Mar 06, 2012; Valparaiso, IN, USA; Detroit Titans head coach Ray McCallum and guard Ray McCallum (3) react after the finals of the Horizon League Championship against the Valparaiso Crusaders at the Athletics-Recreation Center. Detroit defeats Valparaiso 70-50. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE
The NCAA Tournament selection committee didn't provide the sports world with a great deal to argue about in 2012, but that's not going to stop us on the day after Selection Sunday.
In terms of job performance reviews, the NCAA Tournament selection committee is essentially an officiating crew: "You guys did a good job, but a couple of things ..." is pretty much the best they can hope for.
If mild criticism is the goal, it seems this morning as if the selection committee deserves high marks, because the 2012 bracket has sparked less outrage than any in recent memory. Beefs with the inclusion of Iona and BYU over fellow bubble contenders like Drexel and Seton Hall seem to be the only quibbles that are consistently popping up.
I'd direct a "good job" to the committee, but that still feels wrong. Instead, let's nitpick and talk about the teams that were -- however moderately -- over-seeded and under-seeded.
1. Colorado (11 - South)
There was no debate over whether or not the Buffaloes were playing for their NCAA Tournament lives during the Pac-12 championship game on Saturday. So if they had no shot at earning an at-large bid, doesn't it stand to reason that they should be seeded below every at-large that did make the field? I feel like this situation occurs at least once a year and I never understand it.
2. Southern Mississippi (9 - East)
There's no question the Golden Eagles belong in the field, but beating Memphis at home in early Febuary is essentially the only noteworthy thing they've done since New Year's. The committee disrespected Conference USA with its seeding of Memphis and by not giving Marshall more of a look, but it's giving the league too much credit by handing Southern Miss. a single-digit seed.
3. Georgetown (3 - Midwest)
It's probably only a line higher than it should be (not an excuse that should be used in daily life, by the way), but Georgetown was the five seed in the Big East Tournament where it was knocked off in the quarterfinals. It just seems like a three is a bit too much of a reward for those accomplishments, especially considering the weakened state of the conference this season.
4. UNLV (6 - South)
The Runnin' Rebels are more than capable of doing significant damage this week, but a 9-5 record in the Mountain West seemed to beg for a seed of no better than seven. That win over North Carolina was a long time ago, but it likely played a major role here.
5. Texas (11 - East)
The Longhorns had to have (or should have) been one of the last teams to sneak into the field, which means the 12 line should have been their rightful home.
1. Memphis (8 - West)
The Tigers played the type of non-conference schedule that the committee consistently rewarded on Sunday, and they absolutely dominated Conference USA over the final month and-a-half of the season. Sliding Memphis into the 8/9 death game doesn't seem fair to either them or the region's No. 1 seed, Michigan State.
2. Murray State (6 - West)
It's tough to argue with less from either side considering the extreme rarity of a team from such a weak conference with such a sparkling record, yet I'm going to do it anyway. My argument: 30-1, bros.
3. Harvard (12 - East)
The Crimson won the Battle 4 Atlantis, they played tough non-conference games away from home and they won the Ivy League title outright. It seemed like an 11 or 10 would have been more appropriate. Sorry, Vanderbilt.
4. Detroit (15 - Kansas)
I'm not saying Ray McCallum Jr. and company are going to shock Kansas or anything, but they're certainly a tougher draw than the Jayhawks should have earned. In case you missed the last two tournaments, the Horizon League champion is capable of doing some damage.
5. Florida (7 - West)
This seems like a make-up seeding for giving the Gators a two they absolutely did not deserve a year ago. Or maybe the SEC's just really bad. Definitely one of the two.