Friday, November 2, 2012

Beasts in the East: Irish Land #5 Seed

All the speculation is finally over and now let the debating begin. From who was the biggest snub to some interesting seeds, one thing is quite certain. The East Region is stacked! And for Notre Dame Fans, the Irish have a tough road to hoe.

After a wild weekend that saw the Georgia Bulldogs win the SEC, including winning two games in one day, and Pittsburgh making Madison Square Garden their second home court, the NCAA committee dished their seedings with force. In the East, you have the 10th ranked team in the country, Butler, as a #7 seed. Or Indiana, who's tied for 24th in the nation, land as the 8th seed, with a possible second round matchup with the overall # 1 seed, North Carolina looming.

To put it in perspective the East Region has six regular season champions (eight if you include both Mt. St. Mary's and Coppin State), six conference tournament champions (eight again with both play-in game participants), seven Top 25 ranked teams, which include three in the Top Ten, and an average RPI rating of 49.

Below is how the other regions stack up:

4 - Top 25 teams
2 - Top 10 teams
8 - Regular Season Champions
9 - Conference Tournament Champions
38.6 - RPI average

5 - Top 25 teams
2 - Top 10 teams
5 - Regular Season Champions
7 - Conference Tournament Champions
50.1 - RPI average

6 - Top 25 teams
2 - Top 10 teams
4 - Regular Season Champions
6 - Conference Tournament Champions
43.5 - RPI average

As for the Irish, they get the dreaded 5/12 game. One thing in their favor is that this George Mason squad is only a shell of their 2006 Final Four squad; but I'll get more in-depth about the Patriots later this week. Now the other 5/12 games are more daunting: Michigan St. v. Temple; Clemson v. Villanova; and Drake v. Western Kentucky. Usually a general rule of thumb when picking an upset of this magnitude, you look for veteran squads and injuries. With that in mind, I'm looking at both the Villanova and Western Kentucky to pull off the upsets.

George Mason is actually the lowest RPI 12 seed at 61. Western Kentucky (39), Temple (47), and Villanova (51), have a higher average than the CAA Tournament Champs. So when the ball tips off slightly before 10 pm on Thursday night, the Irish will start their second season at silencing their critics. If they do so, it will be against a murders' row of who's who in college hoops.

Tar Heels, Vols, Cardinals, Cougars, Sooners, Bulldogs, Hoosiers, Razorbacks, OH MY!

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