Friday, February 11, 2022

If the NCAA Were 16 Regions

I'm now really happy that the NCAA is not 16 regions.  Because if I thought the whole season was likely to come down to a regional final against UT or Murray State at Memorial Gym, I would be a nervous wreck.  Anyway, here's the latest breakdown (Ken Pom rankings in parentheses):

1st:  Connecticut (19)
2d:  Syracuse (71)
3d: Villanova (9)
4th:  Virginia Tech (36)
5th: Duke (8)
6th: Auburn (7)
7th:  Louisiana St. (16)
8th:  Kentucky (3)
9th:  Ohio St. (21)
10th: Purdue (10)
11th:  Illinois (15)
12th:  Kansas (6)
13th:  Houston (4) (Baylor is number 5, Texas Tech is 13, Texas is 14)
14th:  Arizona (2)
15th:  Gonzaga (1)
16th:  UCLA (12)

Today they drew the pairings for the KHSAA Boys' Basketball Tournament.  If the NCAA used the same pairings, and the regional champions were the teams listed above, the Sweet 16 would look like this (regions in parentheses):

Wednesday, March 16:
(12) Kansas v. (6) Auburn
(8) Kentucky v. (3) Villanova
(10) Purdue v. (14) Arizona
(15) Gonzaga v. (13) Houston

Thursday, March 17:
(5) Duke v. (2) Syracuse
(16) UCLA v. (9) Ohio St.
(1) Connecticut v. (11) Illinois
(7) Louisiana St. v. (4) Virginia Tech

That upper bracket (for the Wednesday games) is absolutely brutal.  All eight teams are in Ken Pom's top 10.  To reach the final, UK would probably have to beat Villanova, Auburn, and Gonzaga.  Meanwhile, Duke would have very little trouble with the lower bracket.  I'm more and more pleased that the NCAA isn't following the KHSAA's approach.

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

29th District:  (3) Kentucky, (110) Morehead St.
30th District:  (27) Murray St., (109) W. Kentucky (Louisville is 128)
31st District:  (11) Tennessee, (67) Chattanooga
32d District:  (53) Memphis, (59) Belmont

Which would set up the following quarterfinals at Memorial Gym:

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

No comments:

Post a Comment