Bracketology: Surprises by the selection committee
The NCAA selection committee released its current top 16 Sunday on CBS and there were a couple of surprises.
I wrote in my column on Sunday morning that I thought Purdue still had the best resume in the race for the fourth No. 1 seed, but I thought the committee would go with Michigan State. I should have gone with my instincts because the committee agreed that Purdue should have that No. 1 seed for now.
Michigan State is a No. 3 seed, which is where I had them Saturday before it beat Purdue. Part of what is holding the Spartans back is a relatively poor strength of schedule and the fact that most of their better wins have come at home.
The committee seemed to favor strong schedules and quality wins. Duke and Kansasas No. 2 seeds are prominent examples of that. Both teams have a relatively high number of losses, including a couple of head-scratchers, but both also have strong schedules and a high number of quality wins. No team has more wins in the top quadrant than Kansas.
Clemson, which has had an outstanding season, is a No. 3 seed and as with Michigan State, a relatively high number of home wins in the top two quadrants is the biggest reason why they are a No. 3.
It is odd not to see Kentucky high in the rankings at this time of year, but the SEC is well represented anyway. Auburn and Tennessee, two teams from which little were expected, are both in the committee's top 16.
As rough as things have been for the Pac-12 this season, it is also represented in the top 16. Arizona came in at No. 15 overall and is in the West region, setting up a possible rematch of the seventh place game in the Battle 4 Atlantis with the Boilermakers.
Selection committee's top 16
|10||Texas Tech||East (3)|
|11||Michigan State||South (3)|
|12||North Carolina||West (3)|
|14||Ohio State||East (4)|