NCAA Tournament Initial Thoughts

I’ll have more to share later but here are my initial tournament thoughts.

  • I like the Heels draw, other than the possibility of playing Kansas (if they make it out of the first weekend) in Kansas City. Auburn is an incredibly tough looking 5 seed, but defense may be their downfall (and they can’t keep shooting threes like they did in the SEC title game, can they?). And if Kentucky and Carolina meet in the regional final – I’ll take Roy and the Heels any day in a revenge game with the Final Four on the line.
  • Duke seemingly has an easy bracket, but Louisville is a really strong seven seed (and had Duke on the ropes earlier – revenge?), Michigan St. is Final Four worthy, Va. Tech is certainly capable, and don’t be surprised if VCU gives Duke a very tough game on Saturday.
RegionAverage KP TempoTempo Rk
  • If you like watching basketball, maybe skip the South region’s games – they are going to be S-L-O-W. Eight of the teams are ranked 300 or lower in Kenpom’s adjusted tempo. Iowa is the “fastest” team at 69.4 possessions per game
    (ranked 84th). Eeeeew.
  • Speaking of the South, UVa. has what looks like the toughest path to the Final Four. Tennessee, Wisconsin, Purdue, and Kansas St. are all capable of taking down the ‘Hoos and all like to play at UVa.’s pace. You can’t tell me that the selection committee didn’t do this on purpose.
  • Then there’s the West where three top 10 defenses – Texas Tech, Michigan, Florida St. – will combat the highest ranked offense – Gonzaga. The say defense wins championships, will Gonzaga prove them wrong?

I’ll be back later in the week with more detailed analysis of the games I care about most. Until then, enjoy filling out those brackets.

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