Friday, January 17, 2014

Regional sites update

Let's take a glance, now that we're into January, at the 8 regional sites, and let's speculate.

Buffalo, Raleigh, Orlando, San Antonio, St Louis, Milwaukee, San Diego, Spokane

For this exercise, let's look at the teams in the top 32 on my S-Curve, and their desired location.

Buffalo:  Syracuse, Villanova, Ohio St, UMass, Pitt, UConn
With Ohio St losing ground recently, it seems like it's open for a northern ACC champ (Syracuse, Pitt) to take one spot and for an eastern Big East champ ('Nova) to take the other.  UMass still in play here.

Raleigh:  Duke, Virginia, VCU
This looks pretty empty, no?  It's a bit deceiving.  Many teams listed in the St Louis category would have Raleigh as their 2nd preferred regional, so it's not as barren as you think.  Duke's spot in this regional site is going to be threatened.  I put it at 50/50 right now.

Orlando:  Florida
Pretty clear sailing for Florida if they take care of business.  The 2nd team to get sent to Orlando will probably be an eastern overflow team from the St Louis glut.  Teams like Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, etc. will have this site in their eyes.

San Antonio:  Baylor
A bit deceiving of a list.  First, I think Oklahoma St probably gets sent here if needed to alleviate the traffic jam below.  In the end, I bet this is a de-facto Big 12 site, hosting 2 Big 12 teams.

St Louis:  Oklahoma St, Iowa St, Wichita St, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Creighton, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, St Louis, Missouri
Here we are.  The traffic jam.  Kansas and Kentucky and Louisville have all fallen back in the pecking order.  However, both Iowas are moving forward.  The current winner is Wichita St, who have a path you can see now.  Creighton is still in play, too.

Milwaukee:  Wisconsin, Michigan St, Michigan
This is the most straightforward situation.  They'll host the top 2 B1G teams (I could even see Iowa get sent here as well as Ohio St, even though they're listed elsewhere).

San Diego:  Arizona, UCLA
Well, Arizona is a mortal lock.  If UCLA can get there, they've got a perfect site.  Other than that, I would expect the other San Diego team to be a cross-country victim.

Spokane:  San Diego St, Colorado, Oregon, Gonzaga
Well, there's enough decent teams that could make it to the 3 or 4 line here.  Spokane might not be merely an overfill site this year.

Luckiest teams:
Baylor, Florida - teams that might only need a 4 seed to get a very favorable situation
Wichita St - they've got a fighting chance at St Louis now
Duke - Kentucky and Louisville's slippage makes their own slippage manageable

Unluckiest teams:
Gonzaga - in a year where Spokane is a regional site, there's a chance they could be a protected seed and still get pipped by a couple of teams
Iowa/Iowa St - two close sites (St Louis and Milwaukee), plenty of traffic to navigate
San Diego St - they host that San Diego site.  Ouch

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