Friday, February 4, 2022

If the NCAA Were 16 Regions

 Here's the latest breakdown of the NCAA by region (Ken Pom rankings in parentheses):

1st: Connecticut (19)
2d:  Iona (71)
3d:  Villanova (8)
4th:  Virginia Tech (42)
5th:  Duke (12)
6th:  Auburn (5)
7th:  Louisiana St. (15)
8th:  Kentucky (4)
9th:  Ohio St. (21)
10th:  Purdue (7)
11th:  Illinois (16)
12th: Kansas (10)
13th:  Baylor (3)
14th:  Arizona (2)
15th:  Gonzaga (1)
16th:  UCLA (9)

Here's the latest from the 8th Region, with the top two teams in each district:

29th District:  (4) Kentucky, (125) Morehead St.
30th District:  (32) Murray St., (119) Louisville
31st District:  (13) Tennessee, (70) Chattanooga
32d District:  (53) Belmont, (60) Memphis

Memphis and Louisville have been falling in the rankings all year.  And here I'm going to make a judgment call.  Louisville is 119 and Western is 120.  But Western beat Louisville 82-72 in December.  The Tops are only 11-11, but they are 335th in luck because they keep losing close games.  Anyway, I'm going to assume that Western beats Louisville in the district tournament and makes it to regionals.  Then the regionals would look like this:

Murray St. v. Morehead St.
Tennessee v. Memphis
Belmont v. Chattanooga
Kentucky v. W. Kentucky

If all the favorites won, we would then have semi-finals at Memorial Gym in Nashville that would look like this:

Tennessee v. Murray St.
Kentucky v. Belmont

What a madhouse that would be for a double-header.  Four amazingly intense fan bases.  All the UT fans rooting for Belmont.  All the UK fans rooting for Murray.  That would be wild.

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