Selection Sunday: NCAA Tournament teams 1-68 via eye test

By: The Grill

Hey. Grill here. I’ve gotta get something off my grates.

I have seen all types of bracket previews. “Advanced bracketology.” The rankings based off of RPI, BPI, and UTI (Urinary Tract Infection).

And how about these Quadrants? What are we, back in geometry class? Whatever happened to the good ol fashioned eye test?

For example, when someone puts a steak on the grill, I can tell right away if it’s a good steak or a bad steak. Same with a hamburger. Or a rack of ribs. And when someone throws on a veggie burger, I burn that thing to a crisp. Get that crap out of here!

So, here’s the deal: this No. 1 – 68 list doesn’t have any science to it. Just a simple combination of talent on the court, how the teams play, how well coached, etc.

I’ve got the temperature up to a cool 475 degrees. Let’s get started.

  1. Virginia
  2. Villanova
  3. Michigan State
  4. Xavier
  5. Kansas
  6. Duke
  7. Arizona
  8. North Carolina
  9. Michigan
  10. Kentucky
  11. Purdue
  12. West Virginia
  13. Cincinnati
  14. Wichita State
  15. Tennessee
  16. Florida
  17. Ohio State
  18. Arkansas
  19. Houston
  20. Alabama
  21. UCLA
  22. NC State
  23. Texas Tech
  24. Clemson
  25. Virginia Tech
  26. Gonzaga
  27. Middle Tennessee State
  28. Notre Dame
  29. Miami FL
  30. Rhode Island
  31. St. Bonnies
  32. Auburn
  33. Marshall
  34. TCU
  35. Nevada
  36. Texas A&M
  37. USC
  38. Kansas State
  39. Florida State
  40. Providence
  41. Loyola Chicago
  42. Creighton
  43. Missouri
  44. Arizona State
  45. New Mexico State
  46. Oklahoma State
  47. Seton Hall
  48. Butler
  49. Bucknell
  50. San Diego State
  51. Murray State – 60
  52. Montana – 71
  53. South Dakota State – 75
  54. Buffalo – 77
  55. UNC Greensboro – 82
  56. Georgia State – 102
  57. SF Austin – 112
  58. College of Charleston – 120
  59. PENN – 127
  60. Iona – 134
  61. Wright State – 135
  62. Lipscomb – 164
  63. CSU Fullerton – 165
  64. Radford – 170
  65. UMBC – 184
  66. LIU Brooklyn – 251
  67. Texas Southern – 249
  68. NC Central – 308

102. Oklahoma

Five and a half thoughts

No. 1 overall

I had Michigan State in this spot until Saturday night. It seems like all these analytics people want to pretend the Spartans don’t exist. Makes no damn sense to me.

In terms of the eye test, MSU has all the pieces you want. Two NBA Lottery picks with Jackson and Bridges. Depth at the guards and the post. I’m a big Tillman guy. Love Winston at the point, Tum Tum off the bench. Talent-wise, I think the Spartans are number one.

But Villanova and Virginia are more consistent. Brunson and Bridges are going to dominate the tournament for Villanova. And Virginia has the same tough defense as every year, but this year’s team is more athletic, better scoring.

Duke over North Carolina

I’m guessing you are all scratching your heads over that one. Well, let me explain myself, alright?

Being 2-1 against a team doesn’t mean you’re automatically ranked higher. Hell, Michigan is 2-1 against Michigan State, Oklahoma State 2-1 against Kansas, but that doesn’t mean I have to re-order my list.

More teams in the tournament will have a problem with the size of Bagley and Carter than they will with the trio of Berry/Pinson/Maye. I know these were November games, a lifetime ago in college basketball, but I can’t shake the comparison of Duke beating Michigan State (with Bagley hurt) vs. Michigan State demolishing North Carolina.

And let’s not split hairs here, one is No. 6, the other No. 8. Both are in my “Teams that can win it all” block.

But one more thing, Grayson, boy if you pulled that stick-your-butt-out move on me I’d slap that heinie six ways to Tuesday.

Kentucky’s figured it out

The Wildcats are playing their best basketball of the season. This is Calipari’s youngest team ever, crazy to consider given all the years of one-and-done heavy teams. Few teams in the tournament will have more talent on the court than the Wildcats

Houston is led by a dude with a man bun

Neither pro nor con, just a fact: Gray on Houston has a man bun. Keep this in consideration for your bracket.

Notre Dame, MTSU, Oklahoma State likely snubbed

I’ll go down in flames on this one, it looks like the committee will roll with Texas, Oklahoma, St. Mary’s over the three mentioned above. Hey, that’s their loss.

Also, if you’re looking at those numbers next to the mid-majors and wondering if those are cooking temperatures or something, what I did was rank them in order of KenPom. I know that’s not the eye test, but here’s the deal, I’ll be honest, I’d only seen half of those teams play. And half of those teams it was just their conference championship game. Use KenPom as your guide, far more reliable than the RPI, BPI, or UTI system.

Half Thought: Bucknell Bison

Love the Bucknell Bison. And for anyone looking to have a healthier alternative than a hamburger, go with a bison burger before you ever consider the veggie burger option. Bison is quietly heart healthy.

Get at me on Twitter (@MediumRareBBall) with your thoughts, compliment my picks or grill me on my mistakes. Tune into the podcast to hear Chris and Chuck go through each region and stay on this site all week for tournament content. Oh and like the Facebook page too. Alright. Time for some steaks. Enjoy Selection Sunday!


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