Wednesday, March 16, 2005


So, the other night, after watching the Golden Grizzzzz battle and scrape for the right to get their asses waxed by North Carolina, I started wondering something. And I just wanted to get a feel for what Dids and both of our loyal readers think about the following question:

Do you think a 16-seed will ever beat a 1-seed in the NCAA tournament?

There are two basic arguments on this subject:
Those who argue that it will happen basically hang their hat on the law of averages. The argument, for the most part, goes "I mean, it's gotta happen sooner or later, right?" There are a few examples of teams coming close: Princeton falling to Georgetown by 1 in 1989; Murray State taking Michigan State into overtime the next year; Purdue sneaking by Western Carolina 73-71 in 1996; and, just three years ago, Holy Cross, despite eventually falling by 11, giving Kansas all they wanted and more. I mean ... I mean ... it's gotta happen sooner or later, right?

The counter argument is generally as follows:
16-seeds are farther away from the big boys now than they were back then. In 1989, Princeton was a 16-seed. Nowadays, the Ivy League champ is generally gonna be an 11- or 12-seed, and a 13 at worst. Same for the Ohio Valley Conference, the MAC, and the Missouri Valley, where most of the best true mid-majors are. These days, the 16-seeds are sub-.500 conference tourney winners and teams from the friggin' SWAC and shit. Do you really think one of those teams is gonna sneak up on a 1-seed, a team that probably features 2, possibly 3 future NBA players?

In short, yes. I generally adhere to the first argument. One of these years, there's gonna be a weak, Purdue-in-'96-like 1-seed, and they're gonna run into a decent team that the committee underseeded, one that plays a tough zone defense and all of a sudden gets hot from 3 for a game. An injury to a star player on the 1-seed would also help immensely. The one thing that could really be a monkey wrench in a situation like that would be if the refs get scared and decide to pull a "Game 3, Lakers/Wolves, 2003" on the underdog.

So I open it up to y'all. Do you think a 16 will ever upset a 1? If not, why not? If so, then please describe the kind of circumstances that could lead to such a monumental upset. Script it for me.



At 10:37 AM, March 17, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you've brought this up because I've thought about this a lot in the last 2 or 3 years. I basically agree with both arguments, since, at their core, they are not mutually exclusive. Are 16 seeds worse than they used to be? Almost definitely. But, the amount of close calls that have occurred in the recent past still means there's hope. If push came to shove and I had to definitively say yes or no, will it happen? I'd probably say that it won't happen. God, I hope I'm wrong though.

By the way, Matt Stewart just signed with the Browns and Chris Jent is now a head coach in the NBA. Oh yeah, and there's less than 2 hours until the madness tips off. Ya think I'm happy?!

- Nips

At 11:54 PM, March 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it will eventually happen. Then again, what do I know? I had Syracuse in the Final Four.



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