UNC #1 Overall Seed in the NCAA Tournament

Not that the Selection Committee cared.

Let me first say that I view the Selection Committee much the same way I do referees. You can complain about the referees all you want but if you make plays then it does not matter how bad the officiating might be in any given game. The same is true of the Committee. They can do a horrific job in laying out the bracket but in the end if you play the game at your top level, especially as the #1 overall seed then it does not matter who you play. So the following rant is more of principle based rant and not whining about the potential toughness of UNC’s game since any number of upsets could change all that and I would have complained for nothing.

UNC has been declared the #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament which by definition means they should play the weakest seed in every seeding group. If you ranked the teams 1 to 64 UNC should play the 64, 32, 16, 8, 4 and 2 overall seeds. If that is the case how in the name of Dean Smith does the #2 team in the RPI(Tennessee) end up as the #2 seed in the region? How does UNC, as the #1 overall, find the Vols who were debated as a #1 seed until 24 hours ago in the same regional? This does not make any sense to me and neither does Indiana being the #8 seed in the East when they have been ranked in the top 25 all season. Of course being #8 in the same region with the overall #1 seed means Indiana is the #32 team in the tournament which is not that far off the Hoosiers’ current ranking just inside the top 25. Still it seems odd for the #1 overall seed to be in what some people are calling the toughest region. Perhaps the committee took into account the Raleigh-Charlotte path for UNC and were willing to make it a little tougher. My problem with that is if you seed the top four then the seeding after that should reflect it and from where I sit it does not. However, as I said, it is all about playing the game and upsets could turn the bracket upside down rendering this moot. I am just puzzled that’s all.

My first instinct in looking at the East is that we will see UNC playing Notre Dame in the Sweet Sixteen with Tennessee vs Louisville. UNC will play Louisville and advance to the Final Four. And like the inane ramblings of Seth Davis be prepared to hear how every team in the East will be too tough for UNC to beat. This was a theme last season and apparently it has already started this year. And I do disagree with Roy as it pertains to playing in Raleigh and Charlotte. I think it helps that UNC has to travel less for their games than the teams they play. Ultimately UNC has to show up and play at the top of their game, much like they did versus Clemson in the ACC title game. However I think being close to home makes doing that easier. And being 21-1 in NCAA Tournament games played in North Carolina points to a very nice historical trend we would all like to see more of over the next two weeks.

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18 Responses to UNC #1 Overall Seed in the NCAA Tournament

  1. I’m not as concerned with travel, so maybe I agree with Roy on that one. AAU ball has these kids accustomed to playing in far flung places.

    What I DO think is significant is that the Heels will be playing in familiar ARENAS. They have run the floor and tested the hoops at the RBC Center and at Charlotte Bobcats arena, and successfully so. They should have no second thoughts about their shot due to unfamiliarity with the rims, etc. I also hope that the crowd can be a factor as well.

    Can’t wait. It’s going to be a long week at work.

  2. And FWIW, if anyone should be complaining, it’s Virginia Tech.

  3. william says:

    I think there is an argument that Tennessee is far weaker than UCLA, Memphis, Kansas, Duke, UNC, etc., if you look at Pomeroy.

    Now, I am the first one to say that I believe that his system, which he has changed away from “pure points” to what might be called “pure points per possession” analysis has unfortunately taken a step back or so it seems.

    But some of my criticism is based upon his failure to see UNC as one of the top four teams in the country, unlike Sagrin or Greenfield. I also think that he has far too high an opinion of the Big Ten style of play and Wisconsin, in general. We are currently tied for fifth in his rankings. On the other hand, I do not think he is biased against us, as we were first in his rankings last year at the end of the NCAA tournament and we didn’t even make it to the Final Four. He had us essentially tied with Illinois in 2005 and said if McCants had not been hurt, UNC probably would have been on top in the end of year ratings.

    Anyway, he has Tennessee as a soft 14, below Clemson. If Kentucky won 12 games in the SEC, how good can the SEC be? I am far more sanguine about our chances against Tennessee, than against UCLA, Georgetown or Kansas, all of which tend to run more slow-paced ball control offenses. Pittsburgh scares me much more than Tennessee, as does Louisville, which has Roy Williams’ second favorite center, David Padgett starting in the middle, and Stanford, which has twin towers underneath.(that would be so cool to have twin Hansbrough’s playing center).

