Posted: Thursday February 9, 2006 1:59PM; Updated: Thursday February 9, 2006 3:44PM
Everybody wants to see J.J. Redick match up against Adam Morrison in March.
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1. Duke 2. Illinois 3. Tennessee 4. Northern Iowa
1. UConn 2. Gonzaga 3. UCLA 4. Pittsburgh
1. Memphis 2. West Virginia 3. Georgetown 4. LSU
1. Texas 2. Villanova 3. Michigan State 4. George Washington
Comments: Illinois' loss at home to Penn State cost the Illini their place as a No. 1 seed. I could easily have made Villanova my fourth No. 1, but I went with Texas because the Longhorns won the head-to-head matchup. However, that game was a close contest and it was played in Austin, so if the Wildcats can beat UConn and Georgetown at home this week, I'll bump them to the top line next week.
Florida was a No. 3 seed in this report until it lost to South Carolina in Gainesville. The Gators only have two wins against teams ranked in the top 50 of the RPI, so a loss like that hurts them more than it would most other top teams. Iowa was also a No. 4 until it lost at Northwestern.
Also, the way I ranked the teams mandated pairing Gonzaga with UConn, but if I'm in that committee room, I would switch Gonzaga into the same region as Duke in hopes of producing the Redick-Morrison matchup everyone wants to see. I'd swear to my grave I didn't do it, but I'd do it anyway.
One of the more interesting cases is George Washington. The Colonials are 19-1 and ranked No. 8, yet they have just three wins versus teams ranked in the top 50 of the RPI. They have just one game against a top-100 team the remainder of the season and they have that awful No. 321 ranking in non-conference schedule. They were going to barely miss my Sweet 16 cut, but then Iowa and Florida lost to drop out of the report. If GW runs the table in the Atlantic-10 and goes into the tourney with one loss, you have to figure it will be a No. 3 at minimum.
Quit your snickering about Northern Iowa. The Panthers are ranked 13th in the RPI, they're 6-2 against teams in the Top 50 and they're 64th in the non-conference strength of schedule rankings. That's a rock-solid resume.