Selection Sunday. One of the best days of the year, this day is geared perfectly to set up an exciting and dramatic week of college basketball. This day is loaded with both surprises and disappointments. No matter how passionately you feel about a certain team getting snubbed, does it really matter once the tournament starts? Probably not. But that won’t stop us from discussing the tournament selections and omissions.
Hayden: I can’t believe Michigan State didn’t get a one seed over Virginia or Oregon. They continually succeeded all season despite dealing with a ton of injuries, and, when healthy, they look like the best team in the country. And the selection committee forgot one last thing: NEVER BET AGAINST IZZO IN MARCH!
Skyler: I am seriously shocked that MSU didn’t get a number one seed. I admire what Virginia did this year (they could win it all), but that was MSU’s spot. My number one seeds would have been: Kansas, UNC, MSU, and Oregon. I expect that Tom Izzo will use this snub to motivate his squad to go far in the tournament.
Hayden: Kansas fans shouldn’t be happy with the way they were treated. For being a number one overall seed, they did not get any preferential treatment from the committee. They face potential matchups against: Maryland, Cal, Arizona, Miami, Iowa, or Villanova. That seems like a tall order to deal with, especially when you compare it to Oregon’s potential foes.
Skyler: Yeah, I think UNC and Kansas both got screwed. All of those teams will make Kansas work every step of the way. But, UNC may have it worse. They could potentially face Providence during the Round of 32, then either Kentucky or the Hoosiers in the Sweet Sixteen. That means UNC will face exceptional guard play from Kris Dunn (Providence), and Yogi Ferrell (Indiana) or Tyler Ulis, Isaiah Briscoe, and Jamal Murray (Kentucky) within the first three rounds.
Hayden: Neither Syracuse nor Tulsa deserve to be in this field. Syracuse may have a few decent wins, but they had a horrible RPI. And Tulsa is just a mess. They are just not that good this year. I don’t understand what the selection committee was thinking.
Skyler: I’m really surprised that Syracuse made the tournament. They had a pretty shaky season that I didn’t feel warranted an invite. I was expecting South Carolina, St. Bonaventure, Valparaiso, Monmouth, or St. Mary’s to have made that spot before Syracuse.
Hayden: Yeah, I thought San Diego State and Monmouth both deserved a spot over the likes of Syracuse and Tulsa.
Skyler: I think LSU and Ben Simmons’ absence from the tournament is notable. It’s not often the number one pick in the draft isn’t dancing in March. As I write this I can hear Rockapella singing a rendition of one of their famous hits titled, “Where in the World is Ben Simmons.” This isn’t a shock or surprise at all, it’s just disappointing.
Hayden: When was the last time that the best college basketball player didn’t even make the tournament? I remember thinking when Damian Lillard failed to propel his Weber State team to the tournament, “There is NO WAY a player will succeed in the NBA if he can’t even carry his team to the tournament.” Sooooooo……Simmons will probably be okay when the dust settles.
Skyler: Simmons plays on a bad team with poor coaching. It’s that simple. Every time I watched Simmons play I imagined how different this season would have been if he had a competent supporting class surrounding him. I mean, it’s widely-believed that if his godfather weren’t at LSU, then Simmons would have gone to Duke. Can you imagine Simmons playing a point-forward role alongside Brandon Ingram and Grayson Allen? Throw in Plumlee, Matt Jones, Luke Kennard, and Derrick Thornton, and you’ve got a championship team.
Hayden: Well, if we’re going to deal in hypotheticals, imagine if Buddy Hield stayed committed to Utah instead of going to Oklahoma. Hield and Jakob Poeltl would be, hands down, the best one-two combination in college basketball. That Duke-Utah matchup would have be amazing.
Skyler: My initial final four picks are Kansas-Oklahoma and West Virginia-Michigan State, with Michigan State beating Kansas in the championship. That being said, I know I will change my bracket 100 times before the games start, especially since I have this sneaking suspicion that I’ve overlooked UNC, Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland.
Hayden: Wow, it’s like we come from the same gene pool or something. I have Kansas-Oklahoma and Kentucky-Michigan State in my final four, with Michigan State over Kansas in the finals. I’m really interested to see how the Pac-12 does in the tournament. No team really stood out in college basketball this year, and I felt like the Pac-12 really benefited from that. If Oregon doesn’t perform well and the rest of the conference gets bounced early, I think the selection committee will make the conference pay for it next year.
You can follow Hayden on Twitter @HaydenCoombs and Skyler @SBCBlueDevil.