Greetings! For reasons beyond my understanding, I have been blessed with the tremendous power of bringing Husky fans a look my own version of bracketology for the next two months, leading to Selection Sunday!
My "qualifications" are having worked with the exceptional crew at HoopsHD.com on a recreational e-mail chain the past 8 years or so, putting together our own mock committee and creating a bracket by following the meticulous rules of the actual selection committee. Yes, we do lead rich and fulfilling social lives. Yes, some of us are married. Terrifyingly, some of us now have children. Special thanks go out to Chad Sherwood, whose bracketing sheet is an invaluable tool in the process.
Chad is a Rutgers alum. Who loves college basketball. Poor bastard. Anyway!
From past experience, I've wavered between trying to "guess the committee" and putting together what I believe the bracket should look like. I tend to put it together more on what I think it should be rather than what the committee will do (seed Duke too high, matchup every mid major at-large versus one another, ensure UConn plays road games whenever possible especially in the Pacific Time Zone, etc.). But as we go forward, I'll try and adjust a little to match what I think the NCAA would do, since that's what most folks want.
Also, you should definitely check out BracketMatrix.com, a great site that culls together every bracket under the sun to give an overall projection. I'm hoping that my small effort will be joining their lot soon.
On to bracket #1!
2. North Carolina
South vs. West
East vs. Midwest
An outstanding question to ask, as someone visiting TheUConnBlog! Currently, UConn is 30th on my S-Curve, the second-highest 8 seed. They are joined by familiar friends VCU, (UConn), Pittsburgh and Texas.
This puts them in an 8-9 game against...Butler! Wouldn't that be fun! Maybe the teams could break 60 points this time!
The good news is UConn is in the East Region. The bad news? They're in Raliegh. And their second round opponent would more than likely be...North Carolina. Welcome to 1998. I had the chance to flip UConn into the West and put them in Brooklyn, but I'm not sure the committee would want Villanova to face such a road/neutral crowd in the second round.
What's The Brooklyn/Providence Outlook?
UConn's hopes of playing very close to home relies on action way, way above them on the S-Curve. Since the regionals and sub-regionals are slotted based on their distance from the protected seeds (seeds 1-4), those teams control what games end up at the Dunkin Donuts Center and the Barclays Center. Right now, Villanova and Virginia are in Brooklyn, while Maryland and Miami are in Providence.
Providence was one of the last sub-reigonals allocated (9th on the S-Curve), so the Dunk situation will probably remain very fluid. As long as Villanova remains in the top 8, they're a lock to end up in Brooklyn based on everyone else having a closer sub-reigonal. Oklahoma (OKC), North Carolina (Raleigh) and Iowa (Des Moines) are absolute no-brainers from a sub-regional perspective. The other teams up there are nowhere near Brooklyn which leaves the Barclays very open to Villanova. Xavier isn't much of a threat to take it, because St. Louis is a closer sub-reigonal site anyway.
I Hate Reading, Can You Just Show Me Your Bracket Already?
I hope you enjoyed the first edition of TheUConnBlog-cketology. Feel free to let me have it in the comments!