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*NCAA Announces they’ll unveil early Top 16 Seeds for the Bracket*
*Three of the top four teams immediately lose*
Perfect. Just absolutely perfect timing here. Big shoutout to Marquette, West Virginia, and Tennessee for almost immediately proving how stupid this whole “Early Top 16” thing is from the NCAA.
I wrote what I thought was a
good great perfect breakdown of the NCAA’s announcement yesterday afternoon. You can read it here. But this gist of it was that while I understand the financial incentives and the desire to capitalize on a dead period in the Sports Calendar, this is nothing short of completely useless.
1) It won’t change the hype or the ratings for the tournament because March Madness is March Madness. It’s an institution not beholden to who’s involved or what the buildup is or any type of outside forces. Every third weekend in March for the rest of time, we will all sit down and watch those games.
2) it ultimately won’t matter in the rankings because teams lose ALL THE TIME. There are like a thousand games left in the College Basketball season and these rankings will fluctuate like crazy.
And lo and behold, three of the top four teams took an L last night. Rendering any previously predicted “Top 16” completely and utterly useless. Round of applause NCAA. Incredible timing.
Oh and a quick shoutout to Marquette and Tennessee. Those are two huge, YUGE wins for those two programs. It’s the first win over a major ranked opponent this season for Rick Barnes and Tennessee after close losses to UNC, Oregon, and FSU. And for Wojo and Marquette, it’s another statement win for a team trying to crack the top tier of the Big East. After a close loss to No. 13 Butler last week, they’ve rolled off back-to-back wins against No. 7 Creighton and current No. 1/defending champ Villanova.
Does this spell doom for Villanova, Kansas, and Kentucky? Of course not. They’ll all still be in that top 16 come February 11th. But the idea of pre-seeding these teams into specific regions when nights like last night can happen at any time just looks absolutely preposterous today.