Sunday, March 14, 2010

SEC in the NCAA tournament: Some good, some very bad

Well, earlier this evening, the NCAA released its brackets for the men's basketball tournament, and four Southeastern Conference teams made the tourney. As with every year, some eyebrows were raised because of where some of the teams were seeded. Some teams have a beef, and some do not.

To the surprise of no one, Kentucky is the number one seed in the East regional. The Wildcats are 32-2 and won both the SEC regular season and tournament titles. They were ranked in the top five all year. Tournament resumes do not get much better than this. The Wildcats will not be seriously challenged until the Sweet 16 round.

Last week, I predicted Tennessee would be a fourth seed and that did not happen. Incredibly, the Volunteers are the sixth seed in the Midwest regional. The Volunteers bring a strong resume to the tourney. The team is 25-8 and was ranked in the top 15 for most of the year. Big wins against Kansas and Kentucky were the high points of the season. Unfortunately, the tournament selection committee did not think this was good enough for a higher seed. Tennessee plays a very good San Diego State team in the first round. If the Vols win, they will likely meet Georgetown. The game would be played in Rhode Island which, of course, is in the Hoyas own backyard and in the heart of Big East Conference territory. To put it simply, this is a complete crock.

Back in early February, Vanderbilt was cruising, and it looked possible that they might get as high as a third seed. Unfortunately, the Commodores stumbled a bit down the stretch and must be satisfied with a fourth seed. Still, they are 24-8, and if they can find their mojo, they could make it to the Sweet 16 round. They will face Murray State in the first round.

Most experts felt the conference would only get four teams into the tourney, and it came down to either Florida or Mississippi State for that slot. Florida looked to have an edge until the conference tournament where they lost to State. With the Bulldogs advancing to the tournament final, there was a thought they might get the edge. But they did not. Florida is the tenth seed in the West regional and will play Brigham Young.

After weeks of hype, the NCAA tournament is finally here. It should be a lot fun. Let's hope the SEC has a strong showing.

1 comment: said...

Glad to see Mississippi State did not make the field of 65. They don't deserve to be in the tournament since they embarrassed the SEC by losing a game AT HOME to Rider in November.

With that said, I’m really excited about the 2010 NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. I think there are numerous possible upsets this year. I haven’t filled out a bracket yet, but I’d say my Final Four teams are Michigan State, Syracuse, Kentucky, and Baylor. I’ll put Syracuse and Kentucky in the championship game, with Syracuse winning. It should be an interesting tournament though.