Strange seeding for Georgetown and Creighton
A quick, first-blush look at the Midwest Regional.
Most overseeded: No. 3 Georgetown. The Hoyas finished tied for fourth in the Big East and lost in the quarterfinals of the league tourney. They have nine top-100 wins. They also are seeded one line better than Michigan, which tied for the regular-season title in the Big Ten (a league with a better power ranking than the Big East), lost in a semifinal of its league tourney and has 13 top-100 wins. Hmmm. Michigan as a No. 3 and Georgetown as a No. 4 makes more sense.
In Greensboro, N.C.
No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 16 Lamar/Vermont*
No. 8 Creighton vs. No. 9 Alabama
In Omaha, Neb.
No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 15 Detroit
No. 7 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 10 Purdue
In Columbus, Ohio
No. 3 Georgetown vs. No. 14 Belmont
No. 6 San Diego State vs. No. 11 North Carolina State
No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 13 Ohio
No. 5 Temple vs. No. 12 California/USF*
*—teams meet Wednesday in play-in games
Most underseeded: No. 8 Creighton. The Bluejays won the Missouri Valley tourney. They have eight top-100 wins. They split with league rival Wichita State, which is a No. 5 seed (the Shockers also lost in the league tourney semifinals). And they won at San Diego State, which is a No. 6 seed. So why is this team a No. 8 seed? A No. 6 would’ve been the correct seeding.
Best round-of-64 matchup: Alabama-Creighton is the best 8-9 matchup. Alabama is excellent defensively, middling offensively; Creighton can score with anybody, but can the Bluejays handle the Tide’s physicality? Michigan-Ohio and Georgetown-Belmont offer intriguing upset possibilities. Ohio is more athletic than the Wolverines, while an experienced Belmont team can hang with anybody if its 3-pointers are falling.
Best potential round-of-32 matchup: Michigan-Temple would be a good coaching matchup with the Wolverines’ John Beilein going against the Owls’ Fran Dunphy. These are cerebral teams who can hit the 3-pointer and don’t beat themselves.
Best player: Kansas F Thomas Robinson. He went from being a key reserve last season to a first-team All-American this season. Robinson is an extremely athletic big man who can take over a game in the low post. He’s an excellent rebounder and also a solid defender. He has 22 games with at least 10 rebounds this season, including five with at least 15.
Five others to watch: North Carolina F Harrison Barnes (he hasn’t lived up to the hype, but he’s still a dangerous scorer who can fill it up in a hurry), Georgetown G Jason Clark (he’s one of the better players in the Big East), Alabama F JaMychal Green (he has resided in coach Anthony Grant’s doghouse, but the guy is a great athlete who can change a game with his defense), Creighton F Doug McDermott (he does everything well, especially score), North Carolina C Tyler Zeller (he was the ACC player of the year and is a gifted offensive player in the low post).
Best player you’ve never heard of: Ohio G D.J. Cooper. He scored 23 in a first-round upset of Georgetown in 2010, and he has the potential to hurt Michigan with his speed and ability to get into the lane. He’s a gifted floor man who doubles as a big-time defensive pest
Five others to watch: California G Justin Cobbs (he’s overshadowed in Cal’s backcourt, but he does a steady job), Lamar G Mike James (explosive scorer who can get hot in a hurry), Belmont G Kerron Johnson (part of deep and talented Bruins backcourt), Saint Mary’s F Rob Jones (tough-minded guy who is excellent on the boards), Detroit G Ray McCallum Jr. (coach’s son is a high-major talent playing at a mid-major school).
Numbers game: There are seven conference champions in this region, including two in a play-in game. There are nine “Big Six” conference teams, including two in a play-in game, as well as one team from the Atlantic 10, one from the Missouri Valley, one from the Mountain West and one from the West Coast Conference. This is the only region with two play-in games. This also is the only region with no Thursday games.
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