I woke up today with a smile on my face because today is Selection Sunday. There is nothing in the sports world that can match March Madness.
Now I know that Super Bowl Sunday is great, college bowl season is entertaining, and the MLB playoffs can be pretty sweet, but nothing matches college hoops. Greg Gumbel chilling in the studio telling everyone what’s going on as the upsets begin, Gus Johnson, (youtube him – you’ll laugh) screaming at the top of his lungs before the game even starts, high schools turning the games on during class – are all reasons March Madness is awesome.
Now the big question around here is where is Mizzou going to be? Right now Joe Lunardi has them as a 3 seed playing in Boise against East Tennessee State University. Once Mizzou ran through ETSU they’d most likely get West Virginia in the second round. It would be interesting to see how the Tigers would match up against a team from the almighty Big East. Honestly though, I think Mizzou would beat WVU. But anyway, I’m here to make the case for why Mizzou should be a 2 seed.
According to Lunardi, the current 2 seeds are UConn, OU, Duke, and Michigan St. Now UConn at 27-4 in the Big East is certainly deserving of a 2 seed. Duke, with an RPI ranking of 2, is also deserving. Michigan State, who won the Big Ten regular season title, deserves a 2 seed as well (Sorry Coach Izzo, you don’t get that 1 seed you’ve been talking about). So that leaves OU. At one time, the Griffin brothers seemed destined to carry Oklahoma to #1 spot in the nation and cruise to a number 1 seed. However, a lot has changed since then, and if you think about it, Mizzou may have a better case for the 2 seed.
Oklahoma, did not win the Big 12 regular season title, nor did they win the Big 12 tournament. The Sooners have lost 4 of their last 6. They lost to Missouri by 9. The Sooners boast a great resume in non-conference with wins over USC, Purdue, Utah, VCU, and Davidson, yet they lost to Arkansas (RPI 150). If the selection committee really takes into account how well a team is playing at the moment, they should realize that Oklahoma has already peaked. They have played frustrated basketball the past 2 weeks and honestly, I just don’t see this being the team it once was.
Missouri on the other hand, is hot. They may not have had the toughest road to a Big 12 Championship ever, but they avoided slip-ups that doomed Oklahoma and kU. Missouri enters Sunday having won 11 of 13, including 3 straight. They are 10th in RPI (4 behind Oklahoma, yes) and 10th in the Pomeroy rankings. Oklahoma is 17th in the Pomeroy rankings. Missouri beat Oklahoma the only time they played this year and Mizzou is the Big 12 tournament champs – that’s got to be worth something. And again, Missouri beat OU head to head!
However, if you are a fan of Mizzou sports, you know that things don’t usually tend to break in favor of the Tigers. In fact, the Tigers usually tend to get screwed…royally (i.e. BCS 2007 football season). You also know that Oklahoma has Missouri’s number. The University of Oklahoma is the school that has held Mizzou football from 2 Big 12 Championships, a BCS berth, and an appearance in the National Title. They are the school that beat Mizzou in the elite eight and prevented the basketball team from reaching a first ever final four. So do I expect that those lovable Tigers are able to get a break over Blake Griffin and mighty Oklahoma today on selection sunday? Of course not, but it’s nice to think about…. Either way, madness is here. It’s the best time of the (sports) year.