Archive - Mar 2013 - Article
The South Region is like an NBA Draft preview tournament. Its star power really rises above the rest of the brackets, including super freshman Ben McLemore of Kansas and national player of the year frontrunners Trey Burke of Michigan and Otto Porter of Georgetown. Don’t forget James Michael-McAdoo of North Carolina, Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA and Nate Wolters of South Dakota State. It’s basically a who’s-who of college basketball, and the team play isn’t too bad, either.
While the consensus is that the Midwest Region is the toughest and that the South has arguably the most NBA ready talent, the East Region has no shortage of intriguing matchups and story lines. As many as five teams have "Final Four talent" with a few others in position to make a Butler-esque Cinderella type run. The East Region features the Big 10, ACC and Big East regular season champs (Marquette is a co-winner with Louisville and Georgetown). With parity in college basketball being the highest it has been in recent years and with no clear cut favorite to be cr
If the top left corner of your bracket remains mostly blank after twenty minutes of pondering, take solace. You are not alone. The Midwest region is loaded to the gills, boasting streaking teams, historic programs and hall-of-fame coaches. Situated in this region we have five teams in the top 16 of the AP rankings, seven in the RPI top 25 and three major conference champions (plus Memphis and Creighton). The home of the #1 overall seed resembles a lion’s den more so than a charitable path to Atlanta. But alas, the show must go on.
Here’s a switch for the final regular-season “Power 16”:
I’ve rearranged the teams a bit into the order in which I believe the NCAA Tournament should be seeded if the brackets were released on Monday.
I’ve also manipulated the clubs in the 16 so that teams from the same conference wouldn’t meet until a possible Final Four contest.
Of course, the real deal comes out next Sunday evening, rendering all of those “mock brackets” and “projected seeds” as moot as my need to ever plan for retirement.
The final full “regular season” week is on tap as the “Big Six” conferences prep for their conference tournaments next week, as does the conference that is every bit as good – or better – as the aforementioned six configurations.
That would be, of course, the Mountain West Conference which seems on the verge of being represented by at least the four squads (Colorado State, UNLV, San Diego State and New Mexico) that played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Repeating as champions is very difficult to do, evidenced by the fact that only two schools (Florida and Duke) have done it since John Wooden left the sidelines of UCLA. It gets even harder when you lose your entire starting lineup to the NBA draft, including the top two overall selections and your only true veteran leader. However, that was the situation the University of Kentucky found itself in coming into this season. Was it an enviable position? Probably not, but any coach in the country would have gladly taken it if it meant they had won the title the year before.