NCAA Tournament analysis: Trouble could be lurking for Shockers, Gators - The Buffalo News

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NCAA Tournament analysis: Trouble could be lurking for Shockers, Gators

Now that we have an authentic NCAA Tournament field, bracketologists everywhere can relax and take some well-deserved time off. Time to fill out the brackets and offer innumerable, pressing opinions.

Looks like the No. 1 seed commissioned with the most perilous trek is …

Wichita State. Now there’s a Shocker. Win all your games and take a trip through the Dark Side.

Kentucky and John Calipari are a potential third-round matchup, which is like having an untrained pit bull unleashed in your backyard. So is Rick Pitino and defending champion Louisville, who campaigned openly for a No. 1 seed and got stuck with a four. Think Ricky is happy? There’s headaches throughout the region for Wichita State. Michigan? Duke? Texas? So much for being perfect.

The No. 1 seed delegated with the next most menacing obligation is ...

Florida. There’s a certain Jayhawks team ready for Gator bait.

For winning the SEC regular season and tournament titles, the top overall seed gets Kansas as a sidekick at No. 2. It’s like having Sally Langston of “Scandal” hanging around the Oval Office, creating havoc. Maybe Joel Embiid plays and maybe he doesn’t but have you caught the act of Andrew Wiggins lately? The kid has figured out how to get it done.

Considering Kansas was atop the No. 1 line for several weeks because of its strength of schedule, you would think the Gators would be able to cruise just a little. Kansas is masquerading as a two.

The No. 1 seed the selection committee clearly has a crush on is …

Arizona. Obviously the Wildcats played well enough without Brandon Ashley not only to earn a No. 1 but, at least at first glance, they were placed in the least arduous region. San Diego and Anaheim are nice this time of year.

The team with reason to be annoyed is …

Syracuse. Then again, maybe they shouldn’t. Landing a No. 3 seed is a nice consolation considering the Orange’s late-season free fall, which saw them not only play their way out of a top seed but away from the East Region as well. Still, two games here in Buffalo and with any luck a trip to Memphis awaits.

There’s good food and music in Memphis plus a potential Sweet 16 matchup against Wiggins and Co. Not sure if Wiggins has figured out how to navigate a 2-3 zone, especially with a rim protector like Jerami Grant healthy and on hand. Nope, nothing for the Orange to be upset about.

Some of the usual trouble makers are not accounted for …

There’s no Butler. How many brackets have they busted over the years? No Georgetown. No Missouri. No one from the state of Indiana, which is just blasphemous. Milwaukee got in, but no one from the Hoosier State did? Doesn’t seem right.

Looks like the bubble burst for …

SMU, Florida State, Minnesota and Cal, among others.

SMU was ranked in the Top 25 last week, won 23 games and defeated NCAA participant Connecticut twice. It wasn’t enough in the eyes of committee members who saw the Mustangs drop their last three.

Since a Feb. 10 loss against Miami, the ’Noles lost three more games – North Carolina, Syracuse and ACC champion Virginia. Shoulda won more, apparently. Same thing for Minnesota, whose back-to-back wins over Penn State were not that impressive. California finished with an identical Pac 12 record as rival Stanford but it’s tough to earn an invitation when you drop five of your last seven. NIT or bust.

Each has cause for frustration but there has to be some regret mixed in. They can all be resentful of North Carolina State, Xavier, Iowa and Tennessee, the Last Four In.

Take a good look at all the five seeds … Cincinnati, VCU, Oklahoma and Saint Louis. Wouldn’t be shocking if none of them made it past the first weekend of the tournament. The Low Fives were 1-3 in the second round last year.

It will conclude …

A repeat of Sunday’s ACC final between Virginia and Duke.


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