Sunday, April 08, 2007

2008 NCAA Tournament Projections

Well, we couldn't just wait until all of the early entry announcements and coaching changes were completed. With Florida getting its second national championship crown, a back-to-back-to-back championship bid is out of the question with the Gator quartet of Horford, Brewer, Noah, and Green all declaring for the NBA Draft. LSU's Glen Davis, Duke's Josh McRoberts, and Arizona's Marcus Williams have all hired agents. Meanwhile, 7-footers Chris Daniels of Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Spencer Hawes of Washington along with Fresno State's Dominic McGuire have declared for the draft but have not hired an agent, signifying that they can pull out of the draft prior to June 18.

And of course, there's the can't-miss duo of dedicated big Greg Oden and do-everything forward Kevin Durant. At this time, most experts expect this duo to leave after their first year along with North Carolina's Brandan Wright. At this time, Wright is nowhere near ready to dominate on the next level and can benefit from a second year of college, but his wingspan and interior explosiveness make him a shoe-in for the #3 overall pick. The jury remains out on a dozen of talented ballers including but not limited to Mike Conley Jr., Arron Afflalo, Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert, and Brandon Rush.

As it is, I expect Carolina to be a year more mature than the Elite 8 team which fell just short against Georgetown. They'll be marginally better than UCLA, who will be buoyed by the arrival of high-scoring power forward Kevin Love and their experienced guard play. With respect to Kansas, they return the deepest squad in the country. If Julian Wright and Brandon Rush return, this team will make the Final Four regardless of Bill Self's poor coaching decisions in big games. If Wright changes his mind, Darrell Arthur will rise out of Wright's shadow and become of the dominant interior players on a national level. For the final top seed, it's a toss-up in the state of Tennessee.

In terms of conferences, the Pac-10 will not catch anyone off-guard this season. They are poised to be college basketball's top conference next season. If the pieces fall into place, they may even have 7 teams make the NCAA tournament; however, it just won't happen and a potential seventh team will be one of next year's biggest snubs before a ball even bounces.

The Seedings
1: North Carolina (ACC), UCLA (Pac-10), Kansas (Big XII), Tennessee (SEC)
2: Memphis (C-USA), Ohio State (Big Ten), Louisville (Big East), Southern California
3: Georgetown, Duke, Indiana, Michigan State
4: Alabama, Stanford, Marquette, Villanova
5: Kansas State, Oregon, Georgia Tech, Arkansas
6: Washington State, Butler (Horizon), North Carolina State, Gonzaga (West Coast)
7: Texas, New Mexico State (WAC), Florida, Illinois
8: George Mason (Colonial), Virginia, Pittsburgh, Mississippi State
9: Southern Illinois (Missouri Valley), Washington, Syracuse, LSU
10: New Mexico (Mountain West), Missouri, Purdue, Wichita State
11: Alabama-Birmingham, Kentucky, St. Louis (Atlantic-10), Nevada, Connecticut
12: Akron (MAC), Clemson, Virginia Commonwealth, St. Joseph's
13: Davidson (Southern), Southern Mississippi, Western Kentucky (Sun Belt), Bucknell (Patriot)
14: Winthrop (Big South), Vermont (America East), Pennsylvania (Ivy), Valparaiso (Mid-Continent)
15: Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley), Manhattan (Metro Atlantic), Northwestern State (Southland), UC-Santa Barbara (Big West)
16: Delaware State (MEAC), Eastern Washington (Big Sky), East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun), Central Connecticut State (Northeast), Mississippi Valley State (SWAC)

Last Four In: Clemson, Virginia Commonwealth,
Last Four Out: Arizona, Utah State, West Virginia, Texas A&M
Next Four Out: Utah, Wisconsin, Maryland, Xavier

Summary (Multi-Bid Conferences Only)
SEC 7/12
Big East 7/16
Pac-10 6/10
Big Ten 5/11
ACC 5/12
Big XII 4/12
C-USA 3/12
WAC 2/9
MVC 2/10
Colonial 2/12
A-10 2/14

Next Update: Beginning of May following Early Entry Deadline on April 29.


Anonymous said...

Are you drinking the Wolfpack Kool-Aid a little too much?

Paymon said...

Quite possibly. I really like the idea of seeing Costner and Fells returning and playing with more than 4 scholarship players for part of the season. Crazy, isn't it?