3:46 pm: I really don't think Michigan deserves a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Their coach, John Beilein, said they did everything they could, but they didn't. I mean, they finished 9-9 in the Big Ten. Is that really doing everything you can? Give me San Diego State over Michigan.
3:54 pm: I really am envious of what Memphis has been able to do. That program, though not from a Power Conference, just owns at this level. Hopefully Boylen can do what John Calipari has done there. Of course, the Tigers do have the ability to run roughshod over that abysmal Conference USA. I mean, who's the second best team in that conference, Tulsa? It's seriously lacking when you consider the second best team isn't even on the bubble for the tournament. I'll give you UAB, a program that has had recent success, but they're far too inconsistent.
3:58 pm: Here we go! After the break, the tournament is revealed. I'm not nervous and that's probably because I didn't expect to be doing this when the season began.
4:00 pm: Here we go! I'm now a bit more nervous than I was two minutes ago. Crazy.
4:01 pm: Louisville is the overall number-one seed. That Big East is freakin' awesome in hoops this year.
4:02 pm: They really draw this out. It's an hour show and could be all be done in 20-minutes.
4:03 pm: Pitt is the second number one seed. Another Big East team. Yeesh, that conference rocks. North Carolina the third number one seed and the fourth is UConn. That's three number one seeds coming from the Big East Conference. Holy hell.
4:04 pm: Oh come on, you all can talk about the top seeds when you've released the entire bracket. Let's get this show on the road...move it, guys.
4:05 pm: Hey, I see Utah on CBS! YAY!
4:06 pm: Of course, a commercial.
4:09 pm: Finally! Dayton now up. Morehead State-Alabama State. Ohio State an 8th seed, not sure what to make of that. They didn't look too happy there celebrating.
4:10 pm: OMG! UTES GET A FIFTH SEED! WE PLAY ARIZONA! OMG!
4:14 pm: Ok, so now they're crappin' over the Utes on CBS, saying Arizona take Utah.
4:18 pm: BYU gets an 8th seed and will face Texas A&M AGAIN!
4:20 pm: Unfortunately, it looks like San Diego State might get the shaft, if BYU is getting an 8th seed. Damn.
4:25 pm: Wisconsin got in? What the hell? Bullshit.
4:30 pm: If Michigan gets in over SDSU, I'm going postal. This is crap. Wisconsin and Arizona should not be in over the Aztecs.
4:34 pm: Wow, LSU gets an 8th seed? That surprises me, as I thought they'd at least get a six.
4:35 pm: Michigan is in. Unbelievable. Pathetic. Screw 'em.
4:36 pm: Wait, Syracuse had a courageous run through the Big Ten tournament? Seriously? Were they all dying from leukemia? Playing six overtimes is not courageous. It's awesome and tough, but it doesn't take courage. Pfft.
4:39 pm: And that's that. The Mountain West went from thinking they could get Utah, BYU, UNLV, New Mexico & SDSU in to only getting Utah & BYU. Pathetic.
Well at least Utah lucked out. Now they've got to take care of business against Arizona!
Are you all ready to go dancing? It feels like an eternity since the Utes last danced (it's actually only been four years), but they're back, baby. Where will they end up and with what seed? That's the unknown and something we'll find out hopefully in about 45 minutes or so.
Before we get to the picks, here's what to look for:
How many teams can the MWC get in? Early on, there were discussions of the conference getting four teams into the dance. However, when the Lobos lost to Wyoming in the first round of the conference tournament, their bubble burst. That left Utah, BYU and San Diego State. The Aztecs were firmly on the bubble entering their game against the Cougars and many thought they left assuring themselves a spot in the NCAA Tournament. However, losing to Utah in the championship game might have cost them, especially with Mississippi State winning the SEC Tournament today, leaving one less spot. The Cougars and Utes are in, but will San Diego State be as lucky?
Will Utah get jobbed? In 2005, the Utes had a solid RPI, went 13-1 in the Mountain West, were in the top-25 and their reward for that was a sixth seed. With that sixth seed, Utah did manage to get to the Sweet Sixteen, but I think most would agree that the Utes were hosed on Selection Sunday. Will the same happen today? Utah has a top-ten RPI, a solid Strength of Schedule, a regular season conference championship and a tournament championship, but what will that get them? All the online bracket experts put Utah anywhere from a sixth-seed to an eighth-seed. The problem is that there is a huge difference between sixth, seventh and eighth. The sixth would face a three-seed in the second round, a seventh would face a second-seed in the second round and the worst, an eighth, would face a first-seed in the second round. Basically, the more you drop, the harder it would be for the Utes to advance beyond the second round.
In fact, a tenth-seed would be better for the Utes than an eighth, since it would provide a two-seed in the secound round and a fairly reasonable first round opponent. So, here's to Utah either getting the sixth or seventh, or dropping all the way to tenth.
Where will Utah play? That's always the big question for fans, since you can be only a state away, or nearly a country away from where your team is playing. In 2005, Utah had a game in Tucson, Arizona against UTEP, which proved to be a home game for the Miners, as El Paso was only a hop-skip away from that Arizona college town. It didn't help them much, as Utah won, but against a good opponent, playing in their backyard, can prove to be difficult.
Here's a look at the first and second round locations:
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Portland, Oregon
- Dayton, Ohio
- Miami, Florida
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Boise, Idaho