Friday, March 18, 2016

Bracketing fixes

Ok, we have the committee seed list 1-68.  How should the tournament have been bracketed?  Guess what:  the committee messed a couple things up.  Here's what I got when I applied their principles to their S-Curve.

*note:  I didn't have immediate access to previous tourney matchups, to see if that blocked anything

@Des Moines
1) Kansas vs. 16) Austin Peay
8) Colorado vs. 9) Butler
4) California vs. 13) Hawaii
5) Maryland vs. 12) South Dakota St
3) Miami vs. 14) Buffalo
6) Arizona vs. 11) Vanderbilt/Tulsa
@St Louis
2) Xavier vs. 15) Middle Tennessee
7) Wisconsin vs. 10) Syracuse

1) Oregon vs. 16) Southern/Holy Cross
8) Texas Tech vs. 9) UConn
4) Duke vs. 13) UNC-Wilmington
5) Baylor vs. 12) Yale
@Oklahoma City
3) Texas A&M vs. 14) Green Bay
6) Texas vs. 11) Northern Iowa
@Oklahoma City
2) Oklahoma vs. 15) Cal St-Bakersfield
7) Oregon St vs. 10) VCU

1) Virginia vs. 16) Hampton
8) USC vs. 9) Providence
4) Iowa St vs. 13) Iona
5) Purdue vs. 12) Arkansas-Little Rock
3) Utah vs. 14) Fresno St
6) Seton Hall vs. 11) Gonzaga
@St Louis
2) Michigan St vs. 15) Weber St
7) Dayton vs. 10) Temple

1) North Carolina vs. 16) FGCU/Fairleigh Dickinson
8) St Joseph's vs. 9) Cincinnati
@Des Moines
4) Kentucky vs. 13) Stony Brook
5) Indiana vs. 12) Chattanooga
3) West Virginia vs. 14) Stephen F Austin
6) Notre Dame vs. 11) Michigan/Wichita St
2) Villanova vs. 15) UNC-Asheville
7) Iowa vs. 10) Pittsburgh

The 1 line:  no changes
The 2 line:  Villanova and Xavier should switch.  Not only does it reward Nova and keep them home, it also gives Xavier a better site to my eyes as well.  Instead of giving geographical advantages to the 7th and 8th teams, they choose to save the teams ranked above them.  I'm not sure that's how it's supposed to work.
The 3 line:  I agree.  I think OKC is a better geographical site for Miami, barely.  However, the chain reaction would've sent A&M away from OKC, and the difference between OKC and Provi for Miami is negligible, so it's a good switch to make.
The 4 line:  You could make an argument that Iowa St (Denver) and Kentucky (Des Moines) should switch regional sites.  Obviously ISU wants Des Moines, and Kentucky can't travel by car/bus either way.  It wouldn't be the worst change in the world to make.
The 5 line:  On first glance, I've got Maryland and Baylor flipping spots.  Obviously Maryland being ranked higher, they should stay east while Baylor goes to Spokane.  But the devil is in the details.  Baylor and Kansas played 3 times this year; therefore they can't be in the top half of the South bracket with Kansas.  This costs Maryland a cross-country trip.  Tough break.
The 6 line:  Here's a place where I think the committee could have gotten creative if it wanted to.  Currently, they have Arizona making a cross-country trip and Texas lining up against A&M.  If you send Texas to Denver instead, you can fit Arizona into OKC.  More fair to Arizona, less fair to Texas.  But, as I was working up this plan, Seton Hall gummed the whole thing up.  Seton Hall as a 6 played Xavier and Villanova three times each this year, locking them out of their two regionals.  Therefore, SHU has to play in either Denver or OKC, which messes up the whole Arizona/Texas plan.  Therefore, I think the committee got the 6 line right.  Arizona ends up with the short straw in this scenario.
The 7 line:  no changes
The 8 line:  Here's one of the stupider things the committee did.  Texas Tech has two options:  Raleigh and Spokane.  Both aren't great.  They're about equal.  However, if you send TTU to Raleigh, then you eventually have to send St Joe's to Spokane.  That's what this committee did.  Why not send TTU to Spokane and save St Joe's a couple thousand miles or so?  That's a sloppy mistake by the committee.  By the way, this also changes USC's fate just a bit, as they're in UVa's path instead of UNC's.
The 9 line:  I'm not sure anyone's in the spot they're supposed to be.  Providence as the highest on the 9 line should be in UVA's path, not UNCs.  A modest mistake here.  Butler is next and should get Des Moines.  UConn as the lowest should be the one of the four to bite the bullet and go to Spokane.  The committee made a pure mess of the 9 line, and I'm not sure why.  Why is Butler taking the trip to Spokane?  The only logic I see is UConn fans traveling better and the NCAA doing a blatant favor, but it's not like UConn is staying close to home - they're going to Des Moines.  This is weird.
The 10 line:  Shouldn't Pitt be in Brooklyn?  I know the committee put Temple there, and they're closer.  But Pitt is higher ranked and close enough to Brooklyn, compared to St Louis, to make it a real difference.  This change causes a chain reaction that changes 3 of the 4 7-10 matchups.
The 11 line:  The committee chose the right two sites to send PIG winners to.  The actual PIG matchups kinda feel arbitrary to me.  I'd have the best play the worst among the four, as there are no in-bracket conflicts that get in the way.  Wichita gets a minor, minor shaft by having to play Vandy instead of Michigan.
The 12 line:  no changes
The 13 line:  no changes
The 14 line:  no changes
The 15 line:  Middle Tennessee is the best 15 seed.  If they're going to play in St Louis (and they should), it should be against the worst 2, Xavier, not the best 2, Michigan St.  Middle Tennessee got a screw job here.  Everything else lines up fine.
The 16 line:  It sucks sending a winner from Dayton to Spokane, but the only alternative is moving the winner to the 15 line instead.  Nope.

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