Tournament Hardest/Easiest Path

  • Anyone complete their brackets? Share your upsets, your thoughts…

    I’ll start with seeding and share who I think is the most likely to lose early for each seed line & who has the easiest path.

    1# seed- Most likely to lose early- Michigan-

    Why? The injury to Livers is a critical one as the versatile wing makes big perimeter shots and is one of their leading scorers. I don’t think Michigan is nearly as formidable without him which makes them an upset candidate. Compared to the other #1 seeds Baylor & Illinois have tougher 2nd/3rd round matchups but the injury puts Michigan on upset alert.

    Easiest Path- Gonzaga

    No doubt the #1 team in the nation has the easiest path. Iowa as a #2 seed could lose before the S16, KU has a covid issues impacting 2 of its starters, Virginia’s entire team is in quarantine and may not practice before their game on Saturday, Creighton didn’t look anything like a 5 seed when blown out by Georgetown over the weekend so the 4 seeds behind Gonzaga are vulnerable. Gonzaga may not take a deep breathe before the Final 4.

    #2 Seed- Most likely to lose early- Iowa

    I’m sure @wissox would love nothing more then to see Iowa go home early, I think they got the toughest 2nd round matchup of the #2 seeds. Their first round game against Grand Canyon may not be easy at all but their 2nd round game against under seeded Oregon could where they lose. Look Oregon isn’t as good as they have been in the past (KU fans remember all too well) but they still won the Pac-12 and got a #7 seed. The other #7 seeds in the other regions wouldn’t have finished in the Top 4 in the Pac-12. How in the world did Florida get a #7 seed, same with Clemson. Wow. Anyways POY Garza could be watching most of this tourney on his TV. Maybe KU will even take them down in a potential S16 matchup.

    #2 seed easiest Path- Ohio St

    By far the easiest draw of the 2 seeds as Virginia Tech (Middle of the ACC team in a down year), Florida ended the season 4-4 as 2nd round matchups. S16 matchup against Arkansas/Tech/Utah St seem like cakewalks compared to the Big-10 schedule they played.

    #3 seed- Most Likely to lose- Arkansas

    A team that has flown under the radar for most of the season Arkansas at 22-6 is rather untested if you ask me. Watched 3 of their most recent games, no doubt they are a talented team but a team I ultimately think is over seeded and a recipient of a cupcake schedule. What would KU’s record look like with that cupcake schedule they had early where they played absolutely no one. Didn’t play a ranked team until January. They actually have a losing record against good teams and they got a #3 seed? Anyway their matchup with Colgate who runs a Princeton style offense and is one of the best offenses in the country could really give them fits in round 1. Round 2 is not any easier facing a Texas Tech team that defends well or a Utah St team with a very good 7 footer who can score and protect the rim. If they escape both rounds Ohio St awaits who took Illinois to OT in the Big-10 tourney.

    #4 seed- Most likely to lose early- Virginia

    I don’t think enough has been made of Virginia’s Covid issues. Most of the team is quarantined and cannot practice leading up to their game on Saturday. If they have enough players to travel, they are flying in Friday I’ve seen and will have just a day to possibly prepare? Ohio is no pushover, lost to Illinois by 2 earlier in the season & have 5 guys who average double figures including star guard Jason Preston (who had 31 against Illinois) & score 80 ppg as a team. 10-2 in their last 12 games I think Virginia is absolutely on upset alert.

    #4 seed with easiest path- Florida St

    FSU is a better team then they recently showed, turnover issues plagued them in the ACC tourney. If Michigan is a vulnerable #1 seed then FSU is the kind of team that could make the Elite 8 if their cards fall right. 2nd round matchup against Colorado/Georgetown is winnable and if Michigan is still without Livers, FSU could catch Michigan at less then 100% and upset them. One thing FSU has that most teams don’t have when facing Hunter Dickinson is size. FSU has two 7 footers and plenty of athleticism/length to disrupt Michigan’s style of play.

    #5 seed- Most likely to Lose early- Villanova

    Without their best player and PG Colin Gillespie Nova is on upset alert in Round 1 with Winthrop who’s 23-1 entering the tournament. Nova has lost 3 of 4 since the injury to Gillespie. Even if they survive round 1, facing Purdue in the 2nd round will be just as difficult, and even surviving that game they would likely face Baylor.

    #5 seed with easiest path- Creighton

    Not that Creighton has an easy path but of the 4 they have the best chance of getting to the S16 and beyond given Michigan’s significant injury. UCSB won’t be an easy out for Creighton who could absolutely lose if they played as poorly as they did against Georgetown. When they make perimeter shots they are deadly and have 3-4 guys that can really shoot it. However the recent drama with their coach scares me and almost made me go elsewhere here. On paper a 2nd round matchup against a Virginia or Ohio seemed easier then the other 5 seed paths.

