Saturday, April 19, 2014
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UConn Basketball Doubles Again!!

 

April 15, 2014 --

The April 9, 2004 posting of LPR carried this headline:

"Hooray for UConn!!
Twin Tournament Triumphs"

Ten years later the UConn men's and women's basketball squads again got double championships in NCAA Division I basketball,with the men defeating Kentucky 60-54, April 7 and the women defeating Notre Dame 79-58, April 8.

LPR congratulates the UConn teams, men's coach Kevin Ollie, women's coach Geno Auriemma and their staffs. In 2004 the UConn s became the first school to win NCAA men's and women's basketball championships in the same season.

UConn is still the only school with a double NCAA championship in basketball, but now UConn is the also the only school with two NCAA double titles.

May the following words continue to resound: "Let's Go Huskies!!!

LPR expects there will be a new sign similar to this one at the UConn exit on Interstate 84, with 2004 updated to 2014. (From the LPR Archives, April 2004)


 

 
"A vote that represents free will is never wasted"
-- David Zukerman
 

Red Line

Abolish NCAA Seedings;
Pair the Teams by Lot

April 1, 2014 --

LPR believes it is time to replace seedings for the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, known more familiarly as March Madness, with first game match-ups chosen by lot.

Annually, selection of the 64 teams in the men's competition (not including "play-in" games) is announced during a mid-March Sunday evening television program by reference to seeds. There are 16 teams in each of the four NCAA regions: South, East, Midwest and West. (The teams are not necessarily assigned to regions on the basis of geography.This year, for example, the University of Massachusetts found itself competing in the Midwest region, and Syracuse University played in the South region.)

The seedings, LPR understands, are based on the NCAA tournament selection committee's expectations of the teams that will comprise the "Final Four" -- that is, the tournament's semi-final and final rounds. Sixteen teams compete in each of the four regions. Teams seeded 9 through 16 are expected to lose in match-ups with teams 1 through 8. A No. 1 seed is matched against a No. 16 seed, a no. 2 seed is matched against a No. 15 seed, a No. 3 against a No. 14, etc. The No. 1 seeds are the teams expected by the NCAA selection committee to comprise the Final Four. (The top No. 1 seed is the team expected by the selection committee to be the NCAA tournament champion.) The No. 2 seeds are expected to play in the regional finals and lose to the No. 1 seeds. The No. 3 and 4 seeds are expected to reach the regional semi-finals, and lose to the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.

For the 2014 men's NCAA basketball tournament, one of the four No. 1 seeds reached the Final Four: the University of Florida. The University of Wisconsin, another Final Four team, as a No. 2 seed, was expected to lose in its regional final to the No. 1 seed, the University of Arizona. The University of Connecticut, third member of the Final Four, this year, was expected, as a No. 7 seed in the East, to lose to No. 2 Villanova, who, in turn, was expected to lose to No. 1 Virginia. The remaining member of the Final Four, the University of Kentucky, as a No. 8 seed in the Midwest (another geographical curiousity), was expected to lose to No. 1 seed Wichita State, after winning its first game. Instead, Kentucky defeated WIchita St -- but did not become the performance-based No. 1 in its region until it defeated the University of Michigan in the Midwest regional final. Michigan, as a No. 2 seed, did precisely as the selection committee expected, however little solace this will provide Wolverine fans. Although Michigan State lost to Connecticut in the East regional final, the Spartans, in reaching the East regional final, outperformed its No. 4 seeding.

The selection committee struck out in its East and South seedings; no team performed as expected. The committee did better in the South, where four of the 16 competitors matched committee expectations. The committee's best seeding record in the tournament was in the Midwest where eight of the 16 teams performed as expected. If the LPR's proposal to replace seedings with pairings- by- lot is unacceptable, the selection committee's seedings should be adjusted to reflect the actual progression of the tournament. The listings below show the performance seedings to the left of the team name, with the original seeding to the right. For example, in the South region, No. 3 seed Syracuse would be adjusted to a No. 7 seed.

 

South

1. Florida 1
2. Dayton 11
3. Stanford 10
4. UCLA 4
5. S.F.Austin 12
6. Kansas 2
7. Syracuse 3
8. Pittsburgh 9
9. Colorado 8
10. W. Mich. 14
11. E. Ky. 15
12. VCU 5
13. Tulsa 13
14. New Mex. 7
15. Ohio St. 6
16. Albany 16

East

1. UConn 7
2.Mich.St. 4
3. Va. 1
4. Iowa St. 3
5. N.Car. 6
6. Memphis 8
7. Harvard 12
8. V'nova 2
9. Milw. 15
10. Cinci. 5
11. GWU 9
12. Prov. 11
13. N.C.Cent. 14
14. C. Car. 16
15. Del. 13
16. St.Jos. 10

West

1. Wis. 2
2. Ariz. 1
3. S.D.St. 4
4. Baylor 6
5. Creighton 3
6. N.D. St. 12
7. Gonzaga 8
8. Oregon 7
9. BYU 10
10. Okla St. 9
11. Okla. 5
12. La.Laf. 14
13. Nebraska 11
14. N.Mex.St 13
15. Weber St 16
16. American 15

Midwest

1. Kentucky 8
2. Michigan 2
3. Tennessee 11
4. L'ville 4
5. St.Louis 5
6. Mercer 14
7. Texas 7
8. Wich. St. 1
9. Cal.Poly 16
10. Ariz.St. 10
11. Duke 3
12. N.C.St. 12
13. Manh't'n 13
14. UMass 6
15. Wofford 15
16. Kansas St 9

 

How did the selection committee do in its seeding, say, of Dayton in the South? The committee misunderestimated Dayton by a factor of 9. And see Harvard's No. 12 seed in the East, adjusted to a performance 7 seed.

Clearly, the selection committee assumed, notwithstanding Harvard's first game win, last year, that an Ivy League school could not win a tournament game. In the Midwest, the committee expected Duke to get to the "Sweet Sixteen."

The performance seed drops Duke from a No. 3 to a No. 11. In the South, reality drops Ohio State from a No. 6 to a No. 15. Notwithstanding the stature of Duke and Ohio State as basketball powers, their 2014 tournament performance seedings reflect the failure to win their opening game.

Seedings make sense for a conference tournament, perhaps, where they reward performance in the closed environment of conference play. There is no similar, closed, environment in the context of the NCAA 64- team field.

Let the selection committee do its work, confirming automatic choices and choosing the other participants in the NCAA basketball tournament, and then let chance determine the opening match-ups.

To the argument that this might result in top teams meeting in an opening round rather than in the Final Four, experience shows that NCAA tournament reality usually does not comply with the selection committee's expectations. Just consider the 2014 NCAA Final Four: a No. 1 against a No. 7; a No. 2 against a No. 8, in games won by the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds.

Would chance yield more curious match-ups? Besides, the 2014 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament clearly provided plenty of exciting games in the early phases of the tournament as well as in the concluding rounds.

 

David R. Zukerman. prop.
Lonely Pamphleteer Review
www.lonelypamphleteer.com
Bronx, NY 10463

 

 

 


 
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1989 - 2006