    Carolina seemed to have trouble with two types of teams the past couple of years: teams that play truly big and slow, or teams that are big across the low post, but which have lots of speed in the backcourt. I could add Duke this year, but their style seems so truly different that we are not likely to see that again, plys it seems to be getting less effective as the season goes on.

    I honestly did not think that Carolina played particularly well this week-end and that is probably due to Williams not emphasizing the tournament. We were incredibly sloppy and made terrrible mental errors. Both Saturday and Sunday, UNC attempted to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but VPI was not quite good enough and Clemson reverted to 13-25 free throw shooting. Ty, in particular, is not quite there, but the parallel to McCants in 2005 is striking. Given the possibility of 11 days and two token games to get back in playing condition, Lawson should be fine by the Sweet 16. On the positive side, Stepheson looked the best he has all season, rebounding and blocking shots and Thompson looked pretty good as well.

    The experts don’t think that we are quite good enough to do it this year, with the exception of Vitale. I think that we are, but this is not like 2005 when UNC and Illinois stood head and shoulders above everyone else. There are six to ten teams that can win it this year. If Carolina is going to do it, they need to hit from outside, make free throws and play headier basktball.

  4. Tar Heel Fan says:

    What I basically did not understand was how UT can be the RPI #2 but essentially be dumped down to the #8 overall seed. Then again looking at the four two seeds, maybe UT is the weaker one or maybe Duke is weaker but they will not put Duke as a #2 with UNC and you could argue that perhaps Georgetown is weaker than UT but they did not want to make the same two teams 1-2 in the East again which left them with UT.

    And I agree UNC did not play well on Saturday, looked disinterested on Friday but I thought they played well against a team the matches up pretty well against them. Five players hit double figures. Ellington and Green hit shots, Hansbrough made some key plays and Lawson is beginning to round back into form. I also thought the defense was pretty good. UNC gets to warm up Friday night on a very weak #16 before getting ready for a likely date with Indiana on Sunday.

  5. william says:

    I thought Clemson was by far the best effort of the weekend, except for the sloppiness and mental errors towards the end. Hopefully, the poor free throw shooting was an aberration.

    I did see this and I agree with Williams. I thought the criticism by many writers and even people on this site was far too harsh after the loss to Georgetown last year:

    “Let’s be honest,” Williams told reporters. “I’m always going to have mixed feelings about this tournament. The top three or four teams in the ACC probably always will. You play somebody for 16 games and you turn around and you’ve got to do it again.

    “What does everybody talk about? You think about our 2007 team. What does everybody talk about? That we lost to Georgetown. Nobody said: ‘Yeah, but they won the ACC Tournament.’ So, let’s be honest. The ACC is a wonderful tournament. I grew up in this area. I love it, but it’s not the same as it used to be when there was only one team that went. Now, you can write it up any way you want to, and you can criticize me, and the fans are going to get on my case, but it’s a fact. Let’s be honest. Let’s get over that.”

  6. 52BigGameJames says:

    BFD-they had to play 3 extra games-boo-hoo. Roy is human, and as such is want to whine about his personal gripes. Dean used to detest all the public appearances he had to make which he didn’t feel were part of coaching….I say both come with the territory-let’s remember, the fans make it all possible! I say the smiles on the players faces as they were receiving their accolades yesterday paint a different picture. And as to G’town, methinks he doth protest too much-my guess is with the wisdom of the distance of the years, at some point in the future he’ll concede that wasn’t one of his better coached games, just as Dean reluctantly has on the very few occasions it happened.

    “Black-Magic” is a real treat in case you missed it–part 2 airs tonight.

  7. Will says:

    I remember thinking at the East bracket was the “bracket of death” in 2005, but the teams we were expected to play (e.g., Kansas) got beat before we ever played them. Hope this happens this year. Beating, say, Indiana, Notre Dame/WSU, and Tenn/Louis. will be very difficult.

  8. Johnny says:

    I live in PAC-10 country. For years people complained about the lack of a PAC-10 conference tournament. Now people are comparing it to the college football year end monstrosity. “You mean a realy bad team can play for the championshiop? And all the good teans get is worn down right before the NCAAs start because they play more games?” I still love the conference tournament play, because beating a team three times is really tough, but I do understand Roy’s concerns.

