Much of the regional contingent in the
Start with VCU, a trendy pick despite Sunday’s loss to
Playing an hour’s drive from their campus, the Wolverines should dispatch South Dakota State and advance to a Saturday game against VCU. Were the Rams to beat Michigan and reach the Sweet 16 in suburban Dallas, they could face two teams they defeated en route to the 2011 Final Four: top-seeded Kansas and No. 2
Formidable as Michigan will be in Auburn Hills, Kansas will be more so in Kansas City. Jayhawks faithful are all about basketball, and after Bill Self’s top-seeded squad dusts Western Kentucky on Friday, it will face the North Carolina-
During the modern era, Kansas is 6-1 in NCAA tournament games staged in Kansas City, the lone defeat to
The Jayhawks’ coach at the time?
Duke defeated Louisville at a November tournament in the Bahamas before 3,511. A Midwest final between the region's top seeds would draw considerably more to Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium, about a two-hour drive from Louisville.
The last time the Blue Devils played in Lucas Oil, they defeated hometown Butler for the 2010 national championship. Announced attendance: 70,930.
Duke should dismiss Albany — we said the same thing last year about Lehigh — on Friday in Philadelphia to set up a Sunday matchup against either All-American Doug McDermott and Creighton, or the
The same can’t be said for preseason ACC favorite N.C. State. For all its offensive balance, the Wolfpack is too weak defensively to advance past
The Hoosiers are the East’s top seed, with ACC regular-season and tournament champion
If Miami survives the first weekend, it travels to Washington, D.C.’s
But enough stalling. Time to offer some advice and picks.
If you’re hunting some double-digit seeds capable of creating chaos, consider Bucknell, Davidson, Boise State and Minnesota. The No. 1 with the toughest turn-around game: I think
Ken Pomeroy’s new-aged ratings have the Zags No. 4, just as the
In the 10 previous seasons that Pomeroy rated teams, only one Final Four team has been below 50th in offensive efficiency — a calculation rooted in points-per-possession. Louisville was 103rd last year.
Only four of 40 Final Four squads were below 30th in defensive efficiency. The most recent were Nos. 41 Butler and 52 VCU in 2011.
Given those parameters, I'm eliminating Final Four-caliber teams such as Georgetown (No. 62 offense), Saint Louis (No. 58 offense) and, reluctantly, VCU (No. 43 defense).
The four regional final picks:
Midwest — Louisville over Duke.
West — Ohio State beats Pitt.
South — Kansas tops Georgetown.
East — Miami defeats Indiana.
More bracket nuggets: Virginia is 76th on the NCAA's final Rating Percentage Index. The worst RPI for an at-large selection was No. 74 New Mexico in 1999.
The Cavaliers’ final non-conference strength of schedule is No. 300. The only at-large teams below 200 are 216 Boise State, 270
None of the 37 at-large teams lost to more than three opponents below 100th on the RPI. Virginia lost to seven.
Conversely, the Cavaliers’ eight top 100 wins match
The highest-rated RPI teams excluded from the field this season were Nos. 31 Southern Mississippi, 54 Louisiana Tech, 56 UMass and 57 Kentucky. The lowest-ranked RPI team to receive an at-large was No. 53 California.
Grading Teel Time's bracket: The projected field I posted Saturday night included all 37 at-large selections. Thirty-two of 68 teams were seeded correctly, 26 within one line, 10 within two.
The lone outliers: I had eighth-seeded Pitt as a 5, 12th-seeded Oregon as an 8.
I can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP