March 17, 2008

Bracket Angles: NCAA Doles Out Some Geographic Gifts

Check out these teams who have the benefit of geography in the Men's NCAA Tournament:

1) Texas (2) - The Longhorns finished the season strong despite a loss to Kansas in the Big XII tournament. They were rewarded by a road that includes trips to Little Rock, AR, Houston, TX and San Antonio, TX. Assuming fellow Texas school Austin Peay doesn't knock them off in the first round, no other team in the region has such home cooking. Memphis is the next closest.
blahblablshblahblah The "Hook 'Er Horns" never got approved

2) The Number Ones - Did they pick the venues based on who they thought the number one seeds would be? Seriously, UCLA is playing in Anaheim, UNC is playing in Raleigh, Memphis is playing in Little Rock and Kansas is playing in Omaha? Washington, DC was another first round venue, but Georgetown is ineligible to play there as it is their home court.

3) Kansas State (11) - KSU and Beasley match up with USC and Mayo in this 6-11 matchup. Luckily for K-State, it's being played in relatively nearby Omaha. I don't know how many USC alums want to travel to Nebraska, or how many can justify the trip while knowing that they are going to need to keep that football fund healthy.

4) Davidson (10) - Davidson, a North Carolina school, gets to take on Gonzaga in Raleigh. Gonzaga's record as a single-digit seed is unimpressive, and many people fail to realize that Davidson has an RPI of 35, only 5 below Gonzaga's. Add in home field advantage, and I'm not sure Davidson isn't the favorite. That won't get them past Georgetown, but it's nice to have a one game head start.

5) Stanford (3) - I know Anaheim is a pretty good haul from Palo Alto, but nothing like the trip from Cornell, Marquette or Kentucky. It should be a Pac-10 crowd who might send off the Lopez brothers the right way. They're as close to a lock for the Sweet 16 as any team in the bracket.

5 Responses:

Nic said...

Austin Peay is a Tennessee State school.

J-Red said...

My bad. They're not beating Texas though so it's a moot point.

Russell said...

What about South Alabama playing Butler in Birmingham?

zumpner said...

Here is a cool resource for geographic information.

It is a google maps mashup with all of the teams in the tournament and the different venues. It'll plot the path to the final four for each team.

It also has some cool statistics like home court advantage.

Neil Joshi said...

I was in Anaheim for the second round games, with Stanford/Marquette and UCLA/Texas A&M.; Both games were like true road games for the eventual losers. It was an interesting experience watching UCLA fans root for the Cardinal, then watching the Aggies take a 10-point lead in front of a silent crowd. But, UCLA got lucky like they always do and are headed to their third straight Final Four now.

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