I’d say it is time to re-rack the remaining field of 16 for the NCAA Tournament.
Since my original projection using WhatifSports results has worked so well thus far (as in the 10th percentile), I thought of another great time-waster with the computer simulator: having all the teams play round-robin in a ‘Super 16’ Conference, all on a neutral court.
Would Louisville remain head and shoulders above everyone else? How would Florida Gulf Coast fare over a 15-game season?
Here they are, based on the WhatIfSports results, ranked from 16 all the way to number one…
16. Oregon Ducks (3-12)
At least the Ducks found a new uniform combination for all 15 games. One of the three simulated wins indeed came over vaunted Louisville, 72-68.
15. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (4-11)
There has to be THAT guy out there. You know, the one who went to the betting window a week ago and put a C-note down on FGCU winning the whole shebang.
After not just beating, but schooling Georgetown, dominating San Diego State was no longer a shock. In fact the Vegas line was only -7 on the Aztecs. Myself, I believe FGCU is capable of beating a few more of the other 15 schools left.
FGCU started strong in my simulation, beating Miami (who they also beat for real during this past regular season), Arizona, and Ohio State. Then they crashed back to earth. They lost the simulated game to Florida 71-62.
14. Arizona Wildcats (5-10)
The Pac-12 doesn’t get a lot of love in the Super 16, but at least the conference made a rebound in real life this year getting two teams to the second weekend.
13. Marquette Warriors (5-10)
MU is at 7-1 in the off-shore books for winning the East regional. And MU, Kansas, and Florida are the lone three schools to make each of the last three Sweet 16s.
Did my simulation factor in the distraction of Buzz Willams being linked to every high profile opening imaginable (if UCLA and Minnesota were still considered such a thing)?
12. LaSalle Explorers (6-9)
I thought the LAX would be a good candidate to finish 16th, but the Explorers slayed some giants in the simulation, including Louisville, Syracuse, and Duke. How about that trifecta of coaching egos going down?
11. Louisville Cardinals (7-8)
How about this one? The most unstoppable team of the last two weekends goes a mere 7-8 against the rest of the Sweet 16 field. I am going to call that an anomaly, as the Cardinals are ranked #1 in most re-seedings.
10. Wichita State Shockers (7-8)
How did WSU lose three times to Creighton, the team that looked absolutely awful against Duke the other night?
9. Duke Blue Devils (8-7)
So Duke really has a starter named Sulaimon? Didn’t Neil Diamond once do a song about him?
8. Florida Gators (8-7)
Seeing Billy Donovan and Tubby Smith roaming their respective sidelines Sunday, I could only think of one thing: one coach going back to the Sweet 16 and the other brushing up his resume.
7. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-7)
We finally get to the Big Ten … you know, that awful conference Charles Barkley keeps talking about? The Buckeyes are one of the hottest teams this side of the Miami Heat, not losing since February 17.
6. Syracuse Orange (9-6)
Whether he eventually hangs up the coaching sneakers getting to 1,000 wins or having a portion of those 1,000 wins vacated for NCAA violations, Jim Boeheim would do well in those Coors Light press conference ads.
5. Michigan Wolverines (9-6)
One of the marquee games of the simulation had Michigan defeating Indiana 70-69. “Trey Burke, for three … HE GOT IT, COLD BLOODED!!!!”
Sigh. We’ll get Gus back in March Madness where he belongs sooner rather than later.
4. Miami Hurricanes (9-6)
Guess we can’t rip the Canes for losing to FGCU anymore, huh? This senior-laden squad has a tremendous shot of making it to the final weekend.
3. Michigan State Spartans (10-5)
Yes, do not count out Tom Izzo against Louisville. If Barkley is scoring at home, that’s Big Ten teams ranked seventh, fifth, third, and…
2. Kansas Jayhawks (11-4)
KU gets a share of the Super 16 Championship despite a loss to Wichita State and a 65-46 blowout at the hands of Louisville. In reality, there are much more questions after a weekend in which the Jayhawks were far from dominating.
1. Indiana Hoosiers (11-4)
I still say ‘Oladipo’ sounds like somewhere I would go if I needed some home improvement supplies.
Wouldn’t it be the funniest thing ever if Ohio State/Michigan/Michigan State/Indiana all managed to win their regionals. That would finally put Charles in his place, FOREVER???
Next year, let’s have Gus Johnson call March Madness and let Barkley call soccer.