    #6 seed- Most likely to lose early- BYU

    BYU had a good season and tried hard to beat Gonzaga the last two matchups but came up short. Facing the winner of Michigan St/UCLA seems like a tough matchup for them in round 1. Getting past round 1 they would face Texas.

    #6 seed with easiest path- USC

    Their first round matchup with Wichita/Drake won’t be easy as both of those teams had good seasons to get in. 2nd round matchup against KU who may not have Jalen Wilson could make it difficult for us to escape them. A possible S16 matchup against Iowa or Oregon who they beat by 14 in their only meeting isn’t impossible. A matchup of Top 3 pick Mobley vs Garza would be fun to see down in the post.

    #7 seed- Most likely to lose early- Tie between UConn/Florida/Clemson

    All 3 of these teams are bad #7 seeds. Good enough on their best day to beat a ranked team but all 3 of their matchups I could see them losing.

    #7 seed with easiest path- Oregon

    Pac-12 champs have a good matchup in round 1 and after that had the easiest 2nd round game in my opinion. The other 7 seeds would be 8-10 point dogs against the other 2 seeds.

    #8 seed- Most likely to lose early- UNC

    First round against Wisconsin is difficult. Wisconsin has struggled but played a murders row in the Big-10 recently so getting away from familiar foes could be what the doctor ordered. UNC has plenty of bigs but are such a young team. Roy has them playing well but getting past round 1 puts them against Baylor who’s a bad matchup for them

    #8 seed with the easiest path- LSU

    At this point no #8 seed has a good draw but given the fact Michigan has the big injury at least gives them a punters chance with their best game. They have the Big 3 that can put up points. Cam Thomas has averaged over 20 points a game as a freshman and Watford can really get buckets inside/out.

    9 + seeds that could make noise in round 1

    Ohio, Winthrop, Utah St, Colgate, UCSB, Georgetown

    Most likely to make Sweet 16- Ohio or Winthrop

    Let me know your guys thoughts on the bracket!

  • I have Iowa winning it all so…

    I think UConn has a shot to make it deep.

    Love the B12 in this honestly. I think the B12 has at least one or two teams make a run to a FF.

  • Well the time has come and gone according to the NCAA and no teams pulled out cause of COVID 19. - -Which they said that the Tournament is NOW LOCKED. - -Meaning now if a team can’t play the team they were suppose to play gets a bye till the next round .

    Which means the Season is now ove for Louisville and others - -DONE. - -the one team they talking about is Virginia saying the are not even showing up till Thursday which also means if Virginia can’t place then OHIO advances to the 2nd round with a bye. – -67/68 teams are already in Indy - -Virginia the exception

  • @Kcmatt7 Re: Big 12… Curious – if someone from the future told you ONE B12 team made it to the FF, which do you think got there?

    For me, I think it would be Texas. Of course there is the history of underperformance, but this team is really loaded with length and athleticism. I think Shaka is doing a good job with the group. I think their biggest obstacle is themselves… Provided they don’t start fighting amongst each other, they look every bit as good as Baylor. And I would say their path is probably the best of the B12 teams.

  • @bskeet I like Texas too. Athletic and some experience

  • Baylor has the best chance to make the FF to me. They are the best defense in the country and probably the easiest path to the FF of any of the 1 seeds. Arkansas is probably their biggest threat, but that’s an E8 match up if it happens.

  • @Kcmatt7 said in Tournament Hardest/Easiest Path:

    @bskeet I like Texas too. Athletic and some experience

    I’ve actually got Texas making it to the final 4 in one of my many Brackets lol

  • So did Coach K cry? What about Cal?

  • @Marco

    Haven’t looked. Kind of surprised ESPN wasn’t interviewing them shortly after the bracket reveal

  • @Marco

    Coach K slapped his team on the back and took the high road… basically went into recruit mode and talked up all the help coming for next year.

    Also gave excuses… youngest team ever and didn’t have enough practice because of Covid.

  • I still think the Zags are the team to beat but haven’t watched them play for a while. They were polished so well early in the year, ahead of the rest of D1. Maybe the rest of D1 can catch them in March… but I doubt it. They just have too many key reliable, experienced pieces. I will be surprised if they don’t win it all.

  • @drgnslayr

    BYU gave them a heck of a game recently, even had a double digit lead on them and then Gonzaga’s offense just juggernauted them the last 10-12 minutes. BYU got a 6 seed. Just crazy how good they have been

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