Quite a Tournament

The NCAA, despite my general contempt for them, has quite a basketball tournament going on at the moment. There have been quite a number of upsets, and there haven't been all that many blow-outs. Every game of which I've watched a chunk (except the Arizona-Duke and George Mason-Ohio State games, of which I only saw a few minutes out of the first half) has been a real nailbiter, with some really wild finishes.

In fact, Butler has now had three wild finishes (the first two of which they really didn't deserve to win) in their four games. Three of the top seeds are gone, with the fourth playing their fourth game tomorrow.

One region had the 10, 11, 12, and 13 seeds all advance out of the first round, and winning a combined eight games (with VCU playing for a chance at the final four tomorrow). The one downside of that is that it has led to probably the easiest tournament ever for a #1, with Kansas playing #16, #9, #12, and #11. In fact, I'm now looking at the bracket to check on those; I had missed Notre Dame and Purdue getting knocked off by those guys.

Anyway, as one who mostly just roots for the underdog, that's pretty darned cool.

Hmm... the Elite Eight consists of a 1, 2-2s, a 3, 4, 5, 8, and 11 seeds. That's quite a mix. Disappointed that we won't get another 12-seed in the final four, a la George Mason's run five years ago, but we could still get pretty close.

What else? Well, only one region went without an upset in the first round, although that one had one upset in the second round, and both games were upsets in the third round. Three of the four eleven seeds advanced past the first, and two of them went past the second, as well.

The one thing I can't figure out is why two of the play-in games were where they were. That is, how do you end up with a play-in game for an eleventh or twelfth seed? That just doesn't make any sense. They didn't mind doing it, though, obviously.

Thinking about it, I wonder how pissed the NIT organizers were about that (the three additional teams in the NCAA tournament, that is). The NIT used to be the tournament that people followed, back when you had to win your conference to make it into the NCAA tournament. Now? Nobody really even cares about the NIT. I can't imagine that it makes a significant amount of money.

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