Monday, March 24, 2008

The Real Suprise

In doing a quick comparison between the results of the first weekend of the tournament and the last couple of years (I haven't had time to go back any further), I would suggest that the real surprise of the tournament so far is not Davidson and not Western Kentucky - it's Villanova.

There are 11 of the top 16 seeds left after the first two rounds, plus a 5th seed. Last year 11 of the top seeds made it plus 3 5's - many fewer upsets and no double-digit seeds remained. But the year before, 11 (again) top seeds made it plus (again) 1 5th seed along with 11th seed George Mason and 13th seed Bradley. The only real difference at this point of the tournament from 2006 is the inclusion of a lower-seeded power conference school. It shouldn't be surprising that lower-seeded mid-majors have fared better than similarly-seeded big conference schools. The mids are usually more mature players that have won their conference, or won the regular season and lost out in the conference tournament. On the other hand, the lower-seeded big conference schools are usually either mired in the middle of the pack year after year or they're a young team on their way up but still young. I haven't had a chance to read up on 'Nova this year and haven't had a chance to see any of their games, but I understand they fall into the second category.

I'd love to see Davidson crush Kansas for at least three reasons - 1) it'll give Lex a happy, 2) it'll give me something more to hold over the guys in Kansas City that work for me and 3) it'll keep Ol' Roy from having to spend all his time talking about how he feels about playing Kansas (assuming of course that we make it to the Final Four - in the only region where the top seeds are intact). But Villanova might just knock the Jayhawks off before Davidson has a shot - there's something going on with THOSE 'Cats as well.

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