Well another March Madness has just about wrapped up, and it has proven once again that millions of people are duped into picking teams that choke for their brackets. Like always, the one seeds get upset at some point, but strangely, not even one this year. Many claimed that this year’s bracket was diluted and watered down with mediocre teams that had no real chance of winning the whole thing.
I blame the selection committee for this. Instead of making sure that quality mid-major teams got in securely (like VCU), they brought in schools from BCS schools that were first round knockouts by schools that they should have easily beaten (in seeding views). Georgia and Vanderbilt received high seeds they don’t deserve because of the money they can bring in. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I firmly believe that there was bias towards letting them into the tournament.
Even if it means bringing in Colorado and Alabama, two markets that are not big on basketball, the selection of these two weak SEC teams, Georgia and Vanderbilt, was a joke and disgrace.
The fact that certain teams got very high seeds because of a superstar player is a joke. BYU never deserved a three seed. With the whole country buying into “Jimmer Fever,” it makes sense to give BYU an easy ride for more television coverage. This year’s tournament bracket was based on nothing more than money and revenue.
While there are no-brainers like Ohio State and Duke getting the top seeds (the best team in country and the defending national champions), other schools obviously did not deserve the lower seedings they received, like UConn (who has won nine games in a little over two weeks!) and their superstar Kemba Walker. They did not deserve the lower, like last year’s national runner-up Butler or VCU, the underdog who could. Only old school Kentucky showed that pedigree can last, earning the Final Four berth.
I guess, while I beat around the bush, that I’m saying that most seeding ties and spot finagling comes down to favoritism, media bias, and revenue streams. Florida did not deserve a number two seed when they received it (in most people’s eyes), but they proved they deserved it with a run to the Elite Eight.
Richmond showed it was better than expectations, as did a few other squads. I just start ranting when it comes to the tournament, because I feel a 68 team field is just too large. Way too many sub-par teams make it in, and part of that is due to the automatic berth.
Sorry Mercer fans, but the odds of a Mercer squad making a run in the tournament are low. Mercer might win an automatic berth, but this is really taking a spot from a team that may be more deserving of a spot than them. I would rather see my school take on a national power and pray for an upset, but it won’t draw in the viewers (which is what the selection committee wants).
In essence, I feel that the selection committee is flawed. Then again, the BCS computers are flawed too. There really is no winner in this scenario. There will be teams that get cut out that shouldn’t, and teams that get it that are better left at home. ETSU showed that they had a lot more fight in their games in the CIT (third tier tournament after March Madness and NIT) than Georgia or Louisville did in the NCAA tournament. I would love to see Butler or VCU win the whole thing this weekend, but I honestly feel that UConn and Kentucky are just too good.
On the other hand, Butler and VCU proved that the selection committee has a bias against mid-majors, even with the successes of Gonzaga, Xavier, Creighton, George Mason, and Butler in the past ten years. How about next year let’s use computers to determine the seedings?