Crazy Season

  • The preseason poll from early November tells us how crazy. Only 8 of the Sweet 16 were in that poll, and 3 of those got bounced last night. 5 left out of the 12 teams remaining.

  • Nice. And what was it I think I recall Jay Bilas (?) saying: pre-season poll is typically more accurate for Tournament than what we get in the seeding brackets.

  • Minnesota and Northwestern in the rankings? I seriously don’t think that I heard or saw anything about them all season.

  • @HighEliteMajor Yeah, NW was the media darling after getting in the tourney last year as the last Power 5 school in the 78 years since it all began, and Chris Collins was on everybody’s short list as the next up-and-coming coach. This year, back to earth at 15-14 and I heard rumors that some influential people were wondering if he should be replaced. You know, he wasn’t keeping up that NW elite bb tradition.

  • This season has been strange in that some of the teams that were expected to be stronger just never got rolling.

    Between injuries, suspensions, investigations, etc., several of those teams, KU included, either were not whole the entire season, or never got to where they could have been. For example, KU anticipated having Billy Preston. Adding a guy with that talent level to KU doesn’t make them a different seed, but the gap between KU and Seton Hall and Penn increases. Yes, injuries are part of the game, but several of those teams lost key guys.

    Obviously, the FBI investigation changed everything about this season for Arizona, Louisville and a few others.

    UCLA’s season was basically toast by the time they returned from China.

    Texas A&M was healthy, then wasn’t, then sort of was.

    Notre Dame never recovered from losing Bonzi Colson.

    I’ve never seen that many top teams beset by so many different issues. Some were able to survive, but when you decrease the margin of error, this is what you get. Full strength Virginia probably beats UMBC 999 out of 1000 times. Not quite full strength UVA beats UMBC probably 49 out of 50 times. But that change in probability is huge for UMBC because they don’t have to be completely perfect to win that game.

    The best teams always have a certain margin for error. We have seen KU’s margin reduced this season because, although they are still better than most teams, it’s not by much. That probably changes next year because the depth and talent we have will add some significant cushion to the margins. But for this year, we probably have a 70% chance of beating Clemson. If we had Preston, maybe that chance is 85% or so. Again, just playing around the margins because we are the favorite either way, but that takes us from a 3 inn 10 chance of losing to a 3 in 20 chance. That’s doubling Clemson’s chances, which I am sure they will take.

  • Bilas now says there is nothing really that different and this tournament is pretty normal. I think he is wrong.

  • @JayHawkFanToo The difference this year was that most of the upsets happened in 2 regions. Most times Cinderella doesn’t get to play another Cinderella in the sweet 16 or Elite Eight.

  • @Barney

    I agree and several of those were first time ever in the Tournament. A #16 seed beating the overall #1 seed alone makes it different because it never happened before. Other first time results, none of the top 4 teams in one region advancing to the Sweet 16, a #9 playing a #11 seed to go to the Final Four. These are all huge events that make this tournament different than others.

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