For three days this week, I told anyone who would listen that schools in the Big 12 were vastly overseeded by the selection committee of the NCAA Tournament. Analytics be damned. I thought that conference was getting more respect than it deserved when it came to being placed in the brackets.
Of course, I’m not the only person who felt that way. We all watch basketball and we’ve seen all of the teams play. Oklahoma a 3-seed? Give me a break.
Now, a lot of my angst towards the Big 12 came from the fact that Maryland was only seeded 4th in the Midwest Region after winning more regular season games than any team in Maryland Terrapins basketball history. Some college hoops observers viewed the Terps as “lucky”.
When you win 27 games, there is plenty of luck involved. I guess.
But I digress.
On Thursday, the Big 12 had a rough beginning to the NCAA Tournament. Three teams played and all three got bounced before it was time to sit down for dinner.
The Iowa State Cyclones, 3rd-seed in the South Region, were picked off by the 14th-seeded UAB Blazers 60-59 in Louisville. The Baylor Bears, 3rd-seed in the West, blew a 12-point lead and were done in by R.J. Hunter’s game-winning three-pointer as 14th-seed Georgia State prevailed 57-56 in Jacksonville. The Texas Longhorns, the 11th-seed in the Midwest Region, were dismissed by 6th-seed Butler 56-48 in Pittsburgh.
On Friday, (2) Kansas, (5) West Virginia, (3) Oklahoma and (9) Oklahoma State will try to advance against (15) New Mexico State, (12) Buffalo, (14) Albany and (8) Oregon, respectively.
Going against my own advice, I picked all three of Thursday’s Big 12 losers in my office bracket.
That, however, is another story for another day.