  9. […] ACC has some terrible officiating and the NCAA has a f*cked of way of showing love to the number one overall seed. Tar Heel Fan is […]

  10. Josh Bowling says:

    Problem is THF, that Tennessee and Louisville are not that far from Charlotte themselves. Those games we lose a lot of that home-court advantage. Some damn number one overall seed. I would have rather been some number 2 seed in another bracket, in terms of who we’re playing. This is not us merely whining & complaining. The bracket is supposed to be set up like you said with us getting the weakest number 2 & 3 seeds. That simply just isn’t the case here and it doesn’t reward our regular season & tournament fairly. It does reward those other teams who weren’t as successful as us. There is plenty of socialism in our society. Sports is supposed to be a break from that to where you have those who succeed get the advantage and those who didn’t do so well be set in their proper place. This bracketology looks like communism.

  11. Displaced Heel says:

    William, I disagree that Kansas plays a slower style of basketball than UNC. My husband is a Jayhawk, and so I watch a lot of KU ball; Sherron Collins could be an incredible match for Ty Lawson (with Lawson at 100%). They should match up really well with the Heels, should everyone get that far, and I may lose friends over that game, should it come to pass. I know one thing, I won’t be traveling to San Antonio with my best friend should Carolina-KU get there.

  12. hhn111 says:

    You just play the game and let see how it all falls down. Don’t get caught up in looking ahead. Remember 2 years ago with George Mason going to the Final Four. Win 6 is all that matters.

  13. I’m not worried over Tennessee or Louisville, for that matter. I think Notre Dame is a team that can give UNC fits with their style of play. That would be a huge matchup. Of course, I would love to see George Mason win a couple of games so Tyler, Ginyard, and Green can get some revenge, but I understand that’s pretty far-fetched.
    Personally, I have Tennessee getting knocked out by Butler. I know that Butler (like Memphis) comes from a second-tier league, but they play very well and can knock down some shots. Plus, Tennessee’s defense is about as bad as UNC’s used to be.
    Overall, I was pretty satisfied with how the bracket came out. I don’t really think that Arizona State has much to complain about, and Virginia Tech maybe got screwed a little bit on behalf of Baylor, South Alabama, Kansas State, and USC, but losing 13 games won’t help your cause.
    Upset of the tournament: Clemson beats Kansas!!

  14. It’s not the distance that matters. Kids are used to traveling from AAU. Does Tennessee have a basketball fanbase that will travel to Charlotte the way Heel fans will? Louisville? No.

    More importantly, have Tennessee or Louisville played in Bobcats arena recently? We have, and we cut down some nets in the process. We have no one to blame but ourselves if we can’t make it to San Antonio.

  15. william says:

    Displaced Heel, when I say Kansas plays a slower brand of basketball than Carolina, I am not talking about the relative speed of their players. I am referring to the tempo at which they play. Pomeroy keeps tempo statistics and Kansas has played slower than it used to under Roy Williams and currently plays slower than Carolina does. The stats for this year show that Carolina averages about 7 more possessions per game than does Kansas.

    This doesn’t necessarily imply that the faster tempo team is better, just more interesting to watch, in my opinion. Kansas uses more old fashioned hi-lo sets that are effective, but boring. It is a shame because Kansas was once known for running basketball, going all the way back to Phog Allen, but they decided to hire this Oklahoma State graduate who installed different systems. Kansas is quite good and I hope we don’t have to play them.

  16. Josh Bowling says:

    I hope we don’t either William.

  17. rbl says:

    I’m not all worried about teh other teams in our Regional. Of course, Tennessee is good, but I think we’ll take them if teh game plays out. However, there is a real sleeper in Butler, although I think we’ll beat them, if they manage to upset some teams.

    Indiana may be the most dangerous team we face in the Regional. Remeber 1990 when we were an 8 and knocked off #1 Oklahoma?

    Speaking of sleepers, Xavier will beat Duke, if that game matrializes.

    I know KU is good, but it would surely be an interesting game. I hope you’ll be pulling for the right team, Displaced Heel.

  18. william says:

    Some people are acting as though Carolina has to beat Lousiville and Tennessee and Indiana and Notre Dame to make it to the Final Four but it doesn’t work that way.

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