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March 24th, 2014
Dang . . . just how good was that Kentucky-Wichita State game Sunday afternoon?
We’ll all be quite fortunate if there is anything nearly as entertaining, hard-fought and well-played in the Final Four as there was during the Wildcats’ 78-76 victory over the unbeaten Shockers in St. Louis.
This year we resurrected the NCAA Tournament Player Pool, gathering up members of the NBADraft.net team and holding a draft of our own on Tuesday night before the NC State/Xavier game. With a name randomizer, we produced an order and went through a snake style draft. The game is based on which of these armchair GM’s squads will score the most points over the duration of the tournament. The scoring is simple, total combined points scored by each team's players (no rebounds or assists included).
Pundits everywhere are saying the South and Midwest Regions are the most stacked. But the West region could have the most potential for pandemonium when the ball is tipped. It’s a fun little mix of the uber-consistent favorites (Arizona, Wisconsin, San Diego St.), the hot teams (Baylor, Gonzaga, Oregon), the teams with that star player who we’ve seen go off time and time again (Creighton, Nebraska, Louisiana-Lafayette)…and The Curious Case of Oklahoma St. Four teams will emerge and face off in Anaheim. Here’s a breakdown of the favorites, the
Why # 1 Seed Virginia Will Make the Final Four
The historic season of the Wichita State Shockers won them an almost unheard of #1 seed for a Missouri Valley Conference team, but it’s almost as if the NCAA committee dared them to “prove it.” The Midwest Region boasts an extremely high level of competition including not only the undefeated Shockers, but Rick Pitino’s defending national champion Cardinals, Michigan, and Duke.
Why No. 1 seed Florida will make the Final Four:
The “real season” – the NCAA Tournament, naturally – gets underway when the Field of 68 begins to be whittled leading into the April 6 national championship game in Arlington, TX.
In the meantime, here are my “regular season” All-America honors, plus updated Power 16:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Doug McDermott (6-7/Sr./Creighton)
COACH OF THE YEAR – Tony Bennett (Virginia)
Wichita State continued its dissection of everything on its schedule while rolling through the Missouri Valley Conference competition one last time this past weekend in St. Louis.
Now the Shockers get to kick it – well, I’m sure they’ll practice and attend class, too – at home this week in anticipation of Sunday’s Selection Show on CBS, when their expected top seed in the tournament is announced.
Who gets the other three No. 1 slots in the 68-team field?