Confused. That is the phrase that instantly got here to thoughts at first look of the NCAA Division I girls’s basketball committee’s preliminary reveal of the highest 16 seeds Monday.
The top-scratching it induced is not actually about which groups had been chosen, and even the order of the highest 16. The confusion lies during which area the groups had been positioned and the following imbalance of the bracket that resulted.
The questions, as they typically do, should do with geography and its relationship to the S curve. And the questions begin proper on the high. However first, a have a look at the highest 16:
Why is No. 1 total seed Baylor in probably the most difficult area?
The Woman Bears had been positioned with the second-best No. 2 seed in Notre Dame and one of the best No. Four seed in South Carolina. Because of this, the bracket is badly imbalanced.
To find out how properly balanced the areas are, add up the true S curve rating numbers of the groups. The decrease the quantity, the higher the area. Ideally, the numbers in all 4 areas are shut, producing a reasonably laid-out bracket.
For instance, the Greensboro, North Carolina, area in Monday’s reveal totals 31 (Baylor 1, Notre Dame 6, Maryland 11, South Carolina 13). That is too low when the Albany, New York, area totals 37 and the Portland, Oregon, area has a 35. The disparity is uncommon. With geographical issues and holding groups from the identical convention separated, it is subsequent to inconceivable to have a superbly balanced state of affairs — however the concept is to get shut. A 31 and a 37 should not occur.
If Baylor and Notre Dame are paired collectively, why are they in Greensboro and never Chicago?
The one cause to forsake bracket aggressive integrity with the Baylor-Notre Dame pairing can be to put them in Chicago, the place the match can capitalize on the Irish fan base. In any other case, placing the No. 1 and No. 6 total groups collectively appears unusual.
As fellow No. 2 seeds and ACC compatriots, Notre Dame and NC State could possibly be switched, which might lead to a extra credibly balanced bracket. That will put No. 1 with No. Eight and No. Three with No. 6, holding the S curve because it was designed.
The Irish cannot drive to Greensboro like they may to Chicago, so they’d board a aircraft for the regional whether or not it’s Greensboro or Portland.
When the S curve was compromised in years previous, it was due to vital geographical and journey issues. That does not seem like the case right here.
If Baylor and Notre Dame should be paired collectively, it is smart for them to be in Chicago as a result of it will additionally enable Louisville to play in Greensboro. What the committee appears to be saying right here is that Louisville can bus to Chicago and Baylor has to get on a aircraft in both state of affairs, so let’s have the Cardinals and their followers drive 300 miles to Wintrust Area. That call causes a domino impact of the remainder of the bracket that isn’t as competitively sound because it could possibly be.
As soon as Louisville and Baylor had been positioned, the committee appeared to go strictly by closest area for the subsequent crew on the top-16 checklist, ignoring the S curve. That’s what created this imbalance. And changes may have been made.
Why is Miami in over different ACC groups?
The Hurricanes touchdown within the high 16 is much from a foul choice; it is simply an odd one. Florida State and Miami have the identical variety of top-50 and top-25 wins, however the Seminoles (20-4) have a greater report than the Hurricanes (21-5), a greater RPI, a stronger schedule, they usually beat Miami of their Jan. 31 assembly (a 62-58 victory in Tallahassee).
Maybe Miami’s two top-10 RPI wins to Florida State’s none made the excellence. Nonetheless, a type of top-10 victories got here in opposition to Syracuse, a crew that the committee oddly did not worth as one in every of its high 16. Solely as soon as prior to now two seasons has a crew within the high 10 within the RPI been as little as even a No. Four seed (UCLA in 2017). The Orange usually are not solely No. 9 within the RPI, but additionally have the sixth-rated schedule within the nation and have 5 top-50 wins. Granted, another energy rankings haven’t got Syracuse as excessive, however given current historical past and the information on which the committee usually leans, it is unusual that the Orange aren’t on this preliminary checklist.
How did NC State get to the 2-line?
NC State (21-2) and Marquette (21-3) had been No. Eight and No. 9, respectively, total. That’s the distinction in being a No. 2 or a No. Three seed. The Golden Eagles’ numbers, apart from one further total loss, are higher than NC State’s throughout the board.
The groups are additionally on completely different trajectories. Marquette has gained 12 video games in a row, whereas the Wolfpack have misplaced their previous two. Maybe NC State bought the nod as a result of it was the final unbeaten crew within the nation, or due to how exceptional Wes Moore’s squad has been regardless of so many accidents.
However Marquette has had the higher season. In fact, this falls beneath that be-careful-what-you-wish-for column. As a No. Three seed the Eagles had been positioned in Chicago, lower than 100 miles from their campus, whereas the Wolfpack, if the season ended at the moment, must undergo Portland to get to a Ultimate 4.