Re-seeding the Sweet 16
From 68 to 16 -- the NCAA tournament rolls on after a wild four days of action. Among the sweet 16 in this year's tournament are three double-digits seeds (including the first ever 15 seed), three teams from the Big East, four from the Big Ten, and a few others we are accustomed to seeing at this juncture.
In looking at the teams remaining, I tried to re-seed each team based upon their play in the first two (or three) games. Less focus was given to where a team was seeded at the start of the tournament.
1. Louisville: They came in as the overall number-1 seed, and have done nothing to make folks think they weren't deserving. The Cardinals won their first two games by an average of 28.5 points.
2. Indiana: I know Tom Crean wanted a number-1 seed for his Hoosiers, but they have not been as impressive in the tournament as Louisville. A clutch three late in the second half by Victor Oladipo allowed Indiana to survive Temple (9) on Sunday.
3. Duke: I think we all expected Duke to breeze by Albany (16) in the second round, but their 16 point win over a solid Creighton (7) team on Sunday night was impressive.
4. Florida: Back in December, the Gators were my pick to cut the nets down. After a pair of double digit wins over Northwestern State (14) and Minnesota (11), I'm still feeling good about my pick to click.
5. Michigan: Many thought VCU (5) would end the Wolverines run in this tournament. So much for that...Michigan won by 25. Trey Burke is the best point guard in the country. Great guard play is usually a recipe for success in the NCAA tournament.
6. Michigan State: March is Izzo-time. Quietly, Tom's Spartans breezed through their first two games of the tournament. Next up: Duke (2).
7. Ohio State: The West region is there for the taking for the Buckeyes. They are the highest seed remaining, and are a defensive-minded, veteran bunch. If they receive significant contribution in addition to that of Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas, they will be a final four team.
8. Miami (Fl.): One easy win over Pacific (15), followed by a grinder against an inspired Illinois (7) team. I still think the 'Canes are the most dangerous team in the East.
9. Kansas: They were unimpressive and lackluster in their opening round win over Western Kentucky (16), and played one good half in their win over North Carolina (8). They are loaded with talent, but have shown a lack of consistency.
10. Syracuse: Defense, experience, and toughness have carried the Orange to a pair of easy wins. Will that be enough to conquer Indiana in the sweet 16?
11. Arizona: They backed into the tournament losing three of their final five games, but they were also a top-10 team earlier this season. Talent is not an issue with the Wildcats - they proved it with easy wins over upset-minded Belmont (11) and Harvard (14).
12. Oregon: The Ducks have looked outstanding in hammering Oklahoma State (5) and St. Louis (4). I mean their games haven't even been close. They were underseeded as a 12 and have been on a mission to prove it.
13. Marquette: I have no doubt that Marquette can beat any team remaining in the tournament. No doubt. The only reason they are lower on this list is due to the heroics needed to beat Davidson (14) and Butler (6).
14. Florida Gulf Coast: I believe!
15. Wichita State: The Shockers were the only team to knock off a number-1 seed in the tournament's first weekend. They also steamrolled Pitt in round two.
16. La Salle: They have won more games than any team in the tournament, and are the only team remaining that played in the "real" first round. Fun team to watch, and tough team to beat.