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TCS Follow-up: Bittersweet Sixteen

In one of my previous posts, I outlined my Bowl Championship Series-style take on a college basketball postseason, where most of the qualifying teams would come from major conferences. The purpose was to set up a reasonable scenario that would allow a truer critique of the BCS system than another scenario I'd recently read. I closed the piece with this bold prediction:

I have no doubt that, of the 20 teams in the imaginary TCS tournaments, I've named at least 14 of the Sweet Sixteen, at least seven of the Elite Eight, all of the Final Four, and one of those 20 is going to be the national champion.

Granted, such a prediction was above and beyond the scope of the article, but I did make it. Now that the field of sixteen has been set, how did I do?

10 of 16.

So what went wrong? And did I get it right at all?

Let's address the elephant in the room: Tampa killed me. There were three TCS teams there (Clemson, Vanderbilt & Drake) and another (Connecticut) that was essentially the 2007 Missouri of the TCS. All four lost in the first round, eliminating TCS teams from two of the possible Sweet Sixteen spots. The only other TCS team to lose in the first round was Georgia, which lost to Xavier, a team that was snubbed for not winning their conference tournament. That said, there were still TCS teams contending for the remaining fourteen spots.

And then the carnage began. Duke, which barely squeaked by lowly Belmont, was defeated by a Bielien-less West Virginia. Purdue was knocked off by the afore-snubbed Xavier. Pittsburgh was crushed by Michigan State, another team that I had snubbed (for Purdue, no less). Sunday was kinder, as I only lost Georgetown to a Davidson team that should have had a higher seed. It could have been worse, as the Alltel Arena seemed to want to send both Memphis and Texas packing, but both survived.

Looking at the bracket as it stands, I'm already down one for the Elite Eight, as neither Xavier nor West Virginia were TCS-qualifying teams. On the other hand, I'm guaranteed to have three TCS teams there: both East region match-ups (North Carolina-Washington State, Tennessee-Louisville) and Texas-Stanford in the South region are all-TCS match-ups.

So how will it all turn out? Heck if I know. I'll take another look just before the Final Four, and, once it's all said and done, I'll take a deeper look and let you know whether I think the TCS system really would be better than the current tournament system.

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If your bracket is busted, here's a second chance.


comments (1) 03-27-2008

The People's Comments:

crashnet:
Overlooking Michigan State in March is had been a bad idea for 10 years now... good job !

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