Mar 10, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; The opening tip-off of the Championship game between the Missouri Tigers and Baylor Bears during the finals of the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
I don't think there's a whole lot of argument here that K-State as a #8 seed is about right, and those stupid OU losses just make it tough to complain about much of anything. That doesn't really mean I think Gonzaga and St. Mary's are better teams or have better resumes than the 'Cats, but it is what it is.
As for the other five Big 12 teams, well, there certainly aren't any where I thought the committee was too generous, like with K-State last season. I guess the good news for you when supporting the league while filling out your sbnation "Wisdom of the Crowds" bracket is that everyone who deserved a spot* got in with a pretty decent seed and there weren't any egregious seeding errors or teams left out, like Colorado last year.
*We also now have proof of just how wide the chasm between sixth and seventh place in the Big 12 was this season. Not only does the conference have zero teams in the NIT, but no one even made the CBI or CIT.
For those of you not intimately familiar with the lesser postseason tournaments, that means that there are an additional 80 teams outside the NCAA field better than the next Big 12 team. Ouch. Poor Okie State.
Still, some of the committee's decisions on where to put Big 12 teams seemed a little out of wack. Click the jump for my thoughts.
The obvious place to start is with Missouri, who was inexplicably rated as the last #2 seed when it had a solid argument for a 1 seed in place of Michigan State. The Tigers weren't really hurt by their draw, but it's still a decision worth discussing further.
I get the strength of schedule argument, but I don't like the logic that just because Michigan State scheduled UNC and Duke on neutral courts they get some big advantage. Wins over Florida State and Gonzaga are nice and certainly better than anything Mizzou did, but do they really make up for three more losses, including one more in conference play?
Plus, no team with seven losses has been a #1 seed in at least 10 years (has this ever happened?) and we're talking about a team that lost at Northwestern 81-74 and at Illinois by a
halftime final score of 42-41. That latter game alone should almost be enough to knock the Spartans down to the 2 line based on the pain it must have inflicted on the spectators.
It's kind of funny to note that Kansas probably would have gotten a #1 seed if it had just beaten Davidson in Kansas City, but it really seems like you could make an argument for them over MSU as well. I'm not going to, but I imagine some Jayhawks might.
I think Baylor and Iowa State were seeded fairly, though the Cyclones got an absolutely brutal draw with Connecticut and then a potential matchup with Kentucky in Louisville. Texas' 11 seed seems about right......until you look at the other 10/11 seeds.
Sure, the Longhorns never got any huge wins and had 13 losses. But of those, only two losses to orange teams with the initials OSU (an early season neutral court overtime loss to Oregon State and a loss at Oklahoma State) came to schools not playing in the Big Dance.
It's absolutely mind-boggling that Colorado got an 11 seed considering the Buffs had no shot at an at-large and their best road win was at Air Force (I guess). But let's look at the 10 seeds that are ahead of Texas.
I'm a big fan of Robbie Hummel and what Purdue has done this year and the Boilermakers are probably the best 10 seed in the bunch. Their win at Michigan in February is probably enough to make up for losses to Penn State and Butler and put them ahead of UT.
The cases for Virginia and West Virginia don't seem nearly as strong, considering Virginia (who did also beat Michigan) went 0-5 against the top 3 in a top-heavy ACC and West Virginia lost just as many games as Texas, but in a weaker conference. Kevin Jones is really good, but the Mountaineers have been exposed as a bad team while losing 8 of their last 12.
Xavier is a more interesting case, as it's been a different team since The Fight, and not in a good way. The best thing I can say about the Musketeers is that they have no egregious losses, but it's unclear how 21-12 as an A-10 team is better than 20-13 as a Big 12 team.
Of course, I am clearly biased here for the Big 12 (and against the Big Ten) and again, the conference has definitely had it a lot worse. It certainly doesn't help that the conference is 25-16 with no Final Four teams in the past three years, so the best way for the league to prove itself, as always, will be on the court.
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