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Home - The 2010 NCAA Bracket: First Reactions




  The 2010 NCAA Bracket: First Reactions


march madnessNCAA brackets came out on Sunday with less controversy than I can remember in recent memory, however, there’s always something to talk about. The team who most people think had the biggest gripe was the Virginia Tech Hokies who finished the season with a 23-8 record and 10-6 in conference, but had an embarrassing loss to finish the season against the worst team in their league, Miami. They also had a very weak strength of schedule, devaluing their record.

There’s always a debate about seeding, and who should have been seeded higher or lower. I personally thought that the mid-major teams got snubbed across the board. I thought that San Diego State (11), UTEP (12), Utah State (12), Northern Iowa (9), BYU (7), Cornell (12), St. Mary’s (10) and Gonzaga (8) were all seeded lower than they should have been. While teams like UNLV (7), Villanova (2), and Georgetown (3) were seeded too high.


I was having trouble sleeping Sunday so I listened to one of the early morning radio shows. They suggested that Villanova was seeded too high, which I agreed with. They had a 24-7 record, but finished the season horribly losing five of their last seven games. Despite thinking they were seeded too high, the radio commentators couldn’t find a team they felt could replace them on the 3-line. So I started to think if I could find a team that could replace them. I went to the 3-line and didn’t really think any of Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Baylor, or New Mexico should be moved up. Then I moved down to the 4-line and one team jumped out to me, Purdue.

The Purdue Boilermakers finished the season 27-5 in the Big Ten. Records like that in a conference as good as the Big Ten would usually give them a 1-seed or 2-seed at the worst. However, towards the end of the year Purdue lost their best player, Robbie Hummel, due to injury for the season. In the past, the NCAA selection committee has set the precedent that they will weigh how a team plays without the injured player in how they seed them. (In a famous snubbing the University of Cincinnati was (28-3) and ranked #1 in the country in 2000 and lost their best
player, Kenyon Martin, to injury in their last game. Despite the fact that they were the presumed best team in the country before the injury they fell to a 2-seed.) Purdue went 3-2 without Hummel, but got blasted in their last game 69-42 at the hands of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Philosophically, I’m against lowering a team’s seed due to injury because their achievements remain the same. The selection committee bases their decisions off of quantifiable data and that data doesn’t change with a player injury. Purdue earned their lofty position even though if they likely won’t play up to it. Fair or unfair, you can at least play your way out of a bad seed.






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