Yeah, Delaware and Manhattan were done no favors. They have to play maybe the two toughest No. 4 seeds ever. (Although I remember Georgia Tech being a No. 4 when it reached the Final Four in 1990 after winning the ACC tournament.)
I liked Kansas a lot. If the Jayhawks get Embiid back, they could beat Florida in the South final. But I'm not sure they'll make it to Memphis without him.
Talking about overseeds: I don't see Wisconsin as a No. 2. Didn't win the Big 10 regular season, didn't win the tournament. They did beat Florida in November and Virginia in December. Virginia's bad non-conference work should have cost it a No. 1 seed but didn't.
Georgia State would have given Creighton trouble. The Panthers are, as they say, hard to guard. And they're fourth in the nation in free-throw percentage. And they have four 3-point shooters. Don't be surprised if they beat Clemson in the NIT.
It's an RPI thing, Cal, but it's mostly a strength of schedule thing. Georgia State played a bad non-conference sked and still lost six games. They lost to Alabama and Vanderbilt, both of which finished among the SEC's last four.
I don't love Arizona. I kind of picked them to win the West by default. And I was just about to mention Oklahoma State -- great minds think alike, huh? -- as a team that a lot of people really seem to like but I don't. Yes, they lost three games when Marcus Smart was suspended. But they lost nine games with him and they went nearly two months without beating anybody any good in the Big 12, which was the nation's best league.
I would have picked Georgia State over Creighton, though. I had that one written in ink.
I tend to pick a lot of upsets, though. Didn't do that as much this time. No real reason. Just didn't like many of the smaller teams.
Cal, I've never come close. Last year I finished about 4,700th out of 5,000.
My friends at the Atlanta Spirit? I'm not sure I have any anymore. But thanks for asking.
UMass was really good before New Year's, less good afterward.
No. 8 sounds about right. But I'm not really outraged over the Minutemen being a No. 6.
Yes. I don't think UMass is the 21st-best team in the country.
Some people like Harvard again and have the Crimson beating Florida. I don't. Some people like Stephen F. Austin over VCU. I don't. I do have North Dakota State beating Oklahoma and San Diego State and getting to the Sweet 16.
UMass at No. 6 is another function of RPI. The Minutemen had an RPI of 21, which probably flattered them. I've got them losing to the winner of Tennessee/Iowa, which I strongly believe will be the Vols, in their first game.
Just saw the odds to win it all. Florida is the favorite. Second and third favorites are Michigan State and Louisville, both of them No. 4 seeds.
To answer Tony's question: I think 68 is about the maximum. Anything more and you're diluting the product. Not every halfway decent team belongs in the Big Dance.
The weird thing, Tony, is that not many smaller schools got in -- unless you count the Atlantic 10 as a mid-major, which nobody does.
Now, do I think Louisville should have been a No. 3 seed at worst? Yes I do. Sometimes the committee sets RPI aside. Witness New Mexico, with an RPI of 15. Yet the Lobos were only a No. 7 seed. I picked them to to to the Elite Eight, though.
And RPI was the reason Louisville was seeded No. 4. The Cardinals' RPI was 19, which technically would have made them a fifth seed.
Wichita State was 3-0 against the RPI Top 50, all three games coming out of conference. That's why non-conference scheduling is such a major deal.
Wichita State's RPI was 4. That's great. (Virginia's was 9.) I have no issue with the Shockers being seeded No. 1. I think it would have been an injustice if they weren't.
I'm not sure beating Kentucky would have got Georgia all that close. I think they had to win the SEC tournament. And for a while there, I thought they might.
I know I've been misled by what my eyeballs beheld in many conference tournaments over time. That's why I was a bit reluctant to pick Florida to win it all. But I did anyway.
Stephen, I'd say Wichita State would have to play one of the tougher No. 8 seeds ever -- provided Kentucky plays the way it did in the SEC tournament. But the Wildcats, as we know, weren't playing that way two weeks ago, and there's no guarantee they will again. Sometimes conference tourneys are the great deceivers.
To be frank, Frank, I was like everyone else: N.C. State getting in shocked me. But that was really the only one. A lot of folks think Coach K lobbied the committee into taking a sixth ACC team.
My Final Four: Florida, Arizona, Iowa State and Louisville. For your sake, I hope yours is different.
Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Mark Bradley here. I'll be happy to take questions and otherwise engage in our usual brand of witty repartee. Or, failing that, I'll be happy to tell you why you should never pick the Final Four I do.