In the Tech office, the sportswriters anxiously await the results of Selection Sunday. One of the editors is from Connecticut (Editor’s Note: was). I am from Memphis. We’ve been talking smack all season. Finally, the brackets have been revealed, and we learned the teams’ seeding for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Connecticut (27-4) is the number one seed is the West region and Memphis (31-3) is the number two seed — also in the West region.
Both teams made a strong case for a number one seed. Last Thursday, Connecticut lost to Syracuse in an epic six-overtime, 3-hour and 46-minute Big East Tournament quarterfinals game. (That’s as long as Gone with the Wind, to put it in perspective.) The Huskies have played a more difficult schedule and only lost 4 games. Memphis is on a 25-game winning streak. I’m only slightly disappointed that Memphis did not get a top seed. UConn’s a good team, but if both teams make it to the Elite Eight, the head-to-head matchup will end the debate.
The other number one seeds are Louisville in the Midwest, North Carolina in South, and Pittsburgh in the East. Three of these top seeds are from the Big East. Louisville took home the Big East regular season and conference tournament titles. Before switching in 2005, Louisville was a member of Conference USA. Memphis holds that conference’s regular season and tournament title.
Since the departure of Louisville, DePaul, Marquette, and Cincinnati, the Memphis Tigers have dominated the league. The last time Memphis lost to a C-USA team was more than three years ago — that’s 62 in-conference games ago. As sports analysts love to point out, C-USA is simply not as competitive a league as, say, the Big East. I agree. What I don’t agree with is the idea that Memphis could not fare well in a more competitive league. The Tigers’ performance out of conference and in the Big Dance over the past few years has proven otherwise — they made it all the way to national championship game in 2008. Let’s see how far Memphis makes it this year.
Last in: Minnesota, Arizona
Snubs: St. Mary’s, Penn State, Creighton, San Diego State