NCAA Tourney First Look

Today the NCAA released its list of Seeds #1-#4 in each region.

Wisconsin is not listed here which is a mild surprise.  Obviously 6 conference games + B1G tournament left to change things.  I would be very surprised if Wisconsin is NOT a Top #4 seed come selection sunday.

But the Badgers are #7 in the in the AP Poll and #5 in the Coaches Poll.  Wisconsin is #18 in the RPI hurt by a poor Strength of Schedule (#105) in particular the Non Conference Strength of Schedule (#247).  UW is also just 1-3 against the RPI Top 25 with losses to UNC, Creighton, and Purdue.  UW is #12 in the Pomeroy rankings.  All those rankings to me suggest that UW should be among the Top 4 at present.  The lack of impressive wins on the resume hurts Wisconsin but it’s still strange to see a team that highly ranked skipped over.  Perhaps a win against Maryland and maybe avenging the loss to Purdue in the B1G tournament bolsters the profile.  But at present, is beating Indiana or Syracuse the best W for Wisconsin?  Tennessee, Georgetown, Oklahoma haven’t been great this season and early season victories over that trio have not aged well.

Switching to my 2nd favorite team, the Oregon Ducks.  I’m thrilled with this seeding if I’m Oregon, especially after the collapse @UCLA this week.  #2 out West is miles more comfortable than the #3 Arizona pulled in the region having to beat either Duke or Kansas to  get to the Final Four.  Gonzaga has its only realistic chance at a regular season loss tonight @St. Marys.  West Virginia has been wildly inconsistent all season.  Virginia as the #3 has a superb D as always, but their lack of offensive punch (#275 in PPG) means they can’t run away from you.  Not exactly high level analysis to suggest Oregon is best served staying away from the traditional NCAA blue bloods.  Of course, Oregon’s kryptonite is Wisconsin so provided they can stay away from the Badgers, a draw like this would make Oregon a favorite out West for the Final Four.

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