So my bracket is dead. And since my bracket is done, no one else in the country cares about the tourney anymore, so let’s move on.
One of the big talking points this weekend was “One day a 16 seed will beat a 1 seed.” First of all, way to go out on a limb saying eventually a team will beat another team. Secondly, where is the fun in stopping there? The fun is in trying to figure out which team is going to the 1 seed to lose. So let’s throw some numbers out there. Here is a list of however many teams I feel like coming up with who I think have a good chance of being the first 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed. I’ll even throw some made up odds on it.
Obviously to be eligible for this list, you’ve got to be a pretty good team. Let’s face it, Coppin State isn’t getting a 1 seed next year just so a 16 seed can win a game. At the same time, you’ve got to have flaws that make you vulnerable to an early exit. So let’s have some fun looking at numbers.
Memphis 3-1 odds
I swear, I would have put them on the list even before they struggled in the first round. They’re actually the reason I decided to come up with this list. Memphis is a good team, we know this. What we also know is that Conference USA isn’t the greatest in the land. So in theory, it is possible for a lesser Memphis team to skate through the conference and still look very impressive. I know they tend to play a couple good teams at the start of the season, but you can get a few lucky bounces and win or be competitive in those games. We also know the committee likes Memphis so even if CUSA is down, Memphis still has a good chance at a 1 seed year in year out. So really, they’re only on this list because they have a chance to be a weak team that squeaks in as a 1 seed.
Duke 5-1 odds
Everyone knows Duke’s weaknesses at this point they live by the 3 and it is easy to die by the 3. They are a very good team, but if they speed through a year and then get matched up in the tourney with a 16 that is athletic, Duke can have troubles. They’ve worked on correcting this in recent years with players like Henderson and Smith Duke is getting more athletic and less prone to this happening. The other thing that makes it hard for Duke to lose early is that they usually play pretty good perimeter defense. So it makes it harder on the lesser teams to keep it close with the 3 ball. Duke sill has one of the better chances to lose to a 16 seed.
Michigan 8-1 odds
This isn’t so much of an indictment of Michigan as it is of the Big Ten as a whole. The Big Ten plays really good defense, but can struggle to score from time to time. Even if you’re a 1 seed playing a 16 seed, if you struggle to score you can lose. What will make it harder for them to lose to a 16 is the fact they can play good defense and if you can stop them from scoring you don’t have to worry as much about scoring yourself. Michigan is the team from the Big Ten I’m singling out right now because they have a history of being a high seed in the tournament and with good coaching and recruiting, they’ll get back to the higher seeds.
Kansas 13-1 odds
I put Kansas on the list only because they have a tendency to play down to the competition in the first round. They had a close one against NDSU this weekend and it wasn’t really a surprise for anyone because that’s what they do. They’ve also been a very good team so they’ve got chances to be a number 1 seed. Even as a 1 seed, if you play down to the competition, sometime or another the competition will be better at the end. What makes it’s harder for Kansas to be the team that loses to a 16 is the fact they play in one of the best conferences in the land. If they make it through the Big 12 and get a 1 seed, chances are they’re a really good team. When you look at the fact that Oklahoma has the best player in the land this year and they’re only a 2, you really need to be a great team to get through the Big 12.
Gonzaga 14-1 odds
I know, everyone loves Gonzaga because they used to be a Cinderella and know they’re actually a good team. But here’s the thing, everyone thinks that. Just because people think it, doesn’t make it so. Gonzaga is the most overrated team in NCAA DI basketball. Add in the fact that they don’t play in the toughest conference, they’re another team that can squeak into a higher seed than they deserve because of a bad conference. What keeps them from being a slam dunk for this honor is that the selection committee has been reluctant to give them a seed higher than 3 or 4. If Gonzaga sneaks into a 1 seed in the coming years, be ready to pick the 16 seed in that bracket.
Minnesota 39-1 odds
I’m just putting Minnesota on the list because it’s something a Minnesota sports team would do. They’d play great all year, get the hopes of the state up, and then lose in the first round to a 16. It’s just something that would happen, and not many people in the state would even be that surprised. Minnesota is worthy of considering because they have a history of being a good team, and with Tubby Smith coaching there is no reason to think they won’t get back to being a good team that could contend for a 1 seed.
So what do you think? Did I forget a team you think should be on the list? Don’t agree with my “logic” behind a team making the list? I’m always open to feedback. I’m always wandering around the forums so look me up in there or drop me an email.
Tags: March Madness, Michigan, NCAA Tourney