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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Not too many surprises in this year's NCAA tournament bracket

There were a couple of minor surprises but all things considered, things sort of went according to script when the tournament bracket was released earlier tonight.

I've been seeing South Carolina as the No. 2 seed in UConn's bracket in the bracketology posts I've seen even though if were left up to me, I would have put South Carolina ahead of Texas in the seedings. I guess the committee wanted to avoid putting teams from the same conference as the top two seeds in one of the four regionals. Still, winning the SEC tournament with a win over previously undefeated Mississippi State should have carried more weight.

A couple of surprises in UConn's bracket was Quinnipiac being the No. 9 seed (I would have thought the Bobcats would have been somewhere from 10-12 on the seed line) and South Florida being placed in UConn's bracket for the third time in the last four seasons.

It would seem as if both team placements came down to geography as the only Florida team to host a subregional is Florida State so putting USF as the No. 6 there does make geographical sense. The next closest subregionals would be hosted by Tennessee and North Carolina State. Another way to look at it is that USF would have to get to the regional final before facing UConn.

Quinnipiac being a 9 seed was a bit of a stunner to me. I remember my boss including me on a group email a couple weeks back going through potential NCAA tournament teams and stories we might need to get ready for and he suggested the possibility of Quinnipiac being sent to UConn's subregional. I told him there was no way that would happen especially since the Bobcats didn't play a team with the top 100 RPI since four days before Christmas. Quinnipiac posted a win over Central Michigan, a team with the No. 15 RPI, and wins over top 40 RPI squads Northern Colorado and Dayton so I guess the seeding wasn't totally out of left field. It  certainly makes travel arrangements much easier at my paper rather than having a reporter get on a plane, they can drive to UConn. I was bummed to find out that my friend Bill Schweizer, who is retiring this season after a long and distinguishing run as the radio voice of Quinnipiac athletics, won't be doing Quinnipiac's games in the tournament. I spent many hours in the Yale Field press box with Bill when I helped with the coverage of the New Haven Ravens during the 1999 and 2000 seasons and I certainly wish him well in his retirement.

At first glance, it looks like Louisville drew the group of death with No. 2 Baylor (which to me should have been the highest of the No. 2 seeds and placed in Notre Dame's bracket), No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 Stanford (a team with some losses likely attributed to missing players) and Missouri at No. 5.

Seeing Texas and Baylor on the other half of the bracket along with Mississippi State is probably just fine with UConn as teams with size in the post could make things difficult for the Huskies but there's plenty of basketball to be played and I know in the past when one bracket looks impossible, that tends to be the one where upsets wreak havoc.


Anonymous Joe said...

Like you, Jim, I also was quite surprised to see USF in UConn's regional. For some reason, I thought the Committee wanted to keep teams from the same conference in different regionals if they could?

I did not know, though, that they'd have a quasi-"home" game in the first two rounds. Maybe that helps ease the pain a little for them....

11:33 AM 

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