Well the field of 68 has been whittled down to 66, with two games left in the first round, also called the First Four. As I look at the brackets, I see something a bit odd. Some of the second round games, which will be the first games for 60 of the teams, will be played in cities that are not located in the region they represent. For example, some second round games for the West Region are held in Jacksonville, Florida, which, to my thinking is more South or East than West. About the only place near the U.S. where one would have to travel West to get to Jacksonville would be the island nation of Bermuda.
Another example is Omaha, NE, which hosts a second round Sub Regional game in the West. Ok, Nebraska is more Westerly than Jacksonville, but it feels more middle western to me. Oddly, Omaha also hosts a Midwest Sub Regional game. How is that fair? When did Nebraska become a basketball mecca? It doesn’t even have a team in the tournament. No, Creighton (Barrel) did not make the cut this year. Somebody in NE knows someone with powerful NCAA connections.
Looking at the South Regional, we have more of this March Madness shenanigans in play. Seattle, WA and Portland, OR play host to South Sub Regional games. I was not a Geography major in college, but from what I can remember, the only place that can call Seattle South is Canada. I suppose Portland was approved because it is South of Seattle.
And because of these geographic fails on the part of the NCAA tournament logistics committee, some teams have a clear home court advantage in Sub Regionals that were not earned. Let’s look at the “West” games being played in Jacksonville, Florida. Wofford, out of Spartanburg, SC, the 12th seed, practically has a home game against 5th seeded Arkansas, and were they to win, would have a slight home court advantage over 3rd seeded UNC. Wisconsin sent to the West Region got the least respect having to play in Omaha, a good 7 hour drive from Madison. All the other 1 seeds get second round games in their home state and Villanova, plays just 30 minutes from campus in Philly.
A couple of Texas teams – Stephen F. Austin (12) and SMU (6) have smooth sailing back to Texas if they advance to Houston for virtual home court advantage – both Dallas and Nacogdoches are only a few hours from Houston. And of course all of the Indiana teams (how did they get 5 in?) could advance to Indianapolis. There must be some big wigs on the NCAA committee from the Hoosier state. I mean really, how did Indiana even get an invitation with 13 losses? And Valparaiso, isn’t that a city in Chile? Come on, and they didn’t play a single ranked team all year. And if you think Butler has a chance of advancing very far, well I think you are delusional or put another way, suffering from an acute case of March madness. And to demonstrate that I too may not be quite right in the head, here’s my prediction: Cat v. Dog – Villanova Wildcats (1) v. Wofford Terriers (12) with the Wildcats winning it on a buzzer beater, 45-44. You watch.
Filed under: 2015 March Madness, humor, humour, Sports | Tagged: 2015 Hoops, 2015 March Madness, 2015 NCAA Tournament, college basketball, college hoops, NCAA Selection committee | Leave a comment »