If there's any one reason that the Pac-12 was "seeding-snubbed" for the capital 't' Tournament, I'd put my money on this. The Committee is always watching, and looks disapprovingly upon such crimes against humanity. El Jefe, you brought this upon yourself. Inform your charges in San Francisco that a repeat performance will not be tolerated.
Back from Vegas, I'm quickly turning my focus towards the Dance. Despite concern trolls spreading doubt, CU comfortably made the cut, and is headed back to Big XII territory to play Illinois on Friday.
Today in the bag, I'm talking Tournament, Vegas, and Selection Monday for the ladies.
Click below for the bag...
The Buffs are Dancin' -
Breathe a sigh of relief, the Buffs made it. Not like there was any factually based doubt, but my heart did skip a beat when Oregon popped up as a 12-seed. Regardless, the Selection Committee didn't lose their minds, and CU was slotted in as a 10-seed, playing Illinois Friday afternoon in Austin, TX. The selection marks CU's third-straight postseason appearance (a school record) and their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance (first in 50 years).
|CU has to be happy with their draw. From: the BDC|
Further, Illinois is a solid matchup for the Buffs. If I'm Tad Boyle, I'd rather see the Illini on the bracket than many of the other possibilities floating around the 6-9 lines. They're guard oriented, often playing a fast-tempo four-out/one-in, and can struggle on the glass - essentially playing right into how CU likes to operate. Brandon Paul can be a monster, but he's nothing that Colorado hasn't seen before. If the Buffs can keep him in check, and the Illini don't get red hot from outside, the game could quickly tilt to CU's favor.
|Brandon Paul and Nnanna Egwu will test the young Buffs.|
What a wonderful weekend! Sure, CU was bounced Friday by rival Arizona, but I didn't let that disappointment ruin my stay in Vegas. It was a great tournament to attend, and I'm 100% glad I went.
The Pac-12 did itself a huge favor moving the tournament eastward, and out of Los Angeles. There is simply no comparison between the two sites. As cool as LA was last season, it can't hold a candle to the entertainment possibilities in LV. The MGM Grand Garden Arena is supremely better suited to hold the tournament than the cavernously large Staples Center, and it's far easier to entice larger groups of fans from the 12 schools when basketball isn't the only thing on the agenda. I know I'm already planning on a return trip next year, and everyone I talked to over the weekend expressed the same. The conference nailed the whole thing (outside of the HS, of course).
|The MGM was a great venue.|
Unfortunately, I don't think the tournament results were the best indicator of how the teams really stacked up. The Pac-12 was famously a random result generator throughout the regular season, and it paid for it in Sin City. The conference tournament was completely unbalanced, with four strong teams on one side, and Oregon gifted a pile of crap on the other. To my eye, any of Arizona, Arizona St, Colorado, and UCLA would have made short work of the other half of the bracket. While those teams beat on each other Friday and Saturday, Oregon snuck past a dysfunctional Washington team, and cruised past a Utah team that simply didn't deserve to be playing into the weekend. Hardly fair.
|The Ducks had an easy road to the title.|
My zeitgeist of the tournament will swim with memories of Adams, Carson, the abundant Arizona fans, Sean Miller's rant (Did he touch the ball, coach?), and the cute Utes, rather than the champion Ducks. Hopefully, the league's best teams actually play like it next season, so that unfortunate reality can be avoided come March.
For the record, my All-tournament team:
Jordan Adams - UCLA
Johnathan Loyd - Oregon
Jahii Carson - ASU
Arsalan Kazemi - Oregon
Lizzi, the Dancer - UCLA
Selection Monday -
Colorado Athletics isn't through with selection committees. The women's selection announcement is scheduled for 5pm MT this evening, and even the most uninformed of trolls would admit that CU has easily earned a nice seed.
ESPN bracketology currently has the Buffs slotted as a five-seed playing the feisty Central Michigan Chippewas. The five line would be fair, especially considering that regardless of seeding, the Buffs will be playing home games this weekend. Regardless of who and when, CU will be favored to win through to the Sweet Sixteen.
One thing I continue to be hopeful for is that the Committee has a sense of potential storylines, and puts the decent Nebraska team in the same pod as the Buffs to set up a potential round-of-32 grudge match. ESPN currently has them as a three-seed, which seems inflated considering their record. If they drop down to the four-line, I could easily see them placed in-region with the home-standing Buffs. If you wouldn't pay to see a Colorado team in any sport whip a Nebraska team, we just can't be friends.