, but trust me, it gets all crazy before the final four.
9. On Wednesday evening or so, we are going to have a special guest to help me breakdown some of our favorite teams. He has a close connection to a couple teams and opinons on the others – which is what we need here, more opinions.
Now, I have stated that did not play varsity sports in high school, but the new guy did – if you are nice and say king things, he might stick around and post on a regular basis .
So over the next couple days clear your schedule and get ready for the greatest sport event in the world.