Monday, December 13, 2021

If the NCAA Were 16 Regions

Here's the latest list of the best team in each region (KenPom rankings in parentheses):

1st:  Connecticut (22)
2d:  St. Bonaventure (48)
3d:  Villanova (6)
4th:  Virginia Tech (33)
5th:  Duke (9)
6th:  Alabama (11)
7th:  Louisiana St. (13)
8th:  Tennessee (10)
9th:  Ohio St. (15)
10th:  Purdue (4)
11th:  Illinois (19)
12th:  Kansas (3)
13th:  Baylor (1)
14th:  Arizona (7)
15th:  Gonzaga (2)
16th:  UCLA (8)

And here are the teams most likely to make the 8th Region Tournament:

29th District:  (21) Kentucky, (148) Morehead St.
30th District:  (44) Louisville, (89) Murray St.
31st District:  (10) Tennessee, (104) Chattanooga
32d District: (39) Memphis, (54) Belmont

Which gives us the following quarter-finals:

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

The way things are going, the UT-Belmont game could be the best game in the 8th Region Tournament.


  1. Alabama and Memphis State are tied at 24 in Memphis with 8:23 left in the first half. Did you know that if you make one of those shots from behind the big arc you get three points? After watching UK for most of the season, I thought that was basically a trick shot that goes down about once every other game. But these two teams have guys who can actually make those shots. Very strange.

  2. A lot of folks are complaining that UK should play a harder schedule like Alabama does. Here's the thing: the Cats are going to play Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. They're also going to play two games each against Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and LSU. The problem isn't that the schedule is too easy.

  3. Ken Pom ranks games at three levels of difficulty: A games, B games, and games with no ranking. Alabama has 14 A games. So does Kentucky. The schedule isn't the problem. And neither is the coaching. Calipari had a bunch of kids who could barely play at all last year, and he was beating Alabama 54-52 in Tuscaloosa with 3:49 left in the game. The problem is that Alabama has much better players than Kentucky.

  4. People are like, "Let's get Nate Oats and run a Golden State-style offense." But if Nate Oats tried to get this year's UK team to play like Alabama, it would be an utter disaster. The Cats are really slow and no one on the team can shoot. The Cats need better players a lot more than they need a new offense.

  5. Memphis State, which has been struggling of late, leads 39-32 at the half. In other news, Western beat Centre 90-52. I'm glad Western played Centre; I wish Vandy would play Sewanee.

  6. I've decided I'm going old school on this season -- and by old school I mean taking the approach I took to college basketball back in the 1980's when UK was usually disappointing. I'm just going to watch as many games as possible and enjoy the season as much as possible. Amazing things happen in college basketball every year, and you'll miss it if you're just complaining about your own team.

  7. For example, the 1982 season was miserable for me as a fan -- UK was terrible, the Cats lost to MTSU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and UNC won the National Championship. But now that I'm 55 years old, am I sorry that I watched so much of Michael Jordan's freshman season? Of course not.

  8. I don't know how many seasons I have left, but I'm going to enjoy them all.

  9. Memphis is now blasting Alabama 61-44 with 11:40 left in the game. Cal's critics have stopped tweeting about Nate Oats.

  10. Memphis State drills Alabama, which had moved up to number 6 in the polls after wins over Gonzaga and Houston, 92 to 78. Road games are tough.