The field for the NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament is known as CBS featured its annual Selection Show program this weekend. It will come as no surprise to the analysts (i.e.,. included Charles Barkley and Doug Gottlieb) that the Kansas Jayhawks and the North Carolina Tar Heels were awarded two of the tournament’s No. 1 seeds. However, the other top seeds went to Oregon and Virginia while Michigan State and Villanova had to settle for two seeds.
However, the most spirited debate in the program centered around the teams on the bubble. Gottlieb, for instance, ripped the selection committee for awarding the Syracuse Orange a bid into the 2016 NCAA tournament. According to Gottlieb, the “key factor” regarding Syracuse was that “They lost to St. John’s” and “No team should be in this NCAA Tournament that lost to St.John’s this year.”
For an elaboration, the Red Storm went just 8-24 on the season, but one of their wins came against Syracuse back on December 13th. Following that win, St. John’s went into a major freefall as they only managed one more victory the entire season.
Gottlieb felt that Monmouth was a team that was overlooked. Playing in the MAAC, the Hawks went 27-7 overall this season but lost in their conference tournament. That left them on the outside looking in, and it left Gottlieb puzzled. “I don’t know what Monmouth is supposed to do,” he claimed on the Selection Show.
Charles Barkley’s major point in the show was that he felt that the Pac-12 was “underrated” as a conference. He acknowledged a bit of a bias because he lives in a part of the USA where Pac-12 basketball is featured in regular television programming. But Barkley wasn’t dismayed that Oregon received a top seed out of the Pac-12, noting that perhaps Michigan State should have gotten one too – but over the Cavaliers.
“Michigan State should have been a No. 1 seed,” Barkley said on Sunday, “and it should have been over Virginia.”
Barkley, as part of his love for the Pac-12, was big into the California Bears. The Bears are a team that is considered to be deep in future NBA talent. Barkley suggested that they were the most talented team in the tournament with the exception of the North Carolina Tar Heels – very powerful words for a four seed. The Bears are in tough in the NCAA tournament as they share a draw to the Final Four with Kansas, Villanova, and Maryland in the South Region.
The NCAA basketball tournament starts on Tuesday/Wednesday with the First Four. For schools that fans might actually be familiar with, Vandy and Wichita State will meet in the south while Michigan and Tulsa will meet in the east. The other two play-in games will feature sixteen seeds that are all destined to be out of contention by Saturday morning.
If the seeds held up, the regional finals would look like this (South meets West, East meets Midwest):
South – Kansas vs. Villanova
West – Oregon vs. Oklahoma
East – North Carolina vs. Xavier
Midwest – Virginia vs. Michigan State
However, I think Duke might push its way into the Elite Eight instead of Oregon. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be inking Villanova that far ahead in my bracket based on the history of post-season flops. Xavier is somewhat of a shaky pick too while Virginia is the most likely top seed to suffer an upset in my opinion.
The Final Four will be played in Houston this year with the national final scheduled for April 4th. With Kansas on the opposite side of the draw as Michigan State and North Carolina, the Jayhawks look like the team with the best chance to make the final this season.