To be honest, I didn't actually see the real bracket until today. I heard Greg Gumbel announce the seed numbers yesterday then moved on to updating the matrix with the rest of the brackets. Some parting thoughts about the bracket before we move on:
San Diego State, Creighton, and St. Mary's were all more deserving than Arizona to be in the bracket but I can understand why they did it. Arizona beat tourney at-large teams Kansas (3), Washington (4), and Gonzaga (4). Creighton beat one at-large team - Dayton, an 11 seed. St. Mary's beat no at-large tourney teams and had 3 cracks at Gonzaga and lost all of them. San Diego State did beat Utah and BYU, but lost head-to-head against St. Mary's and Arizona.
The thing that glares at me about Arizona is something I thought the committee emphasized: who you play and where you play them, and how you are playing down the stretch. They were 2-9 on the road with its only wins against Oregon and Oregon State. They followed up a 7-game win streak by losing 5 of their last 6.
Location will always be a problem for the committee and this year moreso because most of the sites are so far from the schools. Portland, Boise, and Miami barely have any tourney schools near them but all are hosting this year, creating weird travel situations such as Arizona State, Arizona, and Utah traveling to Miami, Florida State traveling to Boise, UCLA to Philadelphia, and so on. The NCAA should limit the far-out destinations to just one or two a year.
Not too many complaints about seeding...Boston College was too high. I thought they were closer to the bubble due to their rocky finish but beating Duke and UNC helps. Wisconsin was too low. I heard they were a true 11 so maybe that's okay. I guess I didn't penalize them enough for the 6-game losing streak during conference play.
My no rhyme or reason, straight from the gut predictions will be out Wednesday and will be updated with new predictions as we move along through the tournament. Except for the Elite Eight round. I will be in Reno/Tahoe with spotty Internet access. Hopefully, I can make it to a sportsbook to catch the games or a hot spot where I can update the blog.
My first prediction: Morehead State over Alabama State in the play-in game. Let's hope I don't start 0 for 1.