Let us begin not with the No. 1 seed Indiana, which clearly deserved to be atop one of the brackets, but with the No. 2 seed Miami, which also clearly deserved to be atop a bracket.
The Hurricanes won the ACC regular season. Then they won the ACC tournament. The ACC, it should be remembered, ranked ahead of the Big 12 in the committee’s precious RPI rankings. There are also three letters that should have consigned Kansas to a No. 2 seed: TCU. Bill Self said it himself after the Jayhawks lost to the Horned Frogs.
Kansas recovered from that loss and a three-game losing streak to win the Big 12 yet again and is very deserving of a No. 2 seed — but not a No. 1. Miami deserved that. Period. ever
We now return you to your regularly scheduled bracket discussion.
Indiana won’t have any real trouble with the LIU-Brooklyn-James Madison winner in the first round but could have some issues with the N.C. State-Temple winner in the second round. Quick question: With just four ACC teams in the tournament, would it have been so hard to not have two in the same region?
The Hoosiers should advance to Washington and should play Syracuse, although the committee did Jim Boeheim no favors sending him to San Jose to play UNLV or California in the second round. Don’t be stunned if UNLV finds its way to the round of 16.
Miami Coach Jim Larranaga made one of the great miracle runs in tournament history through Verizon Center while coaching George Mason seven years ago, and he should get another shot in the same building. The Hurricanes should handle Pacific and the Illinois-Colorado winner in their first two games. The other team coming to D.C. is much tougher to call: Marquette should be too quick for Davidson, although Bob McKillop-coached teams are always dangerous. The other first-round game in Lexington, Ky., should be fascinating: former Cinderella Butler against potential Cinderella Bucknell. Bucknell can win that game, but Marquette should end up in Washington.
Indiana-Miami would be a great region final — so great it should have been in the Final Four.
Interactive bracket and NCAA tournament history database
John Feinstein’s analysis: East | West | South | Midwest
The Bracket Challenge contest (Upfront)
Photos: A look at the tournament’s top 16 teams